Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Vine Grows in...Staten Island !!!

Pretty soon there will be a 2 acre grape vineyard, and I assume a functioning winery, right here in New York City. See, don't make the mistake of thinking that it's all concrete, skyscrapers, and guys flipping you the bird here. We have loads of park space, marshland, greenery, and now we'll have a winery. They know that the grapes will be Italian, but beyond that they are not yet sure what they will grow. It gets pretty wet and cold in Staten Island...

Fine, so Staten Island is more like New Jersey than it is like NYC, and it has tried on various occasions to break away from NYC and become its own city. I don't hold that against them, do you?

The Staten Island Botanical Garden is a gorgeous place - The Chinese Scholar's Garden in particular is one of a kind on the east coast. And I'm talking about a 15 minute walk from the ferry terminal. I, for one, will be among the early visitors to this vineyard. Read the article.

9 comments:

ann said...

i saw this on "in the papers" on NY1 this morning. I think it's so incredibly cool, even if it is on Staten Island...

Anonymous said...

Did anyone ever pause to consider that Snug Harbor (where the Botanical Garden is located) Cultural Center is supposed to be a cultural center - a home for the arts - and that some of the community surrounding the Harbor may NOT want a winery located in their neighborhood? It's all part of the master plan of a madwoman - the CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Please read www.saveshcc.blogspot.com for more information.

Brooklynguy said...

Hi Ann - good to see you. I agree, I think this is a good thing. Thanks for your comment, see you around.

Hey Anon - welcome, and thanks for your comments. Can't say that I agree though, and it's not at all because of my love for tasting wine. I think this represents a great opportunity for learning, for kids and adults. There is a project in Australia where schoolkids learn about the business and craft of wine making, and that means spreadsheets and accounting to marketing to chemistry, and they're loving it and learning a lot. And to say that vinification of grapes doesn't fit in with cultural center is just off, in my opinion. Wine making has been around for thousands of years, in many cultures. This is not a rock arena, night club, or porn shop that you presumably would not want in your back yard.

If the community of Staten Island embraces this opportunity by involving local schools, senior centers, and maybe even local restaurant associations, there are loads of possibilities.

David McDuff said...

Well said, Neil. Wine growing is as much an art form as it is a labor of love and an act of farming and caring for the land. What's not cultural about that? A definition of culture which extends only to the "fine arts" would be awfully limited/limiting.

D J R-S said...

Yeah, culture is a ferment, a particularly active, transformational strain of bacteria...
that said, I wish I'd had the strength to maybe have retreated to Staten island back in '85 when my life was kind of falling apart, instead of moving back to Puerto Rico-- 'the road not taken...'

Brooklynguy said...

Hey David - couldn't agree any more. Culture is a tough thing to define. There must be something more concrete that the anon commenter was concerned about regarding the vineyards in Snug Harbor. Maybe they think there will be limos with drunk people making noise or something.

Hey d j r-s - i like it on the ferment, nicely done. intriguing comment about '85 and your move. i would venture to say that '85 in NYC was not exactly the best of times for this city. Crack craze just getting started, people complaining about city services, dirty streets and subways - NYC hadn't shed its crappy reputation at that point. And from the 3 months I spent in Humacao a long time ago, I can see why you would move to such an amazing place. Welcome, and thanks for your comments.

D J R-S said...

(Neil-- sent the link to my participation in WBW 39 bundled up with this comment-- to the 'no-reply' comment address, besides your email, not sure if you got it...?)

Give my regards to Brooklyn
Remember me to Prospect Park
Tell all my friends in Billyburg that I
Will meet them after dark!

I'm actually Boricua de nacimiento-- born & bred-- & only moved to NYC in '77...
more than one long story to tell, but--
next May I should be in town to celebrate my 25th graduation anniversary at NYU,
Gabrio Tosti (DeVino on clinton near Delancey) has a half-dozen
bottles of nice Italian stuff waiting in storage since we both wrongly assumed UPS would ship down here, no prob, & I'm looking at sharing most of them with say, a gathering of Big Apple winebloggers?
Terry Hughes, Dr.Vino, Tyler Colman...so waddaya think? Is that too far ahead on the horizon to start thinking about?

Brooklynguy said...

hey DJR-S - count me in, my honor to be invited. and if you can get tyler coleman and dr vino in the same room, more power to you.

D J R-S said...

duh. engage brain before writing!