If you’ve heard a few of Jordan’s sermons, you know that he’s good for dry and random humor. If you’ve listened to a lot of Jordan’s sermons, you know he also has a special knack for consistently knocking two subjects — Tom Brady and Staten Island.
Given his loyalty to The Jets, and Brady’s general polarizing effect, the first one probably doesn’t need much explanation. But the jabs at Staten Island aren’t really based on much, other than Jordan’s lack of time spent there and him seeing it as the forgotten borough.
Most people laugh these Staten Island jokes off, but interestingly enough, our beloved friend and children’s ministry director at our church, Tanya, calls Staten Island her home away from Harlem. After putting up with jab after jab, she decided it was time to initiate a little intervention and reconciliation for Jordan and the borough she loves. And hence, plans for a Staten Island adventure were set in motion.
We set out early in a zip car we had rented for the day and let Tanya do the leading. I hadn’t spent any significant time in Staten Island either — growing up in Pennsylvania, it was always just the section of NY that we drove through to get to our family in Queens. So I was looking forward to what the day would bring.
Our first stop was for sandwiches from Ariemma’s Italian Deli. This place is pretty much all you’d want your classic Italian deli to be — not very fancy, loved by many, family-owned, and run by three generations (grandpa sat by the register and lotto tickets as dad and son shouted out requests for orders, prepped sandwiches, and treated everyone like a regular).The menu was endless with different variations of heroes (and the Philly girl in me wanted to call these heroes, “hoagies,” but that’s my own little personal problem). It took me a good 10 minutes of staring up at the board looking at sandwiches with names like “Island Delight,” “Golden Girl,” “The Diddy,” and “King of the Hill,” to decide what I wanted.
In the end, I picked “The Marvin” (pastrami, melted swiss, and mustard), and Jordan went with “The Major Clog Up” (soppresata, salami, coppa, proscuitto, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, roasted peppers, baby greens, and oil and vinegar). You can look at the bread in this pic and know it was delicious. With our sandwiches in tow, we took a quick drive to the beach and boardwalk. Who knew Staten Island had a boardwalk?? It was sunny and breezy, and since we were there on a Friday, there was hardly anyone else there as we ate and enjoyed the view of the water. After polishing off our sandwiches, we walked down the pier and took in more sights of the beach and a hazy view of the Verrazano Bridge. Jameson was in a great mood, taking in the fresh air and looking down at the water below the pier. And he loved the time with Tanya, as do all of the other kids who go to our church. :)These next two photos kind of crack me up, as I’m sure the first face is one I give to Jordan all the time – like, “Are you doing what you’re supposed to do?”
And then followed up by, “Oh yes, you are? Ok, lemme fix my face then.”
From the boardwalk, we moved on to Cedar Grove Beach, where we planned to sit on a blanket and hang out for awhile. We walked around, snapped some photos, and I picked up my favorite sea shells and pieces of sea glass. Love seeing these two enjoy each other.
Tanya captured a few family photos of the three of us — did I mention that in addition to being an awesome children’s ministry director and Staten Island tour guide that Tanya is also a photographer?! Did I mention we loooove Tanya?! lolAnd I was so grateful she was able to capture these pretty funny moments when Jameson was leaning into me and holding my face up to his as he posed for the camera. We died laughing and have no idea where this kid gets this stuff from. Our little adventure to Staten Island was pretty sweet. Partly because of time spent together as a family. Partly because of time spent with a dear friend. Partly because of good food. Partly because of getting to see a place through the eyes of someone who calls it home. And partly because even if it’s just a short drive or train ride or walk away, there’s always something great about the chance to see someplace new.
Staten Island, you were a good little surprise.