Revisit the Landmarks and Faces of Staten Island in the 2000s Through Fascinating Photos

Step into the Staten Island of the 2000s—a place where the momentum of a new millennium collided with the stark reality of global events. The year 2000 started with the Y2K bug frenzy, where fears of a computer apocalypse had people on edge. Little did they know, the Island was on the cusp of an era marked by both community growth and moments that would shake its very foundation.

The tragic events of September 11, 2001, left an indelible mark on Staten Island. Many residents were among the firefighters, police officers, and emergency personnel who responded on that fateful day.

Reviving the Waterfront: An Ongoing Vision

The 2000s also saw a renewed focus on waterfront development. The once bustling shipyards and factories of Staten Island’s coasts had long given way to decay, but now ambitious projects were in the works. From the St. George Theatre restoration to plans for the New York Wheel—a proposed Ferris wheel designed to be one of the world’s tallest—the waterfront was slowly transforming from a forgotten area into a locus of potential.

Politics and the Secession Saga: The Sequel

The discussion about Staten Island seceding from New York City saw a resurgence in the 2000s. Though it was not as heated as in decades past, the conversation remained a testament to the borough’s complex relationship with the rest of the city. For some, secession was seen as the path to more local control and better public services, but for others, the unity of the five boroughs was sacrosanct.

The Reimagined Freshkills Park: From Dump to Destination

One of the most striking transformations was the ongoing development of Freshkills Park. What was once the world’s largest landfill was now evolving into a space for public recreation and environmental education. Birdwatching, kayaking, and public art installations were turning this former eyesore into a symbol of redemption and possibility.

Technology: The Digital Natives and Staten Island

The 2000s were the years when technology began to be deeply integrated into everyday life. Staten Island schools started to employ smart boards, and Wi-Fi became a staple in most households. Social media platforms, still in their infancy, started to play a role in how Staten Islanders interacted with each other and the world. It wasn’t unusual to see teens and adults alike engrossed in their Nokia or BlackBerry phones, sending SMS texts, or checking emails on the go.

Transit Woes and Wins: The Transportation Puzzle

Transportation remained a talking point throughout the decade, especially as Staten Island’s population continued to grow. The introduction of bus rapid transit lanes and the discussion around extending the Staten Island Railway hinted at a larger-scale transformation in how residents moved around. Yet, for many, the Staten Island Ferry remained the iconic mode of transport—a floating piece of the borough’s identity that offered unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York Harbor.

#1 Herbert H. Lehman Ferry, Named after Governor Lehman of New York, the Lehman Ferry was decommissioned in 2007.

#2 Children cool off in the spray of a fire hydrant on Broad Street, Stapleton, June 2008.

#3 Boy Scout Salutes Burning Flags at Pouch Camp, 2010.

#4 Double Dutch Turners and Rope Jumper at Park Hill Apartments Complex, 2009

#5 Staten Island Pipers participate in 243rd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, 2004.

#6 The American Legion, Commissioned in 1965 to Honor Veterans, Decommissioned in 2006.

#7 Rossville’s Alyssa Salem Feeds a Small Goat at Church of St. Joseph-St. Thomas Christmas Stable, 2000.

#8 Aexxus Vocal Ensemble Performed Under the Direction of Kevin Jones, 2005.

#9 Rabbi Yochanan Ivry Lights the Hanukkah Candles at Staten Island Borough Hall, 2005.

#10 Shoppers wait for the Disney Store to open on Black Friday in the Staten Island Mall, New Springville, 2008.

#11 Pleasant Plains Luncheonette, a Neighborhood Staple; Scenes Filmed for “Diggers” in 2005, NYC Municipal Archives.

#12 ‘Tribute in Light,’ Lower Manhattan, Verrazzano Bridge, Staten Island, and New Jersey, Seen from Empire State Building, 2002.

#13 Dusty Traffic Island in Grasmere Transformed into Memorial Angels’ Circle After 9/11, 2002.

#14 Filmed on Staten Island: ‘WAR OF THE WORLDS’ in Huguenot, 2004.

#15 New York’s Newest Police Officers at New York City Police Academy Graduation Ceremony, 2006.

#17 United Artists Theatres marque in Travis, circa 2000.

#19 Easter egg hunting at St. Sylvester’s R.C. Church in Concord, 2010.

#20 Lone Figure Walks Along West Fingerboard Road during a Spring Snow Storm, 2003.

#21 Barbara Ansert and Erika Carr Dance During the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan, 2000.

#22 Members of the Staten Island Pipers Participate in the 243rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan, 2004.

#23 Matthew Vescera Takes a Nap on His Father’s Shoulder, St. Patrick’s Parade, 2000.

#24 Workers at Sun Chemical Color Pigment Plant; Lot at 441 Tompkins Ave During its Heyday, Top Right Photo is the Site Today, 2006.

#25 Aerial View of New York Harbor from Goodyear Blimp, 2000.

#26 Blizzard Conditions on January 22 with More Than 15 Inches of Snow Left Behind, 2005.

#27 Traffic Snarled on Hylan Boulevard at Burgher Avenue, First Snowfall of 2010 Season, 2010.

#28 Who remembers the Christmas blizzard of 2010? The first snowfall knocked Staten Island for a loop, packing a wallop and turning roads into a wintry nightmare, 2010.

#29 Holiday shoppers line up outside Toys-R-Us in New Springville to take advantage of Black Friday deals, 2009.

#30 ‘You Chase Them Away, and They Just Come Back’: Turkeys Slow Traffic as They Cross Laconia Avenue, First Noticed as a Problem Around 1996 in Staten Island, 2008.

#31 A parade of Corvettes on New Dorp Lane in the S.I. Columbus Day Parade, Oct 4, 2009.

#32 Hometown Buffet in Forest Ave., closed suddenly before Valentine’s Day in 2008.

#33 Filming of “Gossip Girl” at St. George Theatre, transformation for filming with stars, December 2008.

#34 Benjamin Cirigliano of Stapleton Tips His Hat While Building the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in the 1960s.

#36 Enjoying the Swimming Pool at McArthur Park, Dongan Hills, During the End of Summer, August 2003.

#37 Staten Island Ferry Pulls out of St. George, First Boat to Sail Since 9/11 Attacks, September 17, 2001.

#38 Filmed on Staten Island: “School of Rock” at Wagner College and St. George Theatre, 2003.

#39 Filmed on Staten Island: “A Beautiful Mind” with Ron Howard and Russell Crowe at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, 2001.

#40 Dance Xpress Baby Rhythm Class Performance, 13th Annual “Back to the Beach,” Staten Island, 2008.

#41 The Blackout of 2003 on Staten Island, the first borough to have power fully restored two days later, 2003.

#42 Longtime New Dorp hardware store, now the site of New Dorp’s Stop and Shop, 2004.

#43 Iguana Cafe at the Corner of Clove Road and Victory Boulevard, Later Home to the American Grill and American Bistro, 2005.

#44 Flash Flood at Henderson and Westbury Avenues, 2006.

#45 Parade of Ships Near Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, 2000.

#46 Carmine Rizzo Shines Shoes on Staten Island Ferry, Pictured in 2000, Retired 2000.

#47 July 4, 2005, Anna Claire Piersiak and her sister, Karin, give their bikes an American look during the Travis Fourth of July Parade, 2005.

#48 Students from Holy Rosary School raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims, October 4, 2005.

#49 Egbert IS 8th-grade prom after-party at A&W’s, 2006.

#50 Kids Play Basketball at Todt Hill Playground During Police Athletic League’s Summer Play Street Program, 2009.

#51 Hungerford School Students Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Chevy’s Fresh Mex Restaurant, 2008.

#52 Skate Odyssey Reunion at Rollerjam USA in Richmond Valley, 2009.

#53 Egg-Stravaganza at the Staten Island Zoo, March 30, 2002.

#54 Wendy’s in the spot occupied by Nathan’s, Roy Rodgers, and now CityMD, 2009

#55 The history and closure of Fresh Kills landfill, known as the “Staten Island Dump,” closed 2001.

#56 A teen listening to music on a portable CD player on the Staten Island Ferry, a common way to listen to music on the go, 2001.

#57 Club Drink in Richmond Valley, once called Pony Express then Cylo, closed more than 15 years ago, 2002.

#58 PS 1 Kindergarten class in Tottenville, showcasing students and their youthful spirit, 2004.

#59 Staten Islanders flock to Ralph’s Ices, marking the start of the season at four borough franchises, 2003.

#60 Blizzard of 2003 Left Staten Island Covered with Nearly 20 Inches of Snow, 2003.

#61 A reindeer mugs for the camera at the Staten Island Zoo, 2007.

#62 Two would-be space aliens meet at a Dongan Hills diner to discuss humans, 2005.

#63 The line for free flu shots at Our Lady Queen of Peace R.C. Church in New Dorp, 2004.

#64 Christmas light display at the Chadwick residence at 20 Sherwood Avenue, 2006.

#65 The first major snowstorm of the 2006 winter season in Staten Island with a giant dragon created by Cindy Aponte, 2006.

#66 Terry Reed hails the arrival of the Guy V. Molinari ferry at St. George terminal, 2004.

#67 Holiday shoppers at Toys R Us in New Dorp, Nov. 24, 2000.

#68 Shoppers at Best Buy in New Springville rewarded with sale prices after waiting in line; approximately 750 people took advantage, 2006.

#69 Shoppers lined up outside Toys-R-Us in New Springville for Black Friday deals, 2009.

#70 Haunted Houses of Staten Island: Old Bermuda Inn, Site of a Woman’s Broken Heart During the Civil War. Circa 2009

#71 The Full Line Grocery Delicatessen Stood Near Hylan Boulevard and Burgher Avenue for Over 30 Years, 2010.

#72 Remembering the Andrew J. Barberi Ferryboat Accident, Oct. 15, 2003.

#73 The American Legion, Commissioned to Honor National Veterans, Decommissioned in 2006.

#74 Joe Jilts, Wagner College Athletic Equipment Manager and Gas Station Owner, 2003.

#75 Carmine Rizzo, Staten Island Ferry Shoeshiner for Over 30 Years, Retired in 2004.

#76 Yankees Legend Whitey Ford at Yankee Stadium, 2010.

#77 Launch of Staten Island ferries into the Menominee River, christened by Susan Molinari, 2003.

#78 Students at P.S. 6 on the first day of in-person learning, September 9, 2000.

#79 First day of in-person learning at P.S. 18 at Sen Diane Savino’s “Back to School Blast,” 2010.

#80 Autumn colors at Snug Harbor, Livingston, with a Great Egret, 2006.

#81 South Beach Rides, an arcade and kiddie park in Staten Island, operated from 1941 to 2006, circa 1960.

#82 Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices in Port Richmond, serving Staten Island since 1928, July 30, 2006.

#83 Eight-Year-Old Anthony Brodsky and His Sister Enjoy Themselves at the Greenbelt Conservancy’s Annual Pumpkin Festival in Willowbrook Park, 2008.

#84 Construction of the Postcards Memorial, Overlooking New York Harbor, Lower Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty, Designed by Masayuki Sono, 2004.

#85 The new Martini Red sign installed outside the former Hugo’s Tavern on Van Duzer Street, with owners Robb Huddelston, Michelle Rivera, Jim Svetz, and Manuel Rodriguez, 2002.

#86 Club Drink in Richmond Valley, once called Cylo, pictured here in 2002, closed over 15 years ago.

#87 Sun Chemical’s Rosebank plant, oldest pigment factory in North America, closed in 2008.

#88 Ralph’s Ices didn’t stop serving during the Blackout of 2003, which affected eight states and took two days to restore in Staten Island, 2003.

#89 Afternoon sun creates rainbow in sprinkler mist at West Brighton’s Corporal Thompson Park, 2006.

#90 Operation Sail boats finish the parade of ships passing under the narrows, July 4, 2000.

#91 Independence Way banner carried by children in the Travis Fourth of July Parade, 2007.

#92 Robinson’s Racing Pigs at Richmond County Fair, 1993.

#93 Hooters on Hylan Blvd. in Grasmere, Closed in 2001

#94 Destiny Clay Jumps Through Sprinkler Mist at Corporal Thompson Park, 2006

#95 Anyone Play Statenopoly? A Staten Island-Themed Monopoly Board Game Invented by Anthony Nuzzolo, 2002

#96 After 35 Years of Shining Shoes on the Staten Island Ferry, Carmine Rizzo Retired, 2003

#97 Memorial Day: PS 48 Children Play Recorders as Part of a Ceremony, 2005

#98 Marines Rush from Helicopters at Clove Lakes Park as Part of Fleet Week, 2006

#99 Pergament Mall Location 11 Years Later; Converted into a Best Buy, 2008

#100 Flagship Ralph’s Ices Opening in Port Richmond, 2007.

#101 Celebration of Cinco de Mayo at St. Roch’s R.C. Church, Special Prayer Service for Virgin of Guadalupe, Patroness of Mexico, 2003

#102 Peter’s Eats on Victory Boulevard in Travis, Staten Island, Closed in 2003, Circa 2003

#103 St. Joseph Hill Academy Held a Fashion Show Using Recyclable Materials, 2010

#104 Earth Day Celebration at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds, 2010

#105 Statue of Liberty Seen at Sunset from the Staten Island Ferry Boat, 2005

#107 The intersection of Victory Blvd. and Richmond Ave. marks the heart of Bulls Head, 1985; 22 years later in 2007.

#108 The USNS Comfort heads to support medical needs during the COVID-19 outbreak, September 17, 2001.

#109 Hundreds Wait for Flu Shots at Our Lady Queen of Peace R.C. Church, New Dorp, 2004.

#110 Lauren Vlassenko Performs with St. Joseph by the Sea Marching Band, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Manhattan, 2007.

#111 Catherine Chipura Watches the 245th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, New York, 2006.

#112 Yovanny Zeferino Receives Vaccination at Sisters Of Charity Medical Center, 2000.

#113 Skater Raina Hoey at the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Parade, 2000.

#114 Mayor Rudolph Giuliani with Senator Chuck Schumer at Staten Island St. Pat’s Parade, 2001.

#115 Susan Wagner High School Marches in the Staten Island St Patrick’s Parade, 2002.

#116 Cheering Mets Fans at Jody’s Club Forest, West Brighton, 2000.

#117 President’s Day Blizzard of 2003, Guyon Avenue Near Oakwood Train Station, 2003.

#118 Tugboats Make Their Way from Homeport in Stapleton to Pier 1, St. George, 2005.

#119 Clearing a Car on Rockland Avenue During the Blizzard of 2006

#120 Students from PS 14 Dance During the Black History Month Celebration in the Central Family Life Center, Stapleton, 2002.

#121 Revelers Celebrate the Giants Victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII on Forest Ave, West Brighton, 2008.

#122 Mudbowl: Manny Caridad of the Staten Island Boys All-Stars Tries to Get Through the Defense, 2004.

#123 Visibility on New Dorp Lane obscured by wind-blown snow near Gateway, Miller Field during the Weekend Blizzard of 2005

#124 In 2009, the Staten Island Ferry passes the Carnival Miracle, 2009.

#125 Brian Hagan and Others Dressed in Victorian Attire at Snug Harbor Cultural Center for the Dickens Festival, 2005

#126 Staten Island Moravian Churches Christmas Vespers at New Dorp Moravian Church, 2010

#127 Commuters wait for the bus on Hylan Boulevard, Dongan Hills during a snow squall, 2003.

#130 Standing in Line for Black Friday Shopping Outside Best Buy, 2005.

#131 Holiday Shoppers Line Up Outside Toys-R-Us Store in New Springville, 2009.

#132 PS 29 First-Graders in Their Version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2007.

#133 Macy’s Employees with Shrek Plush Toys in Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2007.

#134 Three Turkeys Scramble Across Seaview Avenue, Ocean Breeze, 2003.

#135 St. Margaret Mary School Students Say Grace at Thanksgiving Lunch Party, 2010.

#136 Hugo’s Tavern became Martini Red on Van Duzer Street, 2002.

#137 The New Dorp High School camera control room, 2000.

#138 Workers prepare holiday lights to hang along Forest Ave., 2004.

#139 The 120th Police Precinct Halloween Task Force with confiscated items, 2006.

#140 Halloween fundraising event hosted by Bella Home Improvements & PS 53 students, 2004.

#141 Remember Beer Goggles? Here’s the Van Duzer Street bar, 2008.

#142 Yankee fans wait in line at Modell’s in New Dorp to purchase Yankees’ World Series items, the biggest day in the company’s 120-year history, 2009.

#143 Charlie Costello and Joe Piazza practice stickball at Midland Beach, 2008.

#144 Susan E. Wagner High School marching band performs during the 14th annual Columbus Day Parade in New Dorp, 2004.

#145 The Curtis High School Marching Band marches during the 2009 Staten Island Columbus Day Parade.

#146 Did you ever catch 2009 World Series hero Hideki ‘Godzilla’ Matsui at Richmond County Bank Ballpark? 2018.

#147 Riccardi’s Deli in Richmondtown, seen nearly 20 years ago, 2000.

#148 MJ’s Supper Club, a popular Richmond Valley restaurant, 2004.

#149 Yankees pitching coach Billy Connors and Neil Allen watch Orlando ‘El Duque’ Hernandez warm up, 2001.

#150 Autumn colors reflect on the water of the Snug Harbor wetlands in Livingston, 2006.

#151 A firefighter touches a photograph of Stephen Siller at the 2005 Tunnel to Towers Run, 2005.

#152 Start of Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run/Walk in Brooklyn, September 29, 2002.

#153 Portobello on the Bay pizza joint in Great Kills called Mansion Avenue home until 2008.

#154 A teen listens to music on a portable CD player while riding the Staten Island Ferry, 2001.

#155 Pothole Pete, once a fixture in Staten Island’s craters, waves to the camera, 2004.

#156 The sun sets over the Postcards memorial in St. George, designed by New York architect Masayuki Sono, overlooking New York Harbor and Statue of Liberty, 2008.

#157 Classic cars parked in the New Dorp shopping lot with the old Hylan Plaza sign visible, 2003.

#159 Terry Reed of Port Richmond Hails the Arrival of the Guy V. Molinari at the St. George Ferry Terminal, 2004.

#160 Residents Gather Outside During the August 14, 2003, Blackout in Grymes Hill.

#161 Staten Island’s Only Circuit City Store Closed, Memories of the Location, Closed March 9, 2009.

#162 Did You Know That Brett Gardner Played for the Staten Island Yankees? Finished 2005 Season Ranking 5th in at Bats, 2nd in Runs, and 5th in Stolen Bases, 2005.

#163 A Tornado Touched Down on Staten Island, Toppling Trees and Crushing Cars in Various Neighborhoods, 2007.

#164 Robinson Cano Played with the Staten Island Yankees in 2001 and 2002, 2002.

#165 Staten Island Mall’s Musicland, Closed in 2003.

#166 Stephen Jackson, 10, and Sister Celina, 6, Cool Off with Fire Hydrant Spray in Clifton, 2006.

#167 Alexandra Rzonca, 7, Enjoys the Sprinkler at McDonald Playground in West Brighton During Heat Wave, 2003.

#168 Noel Mariani Cools Off Under Fire Hydrant in Port Richmond, Temperatures Reached Triple Digits, 2006.

#169 Cub Scout Robert Lynch Helps to Unfurl a Large Flag at the 50th Annual Old Flag Retirement Ceremony, 2006.

#170 Justine Abruzzo Serves Customers at Johnny Rockets in the Staten Island Mall, 2001.

#171 Luis Castillo, Mets 2B, Misplayed a Pop-Up, Resulting in a Yankees’ Walk-Off Win, 2009.

#172 Sedutto’s ice cream and dessert paradise in New Dorp, 1995.

#173 Memorial Day – Honoring those who served: Ann Levato touches the name of her late son, killed in Vietnam, during the Honor Guard roll call, 2001.

#174 With one of the Navy ships as a backdrop, the Navy Regions Northeast Band performs at the former Stapleton Navy Home Port, 2004.

#175 High winds scrambled the UA marque in Travis; warning for gusts up to 60 miles per hour on Staten Island, 2000.

#176 Passengers move away from a downed Airbus 320 US Airways aircraft in the Hudson River, known as the “Miracle on the Hudson,” 2009.

#177 Santa Claus leads a motorcade on a Harley to Mount Loretto for the Staten Island Bikers Association 8th Annual Toy Run, 2002.

#178 Honorary degree recipient Donald Trump at Wagner College commencement, reflecting on his life’s journey and expressing admiration for the campus, 2004.

#179 Remember when Circuit City closed in 2009? Signs in the store signaled price cuts of up to 90 percent, but popular items were gone. Now home to Dick’s Sporting Goods, 2009.

#180 Bowling on the Green opened in 1960 in New Dorp and closed in 2004, replaced by homes, 2004.

#181 Pal Joey’s was a fixture in West Brighton from 1969 to 2002, known for its faux Tiffany lights, 2002.

#182 Farrell’s Lumber in Port Richmond: Iconic Family-Owned Business Closed Its Doors after 121 Years, Expanding Product Lines and Diverse Clientele, 2009.

#183 UA Theater on Staten Island: Premier Movie Complex, Home to Biggest Releases of the 1990s, Closed in 2005.

#184 Country Club Diner in Grasmere: Perfect Place for Meals and After-Midnight Munchies, Closed in 2007.

#185 Postcards Memorial with Tribute in Light over the Manhattan Skyline, Dedicated at Dusk, 2004.

#186 People Waiting Outside Noodle Kidoodle, New Dorp, for Beanie Babies, 2003.

#188 The annual water fight at the 2008 Travis 98th Fourth of July Independence Day Parade, 2008.

The Annual Water Fight At The 2008 Travis 98Th Fourth Of July Independence Day Parade, 2008.

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Written by Wendy Robert

Brand journalist, Ghostwriter and Proud New Yorker. New York is not a city – it’s a world.

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