Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The Samuel R. Smith Infirmary, the former Staten Island hospital has been vacant for more than twenty years. The Castle, specifically named the Frost Memorial Tower is a neo-medieval style building, a rare survivor from the 1890s. The Castle was named after George Frost, who donated the six acres to which Smith’s Infirmary was built at Castleton and Cebra Avenues. Previously, Dr. Smith’s residence on Hannah street, Tompkinsville treated the poor and sick. Many notable families, such as the Vanderbilts, Townsends, Phelps and Dreyfus were early benefactors of Smith’s Infirmary.
In 1979, the Staten Island Hospital decided to relocate to its current location on 475 Seaview Avenue, the property was sold to a developer with plans for condominiums. The condo development failed and by the early 1990s it was abandoned and tax liens began to accumulate. In 1983 and 1991 there were community efforts to landmark Smith’s Infirmary with no success.
Due to renewed concern for the property and news that it is being considered for affordable housing, a group of concerned Staten Islanders have formed ‘the Coalition to Save the Castle’. The Coalition believes that most Staten Islanders consider this building a ‘community’ landmark and demand the Castle be protected and included in any plans to redevelop the site. The building has been nominated for NYC landmark status and is under consideration.Without landmarking of this building, it could be demolished and not part of the redevelopment plans. Members of the community would have less community input on the redevelopment of the site and lose a rare building.
The Coalition also believes that landmarking reduces waste and all the buildings on the six acre site should be studied for renovation, rather than demolition. Less debris in the landfills benefits all of us. Staten Island had the largest garbage dump for 30 years, we should be concerned with green building practices. It benefits our community and future generations.    By Angela D’Aiuto.

Great Glacier Provincial Park, Lower Stikine, British Columbia, Canada (© Gary Fiegehen/Corbis)

Giant images from Google Earth©:

Sunday, November 27, 2011


FAF brings you the very last HIGH SCHOOL REUNION of the year.   Well not the very last reunion of the year but at least the last one that we are doing.  (I'm sure there is a H.S. Reunion going on somewhere that we don't know about!)   And what a group, oh boy!   Well at least they had some fun.
And that is what GREAT REUNIONS is all about... Brad the DJ told me so himself!
I'm just glad I figured out how to work a VERY PORTABLE mini studio by using Canon Speedlights that don't have to be plugged in like all those big Mono-lights I used to bring.   Please come and see me if I get the gig at WPPI next year teaching all that I learned over the years...


FAF was there at the Richmond University Medical Center Gala at the Hilton Garden inn and what a fine affair it was...

 Please go to www.EventsByFlint.com to see yourself at this party.


Iris ensata (Japanese Water Iris) is a perennial which grows to a height of 0.6m and a width of 1m. It is vunerable to frost, so does best in milder climates. Japanese Water Iris will flower in November to January. The flowers from this plant are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and they are pollinated by insects.

This macro shot shows the intricacy of the centre of the flower and the beautiful colours.

Please join us and share your flower photos every Friday!

www.ArtBasel.com, www.ArtBaselMiamiBeach.com

Miami and ART BASEL here we come...

Stone Statue Road elephants at Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, Zijin Shan, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China (© Ian Trower/Corbis)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

www.SIEDC.org, www.ItalianissimoRist.com

                  The lovely Pamela Coppola commands attention wherever she has the floor.
The strongest component of the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation's service menu is its membership division. SIEDC boasts over 150 members representing the borough's major financial institutions, industrial and commercial enterprises, private developers, utilities and small businesses, as well as non-profit institutions. The nine membership levels include the Board of Directors (strategy & policy), Cabinet (Board Member Training), Ambassadors (leaders championing our most high
profile projects), Executive Dining Network (our preferred venues), Business Council (exclusive industry), Building & Developers Circle (top developers), 40 Under 40 Leadership Group (future leaders) and the Women's Leadership Council (professional development).

 What goes on at one of the dining mixers?  Well alot of networking and comradeship, not as structured as a regular membership meeting but many introductions are made by the simple fact
that the attendee are made up from a cross platform of the many different SIEDC divisions.
  Those future leaders the 40 under 40 club hold court and consider it another night out to get together.

 Tonight we are at ITALIANISSIMO RESTAURANT, 107 McClean Ave and the manager Jimmy has a few tricks to show us.


SIEDC 14th Annual Awards Ceremony