Sometimes dubbed “the forgotten borough,” Staten Island is different from the rest of New York City . Significantly more rural and suburban than the other boroughs, it’s also predominantly white, politically conservative, and populated with working- to middle-class families.
All of which means that Staten Island frequently feels estranged from the rest of the city—and periodically threatens to secede. The last time was in 1993 when the issue was put to a public vote; the referendum was enthusiastically passed, but its implementation remains doubtful.
Fourteen miles long by seven miles wide, Staten Island is a hilly place made up largely of bedrock. A military camp for the British during the Revolutionary War, the borough remained predominantly agricultural until the early 1900s and was still largely undeveloped when the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened in 1964. The bridge connected the island to the rest of the city for the first time, bringing with it new industry, residents, and crime. Many Staten Islanders still blame the bridge for many of the island’s current problems, and divide life into “Before the Bridge” and “After the Bridge.”
Staten Island has its own minor league baseball team, the Staten Island Yankees (www.siyanks.com , St. George Stadium, 75 Richmond Terr., 718/720-9265, tickets $12 for a single game). Their stadium is located next to the SI ferry terminal and makes for a fun day out when combined with a ferry trip to and from Manhattan.
To reach Staten Island from Manhattan , take the Staten Island ferry  (718/727-2508, www.siferry.com ) from Battery Park  to St. George, where buses fan out to cover the island. For more information and help with travel directions, contact the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce (718/727-1900, www.sichamber.com ).