Top: Hosts Barry Lewis and David Hartman
Bottom: An interview at Decker Farm
Discover Staten Island -- the greenest borough -- with David Hartman and Barry Lewis.
David Hartman, the former co-anchor of Good Morning America, and historian Barry Lewis enjoyed a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, just as thousands of tourists do every year. But when they reached the terminal at St. George, they did what most other visitors don't. They left the ferry terminal and visited Staten Island.
"Staten Island is an island not only geographically, but in spirit as well," said Hartman. "It is the least densely populated of New York City's five boroughs, arguably the greenest, and politically independent. But viewers will likely be impressed by Staten Island's diversity, rich history and numerous cultural attractions."
Lewis agrees. "What makes Staten Island so special is its people," he said. "In producing our program we've had the pleasure of meeting some of Staten Island's most interesting personalities and discovered so much about this borough's history and heritage. I'm sure our viewers will enjoy discovering Staten Island and the people who bring vibrance to the community as well."
In A WALK AROUND STATEN ISLAND, upon landing at St. George, Staten Island's gateway community, Hartman and Lewis find the beaux arts Borough Hall with its Frederick Charles Stahr murals of Staten Island history, the restored St. George Theatre (a baroque movie palace/vaudville house), and the waterfront Richmond County Saving Bank Ballpark (home to the Staten Island Yankees). From there, they explore places and people, flavors and history all the way to the Conference House in Tottenville, where Benjamin Franklin and other members of the Continental Congress met in 1775 with Britain's Sir William Howe in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the Revolutionary War.
Stops along the way include a 19th century sailor's retirement community-turned arts center, one of the nation's oldest free black communities, sandy beaches, unspoiled nature, a Greek revival mansion that recalls Tara, the near-ruins of an unusual hospital complex, the home of a famous Italilan patriot and his housemate -- the less famous inventor of the telephone -- and the former world's largest garbage dump and future parkland. Viewers meet Staten Islanders who tell their local history, learn the continuing immigrant story, and find some of the Island's best pizza.
A WALK AROUND STATEN ISLAND WITH DAVID HARTMAN AND BARRY LEWIS is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York. James Nicoloro is senior producer. John DeNatale is executive producer. Suzanne Glickstein is co-producer. Tamara E. Robinson, Thirteen's vice president for programming, is executive in charge. Corporate funding is provided by the Richmond County Savings Bank Foundation, Richmond University Medical Center, and by American Express. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Thirteen/WNET New York is one of the key program providers for public television, bringing such acclaimed series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, Wide Angle, Secrets of the Dead, NOW With David Brancaccio, and Cyberchase -- as well as the work of Bill Moyers -- to audiences nationwide. As the flagship public broadcaster in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro area, Thirteen reaches millions of viewers each week, airing the best of American public television along with its own local productions such as The Ethnic Heritage Specials, The Thirteen Walking Tours, New York Voices, and Reel New York. Thirteen extends the impact of its television productions through educational and community outreach projects -- including the Celebration of Teaching and Learning -- as well as Web sites and other digital media platforms. More information can be found at: www.thirteen.org