By James Prendamano

For the millions of people living in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, summer weekends usually entail shelling out thousands of dollars to rent a weekend home in the Hamptons, then sitting in traffic for hours on a Friday afternoon along with the millions of other New York City residents who follow the same summer pattern.

For residents of Staten Island, their exodus out of New York City brings them to the near by Jersey Shore, but the time they spend sitting in traffic remains the same.  These summer rituals boggle the mind when one considers that Staten Island was once the summer get away for everyone living in New York City.

Years ago, countless families would spend their summers kicking sand and enjoying the surf at either South Beach or Midland Beach, Staten Island.  They would rent rooms or homes with porches facing the ocean or reserve quaint bungalows along the boulevard just steps away from the beach.

If you ask anyone when Staten Island ceased to be the vacation center of New York City, the likely answer will be, “I don’t know.”  I have lived on Staten Island all my life and it was only recently that I discovered the extent of Staten Island’s amazing parks and beaches, which are every bit as beautiful as those in Long Island or New Jersey – minus the crowds and hours long commute.

Visit Staten Island highlights all there is to do in this magnificent borough.  From quiet parks, to historic attractions such as Snug Harbor and Historic Richmondtown, this user friendly site provides maps, public transportation information, photographs and videos to help visitors plan their trip to the “Borough of Parks”.

As a father of two who spends much of my time working on retail leasing in Staten Island, I cherish every moment spent with my family.  So now, instead of sitting in our car stuck in traffic headed away from the borough, we spend our time exploring Staten Island, supporting our local businesses and enjoying some of the finest cuisine in New York City.  From fishing off the bridge in Clove Lakes Park to walking the trails of the Lenape Indian burial grounds in Conference House Park, there is always something new and interesting to see on Staten Island.

To all New York City residents, I highly recommend a Staten Island “stay-cation” for a week, a weekend or a single day. Whether you are a history buff, a golfer or someone who enjoys a quiet stroll in the woods, you can find it right here on Staten Island – just a free, 20 minute ferry ride away from Manhattan.

If you are a business owner, now is the best time to bring your business to the borough.  As the leader for retail leasing in Staten Island, Casandra Properties will help you find the right location for your business to thrive.