From the Purple Martin Conservation Association's website:
Today, east of the Rockies, Purple Martins are the only bird species totally dependent on humans for supplying them with nesting sites. And they have been managed by man longer than any other North American species. If humans were to stop supplying martins with homes, they would likely disappear as a breeding bird in eastern North America.
In 2003, the NY Times reported that this seasonal purple martin colony
here in Annadale and another a bit further south down the Staten Island shore were the only two in the city
You can see this unusual house a little better in the winter.
Cell antennas? What cell antennas?
In 2010, the NY Times ran a little day-in-the-life account of the goings-on at this park-and-ride bus hub:
At 12:36 p.m., one of the pay phones inside the center rang.
"Hello," said the man on the other end, sounding as if he was trying to keep calm. "Someone called me from this number like 10 times?"
He had reached a bus station on Staten Island, he was told.
"O.K.," he said, and hung up.
Nine minutes later he called back, wanting to know who had been calling him earlier.
"Because someone’s harassing me now, and this is in the middle of a police investigation," he said. "Where is this place?"
The Eltingville Transit Center.
"O.K.," he said, and hung up again.
Protecting a baby fig tree