At the beginning of this week I got to go on my first college field trip! Exciting, right?! My class and I ventured to the Port Richmond neighborhood of Staten Island to get a walking tour of the area.
The Port Richmond neighborhood, located near the Bayonne Bridge, was once a thriving transportation hub which brought a lot of economic activity to the area. However, after the Verrazano bridge (the one you can see from Wagner) was built, much of the economic activity left the Port Richmond area and was moved to the center of the island. Since then, the area has changed significantly both demographically and economically.
That's where Wagner comes in! Through the highly praised Civic Engagement program, Wagner has partnered with many organizations in Port Richmond with hopes to spruce up the area and turn it back into the thriving economy that it was!
Our tour started in Veterans Park. This is a park full of historical context, as a battle from the past took place here! Another interesting fact about this park is that it contains high levels of lead and arsenic in the soil. That's right folks! You do NOT want to get this in your mouth.
After a brief walk through the park, we continued onto the main avenue of Port Richmond, Port Richmond Ave. While the area may appear run-down, it is actually full of great businesses! From laundry mats to bakeries, this area is going to satisfy every need a person may have. With our class, we ate at a restaurant called Los Potrillos Taqueria Restaurant. It's a quaint little place with DELICIOUS food!
After our meal, we headed back to the shuttle and went back to campus. All in all, I think Port Richmond is TERRIBLY underrated, as it's an area full of culture and history! I've included below a list of hot spots in Port Richmond as well as some Fast AND Fun Facts about the area.
Port Richmond Hot Spots
- Los Potrillos Taqueria Restaurant
- Cafe Con Pan Bakery
- Zaza Antique Thrift Store
- Veterans Park
- The Port Richmond Branch of the New York Public Library
- Any local store providing a good or service!
Fast AND Fun Facts About Port Richmond
- Located on the North Shore of Staten Island
- Population of 43,124 people.
- Andrew Carnegie financed Port Richmond's NYPL
- Combat Shock, a classic film was filmed throughout Port Richmond
- Andrew Burr, the 3rd VP of the USA died in Port Richmond
- The neighborhood was originally built around the Dutch Reform Church
- There was once a ferry traveling from Port Richmond to New Jersey
- 45% of residents are of hispanic origin