Reimagining the Borough’s Traditional Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration and More Stories On Staten Island

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.  — On this episode of the OnSI podcast… Staten Island’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was one of the last major events to be held in the City in 2020, stepping-off just a few short weeks before strict COVID-19 stay-at-home orders went into effect. This year, like many other events, COVID-19 sidelined the parade itself. But, that didn’t stop the community from commemorating the day. Billed as Shamrock West Brighton, the Forest Avenue Business Improvement District created a map of local homes and merchants that decorated for the holiday. They also urged people to shop and dine local as they explored the neighborhood on foot. Staten Islanders went out of their way to support neighborhood establishments.

“They love their businesses and our small businesses love their community and they are happy to support however they can,” explained Nina Flores, the Executive Director of the Forest Avenue Business Improvement District. “They are ready for everyone to come with open arms, and they are just appreciative with everything that’s been happening, that they are able to still survive.”

Also this month, there is widespread hope that COVID-19 vaccinations will finally end the misery inflicted by pandemic. To that end, various organizations in both the private and public sectors have done their best to help. And, there are positive signs that those efforts are paying off. The Staten Island Jewish Community Center showcases one such success story right here in our own backyard.

“We saw that a lot of seniors had trouble getting vaccine appointments. A lot of appointments were online. It was hard for people with disabilities to access vaccine appointments. This is what we do on a day-to-day basis, these are the groups we deal with. So, we realized that it’s really on us to jump in and help these people make the appointments,” said Alison Cohen, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Joan and Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island.

Plus, this episode’s “Local Hero of the Month” is Laura Mooney who, despite adversity, is offering a much-needed support system to the those with a rare form of cancer.

OnSI is made possible with funding from Tom and Suzanne Crimmins, Owners of Tom Crimmins Realty, the Staten Island-based real estate firm that has made a name for itself for more than a decade as a local, independent, family-run business that knows the neighborhoods it serves.