Staten Island Areas and Neighborhoods
It’s a big island, and most certainly what differentiates Staten Island from the other New York boroughs is that there is something for every lifestyle. Whether you are most comfortable near the beach, in an urban neighborhood, or maybe you want the space offered by the suburbs; if you are considering moving to Staten Island you can expect to live for (in many cases) a fraction of what it would cost you to live in Brooklyn or Queens.
Each of the five areas is very distinct and offers lifestyles for families, millennials, retirees, and urban professionals.
1. The North Shore
St. George/Silver Lake is the popular area on the North Shore. This is where you’ll find the Staten island Ferry (known to Staten Islanders as “the boat”), where you can ride to and from Manhattan for Free. It’s also a great way to see the Statue of Liberty up close.
This historic urban area has been revitalized and has great restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries, and the St. George Theatre for live performances; making it a popular place to live for singles and couples. It’s also the home of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens, which is an 83-acre park.
The neighborhood of West New Brighton on the North Shore is the home of the Staten Island Zoo. This densely populated neighborhood has many older buildings that give charm to family-friendly houses and apartments.
2. East Shore
The east shore is known as the “Gateway to Staten Island,” as this is where you’ll find the foot of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Ft. Wadsworth/Arrochar/Grasmere is an area you may want to check out if you’re interested in moving to a more laid-back environment. New Dorp is another popular area in the East Shore. It’s very densely populated, but you can find larger properties away from its downtown Main Street.
High Rock Park is just north of New Dorp. It’s the cornerstone of the Greenbelt and provides hiking trails and a nature center for visitors. It’s also the home of Moses Mountain (named for Robert Moses), which provides a 15-mile panoramic view.
3. The South Shore
Staten Island even offers neighborhoods for those who love the beach. And while the South Shore was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, many projects have restored the damage, and some, such as the Staten Island Living Breakwaters, will reduce the risk of future storms.
A favorite neighborhood to check out on the South Shore is Huguenot. It’s residential with few businesses and is home to the South Shore Country Club. The South Shore is also where you will find Oakwood Beach and Great Kills, which are also great family communities. Great Kills is the northern-most community of the South Shore area, so it’s an easier trip for commuters into Manhattan.
According to Wikipedia, “Kill” is an archaic Dutch word that translates to mean Creek or channel, and there are many such streams in Great Kills.
4. West Shore
The West Shore includes the neighborhoods of Travis and Bulls Head. Travis is one of the most historic towns on Staten Island. In fact, this area experienced a major Revolutionary War battle in 1777. This community has an honored Fourth of July parade, which is quite an annual event!
Bulls Head also plays a part in our history. The Bull’s Head Tavern was headquarters for the Loyalists during the American Revolutionary War. This area was farmland up until the 1960s, but it has experienced development over the last few decades, and today you can find many affordable and spacious family homes in the area.
Heartland Village/LaTourette is a desirable neighborhood in mid- Staten Island. It received bad publicity in the past due to its proximity to Fresh Kills Landfill. The landfill closed in 2001 and has now been restored into the largest city park in the country (it’s three times the size of Central Park).
New Springville is right in the center of the island and is near the Staten Island Mall for easy shopping and easy access to public transportation.
Have you noticed how many of the neighborhoods are referred to in pairs? It’s just a Staten Island thing for towns that are adjacent and similar in makeup. As you check out places to live on Staten Island, remember that in most areas you have the convenience of mass transit and the ability to own and park your own car. And it’s not just about transportation and proximity to Manhattan, this fifth city borough has a great deal to offer to most everyone.