I live in Great Kills on Staten Island. I can neither defend nor deny the opinions many New Yorkers have about my borough, but I do have to say I enjoy living in the most rural part of the city. My neighborhood is full of many competing businesses trying to win over the different members of the community. We have a main road that runs through the center of town called Amboy Road. This is where most people find themselves if they need something to eat, have to go grocery shopping or just need to grab something from the liquor store.
The entire town is filled with tons of delis, pizzerias and basic services like optometrists and financial assistants. My neighborhood seems to have everything one could possibly need, and I feel that shows in the photos I was able to take. Most stores have neon lights that compliment one another rather than clutter or outshine the ones around it. I selected the picture above specifically for this reason. I feel that it best represents the wide variety of services my neighborhood has to offer. It truly showcases that my community is very well rounded.
Some of the other photos in my journal showcase the sometimes lack of diversity within my neighborhood. The abundance of pizzerias and Italian restaurants constantly remind you of how rich of a history Italian-Americans have in my neighborhood. Working in the area and walking around town constantly reminds me that there just aren’t as many people of color in my neighborhood as there are at the schools I’ve gone to or the internships I’ve been a part of. The lack of diversity is one of the reasons I plan on leaving the borough eventually.
(I also included this photo of my dog peeing on the welcome sign to my neighborhood because it sums up how most teenagers feel about Great Kills growing up.)