Happy 350th Birthday, Staten Island, You Old Sport!

Staten Island is 350 years old, and today marks a special anniversary celebration for the borough that we sometimes tend to forget about (some of us, just some of us), or possibly mock (some of us!). So, today, be nice to Staten Island! Tell it how pretty it looks! Give it a big hug, or a cupcake, or both! The Empire State Building will be all dressed up in orange, white, and blue lights in honor of the event. Mayor Bloomberg will pay a visit to the esplanade near the Richmond County Ballpark at St. George tonight, with a representative from the Embassy of the Netherlands expected to attend. There will be a cake, in Staten Island colors. Someone will surely drink a beer on the ferry. Good times!

So, how did Staten Island get started? (This is the historical portion of this blog post):

The first permanent European settlement of Staten Island began with a petition written in Dutch on August 22, 1661, to the Council of New Amsterdam for "Ground Briefs" or land grants. Nineteen families of French, Belgian and Dutch nationalities, seeking religious freedom and economic opportunity, united to establish a new community on our shores.

Peter Stuyvesant, the Director General of New Amsterdam, granted the petition, and land grants were given. The rest is quite obviously history (as is the former).

More contemporarily, along with Bloomberg and the Empire State Building, the group si350 will celebrate tonight in honor of the anniversary, with a public craft and music festival at the St. George Plaza of the Staten Island Ferry from 5 until 8 p.m. And there's lots more. Party it up, Staten Island! You only turn 350 once.

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

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