Staten Island is the least densely populated New York City borough, giving residents room to breathe away from the fast-paced lifestyle that sometimes characterizes other parts of the city. This thriving island offers beautiful parks (170 of them), stunning architecture, and a rich culture. If your next move will take you here, consider the following information about the best neighborhoods in Staten Island.
Huguenot: A Relaxing Residential Neighborhood
Traffic is a hallmark of New York City, and you might think that there is nowhere you can live in the Big Apple where you can escape the gridlock. Huguenot, however, is a Staten Island neighborhood characterized by modern family homes; there aren’t a lot of businesses in the area, which translates into fewer traffic problems.
Huguenot offers other advantages beyond the lack of traffic. It is on Staten Island's south shore, giving residents convenient access to beaches and the South Shore Country Club. To feel like you live in a park, you can purchase a home right on the golf course. The quiet and safe feel of the neighborhood makes it ideal for retirees and families with children.
The downside to Huguenot? As with many areas of New York City, finding a place to park your car can pose a challenge. You may want to think about tucking your car away in a vehicle storage unit and taking advantage of public transportation. You can go to the Huguenot station and hop on the railway or take a bus or taxi.
Great Kills: It Has Everything You Need
City-data.com notes that more than half the households in Great Kills are family households, making it a good neighborhood in Staten Island for couples with kids to settle down. Besides being a place where your kids can make a lot of friends, Great Kills also is a place with great schools—in fact, it includes some of the best schools in New York City.
Not much has changed since Joseph Plambeck wrote his well-known New York Times article. It suggests that "Many residents call Great Kills a town, not a neighborhood. And in some ways, it does feel like its own little world." Contributing to that cozy town feel is Amboy Road, with its multitude of shops and restaurants. Fitness enthusiasts will love Great Kills Park, a 580-acre park with a beach, a big field, and trails for walking and biking.
If you plan on commuting to Manhattan for work, give yourself plenty of time to get there. It can take up to 90 minutes to get from Great Kills to Grand Central Terminal.
St. George: Convenient for Commuters
This historic neighborhood on the north end of Staten Island is an attractive place for single professionals and couples without children. This densely populated area is highly walkable, with tons of businesses that include nightclubs, art galleries, and more. People who commute to Manhattan for work will love St. George because it is so close to the free ferry.
Another cool thing about the area is its eclectic housing options. There are impressive single-family mansions, condos, apartments, and townhouses available. The most coveted properties are in the historic district, where elegant and artful 19th-century homes line the streets.
St. George will undergo some changes in coming years as part of a huge private investment project. Expect to see a new mall, a new Ferris wheel, and new apartments.
New Dorp: Densely Populated and Diverse
Dwellings in New Dorp are among some of the most highly sought after on Staten Island. Why? This commercial neighborhood is hip, historic, and walkable, but it does have its quiet areas away from the main streets. The beach is another perk of the area.
New Dorp also has a cool international vibe, with significant Italian, Albanian, and Polish populations. There are rows of charming houses in the neighborhood, as well as some apartments. Because it is so densely populated, you may find that most of your housing options are small apartments without much space to park your car. Until you find a bigger place, you may need to put some of your furniture or other belongings into a Staten Island storage unit.
If you do hold onto your car and move to New Dorp, keep in mind that traffic in the area is oftentimes tricky. Quoted in The New York Times, the president of the New Dorp Central Civic Association said, "The most dangerous intersection on Staten Island for traffic accidents is right in the center of the neighborhood at New Dorp Lane and Hylan Boulevard."
Todt Hill: Affluent and Amazing
Todt Hill is one of the true treasures of New York City. The elegant mansions, lush vegetation, and quiet atmosphere come together to create a refuge for refined and affluent individuals. If you don't count Maine, Todt Hill boasts the highest elevation on the eastern seaboard at 390 feet above sea level. The height offers spectacular views of the ocean.
While retirees will love the serenity and the nearby country club, the area is also suitable for families. The abundance of large homes and the private school in the neighborhood make it a welcoming place for children.
However, if you want the feeling of a close-knit community, Todt Hill might not be the place for you. Todt Hill residents live in their own little paradises, and there are few sidewalks in the area, making it hard to get to know the neighbors.
West New Brighton: Attractive for the Middle Class
West New Brighton is a relatively small neighborhood in terms of square mileage, but its population density is twice that of the Staten Island average. Many middle-class families and individuals live in the neighborhood's collection of homes and apartment buildings. The area has an antiquated charm; most of the buildings were built before 1939.
For some years, this Staten Island neighborhood's reputation spoke of it as a hotspot for crime. In recent times, however, crime rates have gone down.
The Staten Island Zoo is in West New Brighton, giving families there a fun place to spend their downtime.
Livingston: Tudors Without Traffic
Livingston, not far from West New Brighton, is a residential neighborhood with an abundance of attractive Tudor-style homes. If you move here, hold onto your car, since traffic is generally light, and there are no retail stores in the area. The area is fit for professionals, families, and retirees.
Oakwood Beach: City-Country Charm
The name of the neighborhood points out one of its best features: the beach. Beyond waterfront accessibility, however, Oakwood Beach offers plenty to residents. It has winding, tree-lined roads and old buildings that make you forget you're in New York City. The neighborhood borders Great Kills, so it is also close to the family-friendly Great Kills Park.
New Springville: At the Heart of Staten Island
New Springville, near the center of the island, has more new buildings than most other parts of the island. The developments include a mix of businesses, townhouses, condominiums, and other dwellings. It is near the Staten Island Mall, which makes shopping a breeze, and the public transportation is decent as long as you aren’t traveling late at night.
Staten Island stands out among New York City boroughs for its wealth of history, tranquil charm, and enticing neighborhoods. If you're moving to Staten Island, you'll find a neighborhood on the island to suit your needs and lifestyle preferences, whether you are a parent, a retiree, or a single person focusing on your career.