Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New York Times parachutes reporter into Staten Island

Parachute journalism is a term usually reserved for incidents where news organizations send a naive correspondent into, say, real America, or some far-fung third world country to give a half-assed report without any real knowledge about the actual area or the people that live in it.

But now we have our own example right here on Staten Island.

The New York Times recently sent Andy Newman, who happens to be a decent reporter, to Staten Island for six days to explore the mysterious borough and the results are nothing short of astonishing. (watch here)

By Foot

Newman packs a tent, sleeping bag, and canteen to traverse the Island by foot. Do we not have forms of public transportation like the rest of the city? Didn't someone tell him this is not 19th century farmland anymore. The intrepid reporter walks two miles in his first two days and complains about blisters. Dude, how about a fucking bus, train, car service, bike lane!?

The Natives

Newman arrives in Travis, where he is 'adopted by the local youth.' Sort of like Margaret Mead with the Samoans, Newman shows some primitive footage of the locals who, as far as we know, live on the outskirts of the villages and hamlets of Richmond County, surviving off stolen peaches and 40 ounces of Olde English.

Roughing It, Next to Hotels

Next, Newman pitches a tent on the shores Travis and (ready for this) takes a god damned bath in the Arthur Kill. It just so happens that Travis is the home to the newly built Comfort Inn and Holiday Inn Express. And just in case they were booked up, Newman could have checked into the Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn, literally next door in Bloomfield.


A banjo plays behind this whole haphazard adventure - because everyone knows thats what us folks like a pick away at while sittin' on our porches chewing tobacco. Y'all gather round now, 'bout to pluck some strings.

Stonehedge on SI

Newman comes across these mysterious stone structures on the beaches of the South Shore. One question about this beautiful, peculiar artwork must be answered: Is this part of a satanic ritual? No. Ok let's move on then.

Seguine Mansion 

Well, the Seguine Mansion is nice. There's a pond, peacocks, horses, roosters - apparently he didn't stop at the Prince's Bay strip malls. We never knew Staten Island was so antiquated - and we live here!

Sweet luxury

Newman finally checks into a hotel - a run down spot in Midland Beach that we've never heard of. But before Newman feels comfortable enough to sleep in this $55-a-night shithole he has to call his friend who is, apparently, an expert on bedbugs. Thankfully, his night was 'bedbug free.' He survived a night sleeping in a SI - whew, close one. Maybe next time try not booking a room at the worst hotel on Staten Island.

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