I go to Lemon Creek Park to lose the world on what looks like a private island passed onto by a wooden bridge. The point where the creek lets out into Prince’s Bay is known as Crab Island. This is a waterfront spot for solitude, where you can pass from trees to lakes to beach without seeing a soul. A few people from the neighborhood come at night after work to walk through this peaceful almost-island. I find that it most beautiful at night, when the only lights are from the houses across the bay. In the background, you can see the steeple of the old Church of Joachim and St. Anne, part of the Mount Loretto Unique Area campus. The baptism scene of The Godfather was filmed on the Church’s steps.
Lemon Creek includes fresh water and salt water marshland that ends at the Bay, wooded areas, and wildlife that includes rare bird species like the purple martin colony. Its waterfront area provides a spawning ground for many species of fish and shellfish.
Primarily a fishing village at first, Prince’s Bay oysters were so famous in the nineteenth century that “Prince’s Bay Oysters” could often be found on menus at the finest seafood restaurants in London, Paris, and New York. Local legend has it that a British prince, the Duke of Nassau (later William III, co-reigned as William and Mary), anchored a vessel in the bay at the foot of today’s Seguine Avenue, because he believed that the oysters had aphrodisiacal properties.
The beach is tranquil, with shades of blue and green. I am nearly alone, as I begin to take photos. The only sounds are wind, water and the seagulls. The waterfront stretches out for 2 miles. Later on, I walk through tree-lined paths to Crooke’s Point, which was once a private island.Out in the distance, the Atlantic Ocean and Sandy Hook NJ.When the sun begins to set, I turn towards the bay and the boat marina.
Part of the National Park System (NPS), Great Kills Park, Staten Island is 580 acres of beaches, woodlands, and salt marshes.There are walking trails, jogging and biking paths, sports fields, playgrounds, the swimming beach, fishing, nature trails, and a public boat launch. There is a model airplane field! Birdwatchers love this place, with its diverse habitats for numerous species of birds. Fishermen cast reels at the Crooke’s Point, the southerly tip of the beach area.
Great Kills Harbor, located within the 580 acre park, is a man-made harbor. The harbor is a picture-perfect spot for boating, sailing, and glorious sunsets. The marinas, with more than 250 slips, attract boat owners from all over the east coast. Photography lovers like myself are drawn to Great Kills Park. Staten Islanders often pull in after work to connect with nature and watch the wild colors of the sunset.