A recent excursion to the Seguine Mansion also included a visit to Lemon Creek Park on the shore of Prince's Bay, Staten Island. Not surprisingly, the park gets its name from Lemon Creek, which is wide enough near its mouth for boats to dock and navigate, then narrows further inland.
According to the Parks Department website, the origin of the name "Lemon Creek" is unknown. The waterway was previously called the Little North River, presumably a cutely aspirational reference to the Hudson River, which was in olden times called the North River (and still is on some nautical maps).
Before that, Lemon Creek was designated Seguine's Creek. No mystery to that one.
By the mouth of the creek there's also a quiet pond.
And then there's Prince's Bay itself, an indentation in the larger Raritan Bay, with Keyport, New Jersey across the way. My van once broke down in Keyport, New Jersey. That's all I know about it.
To get to the shore from the parking lot, you pass a picturesque pagoda and walk through a wide grassy field.
Or you can take a rougher route.
Yes, I said "parking lot." This is Staten Island, remember – an exotic mysteryland to many New Yorkers from the other boroughs. A place where people drive to the park. In a car.
A small crowd of islanders was enjoying the beach.
According to the Parks Department, the borough and city have bestowed over $5 million on Lemon Creek Park over the past 20 years, money that appears to have been well spent, as this is a lovely park, unprepossessing, but unique in a number of ways.
Given that history, a modest allotment for the continued preservation of Seguine Mansion shouldn't be too much to ask.
All photos © Jon Sobel, Critical Lens Media