NYC is home to five boroughs. While most people are familiar with Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, people tend to forget Staten Island to the point where locals call it the forgotten borough. A big reason why people tend to forget Staten Island is that there’s no subway connection to the island. Instead, you either have to take the Staten Island ferry or drive over the Verrazano Bridge. While the Staten Island ferry is popular among tourists as it takes you right by the Statue of Liberty, most people don’t take the time to actually explore the area.
That’s one of the reasons why Staten Island remains NYC’s best-kept secret. Unlike other areas, it’s entirely possible for you to find affordable rents and even decently priced houses on Staten Island. While you might not be in the middle of all the action like you would in Manhattan, you are only a short ferry ride away. Plus, Staten Island comes with its own attractions. If you’re looking to move, here are some reasons why you should consider moving to Staten Island.
The biggest reason people move to this borough is for the lower rents. While it might be more expensive compared to the rest of the United States, when compared to hot neighborhoods in Manhattan or Brooklyn, you’re paying a fraction of the cost for rent. The same is true when it comes to buying. Instead of purchasing an apartment, you can purchase an entire house for the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan or Brooklyn.
When it comes to transportation costs, you may end up spending a bit more than in Manhattan. Yes, the Staten Island ferry is free. However, it’s not quite as easy to get around without a car. There is the Staten Island Railway, but there’s only one line that takes you from one end of the island to the other. There’s a new and improved bus system, but you’re tied to the schedule. Most people on Staten Island own a car as it’s easier to get around. If you do end up with a car, you’ll need to worry about parking fees, insurance, gas, and more.
While there aren’t any famous museums on Staten Island, there are still plenty of attractions to keep you busy. One of the most popular attractions is the Staten Island ferry. This free ferry gives you amazing sights of Lower Manhattan, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. The ferry runs 24/7 so you can enjoy the views any time of day. When you get off, you can stop in the mall right off the ferry.
If you enjoy hiking, then you’re in luck as Staten Island is often called the Borough of Parks. There are a total of 170 different parks with the largest being Freshkills Park, which was built on the former landfill. This 2,200-acre park is the largest park developed in New York City in over a century. While it is still in development, the park offers yearly tours in the summer to explore and learn more about it. It is currently home to a diverse array of wildlife with native grasses thriving and rare grassland birds making a comeback in the area.
During the summer, you can relax along the Staten Island beach and enjoy views of the Verrazano Bridge. Or take a stroll along the FDR boardwalk and enjoy local restaurants and retailers. You might even find some unique monuments that showcase the heritage and history of the island.
Good for Families
If you plan on starting a family, you should definitely move to Staten Island as it offers everything parents could want:
- Great school system
- Safe neighborhoods
- Bigger homes
- Local family activities
The public schools in Staten Island rank as some of the best in NYC and there are a variety of private and charter schools available as well. Your kids can even stay on Staten Island for their higher education and attend the College of Staten Island for both their undergraduate and graduate degrees.
And when it comes to family activities, there are plenty of outdoor activities you can enjoy in one of the 170 parks on the island. If you want to get some culture, you can bring your kids to the Staten Island Children’s Museum or to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden for some fun events.
If you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, Staten Island is a great place to unwind and relax after a hard day’s work. There’s not rich nightlife here, so you don’t have to worry about loud music at all hours of the night. Perhaps because of this, the crime rate is relatively low when compared to other NYC boroughs.
It might be quiet, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. While there are only a few Michelin-rated restaurants on Staten Island, the food is still delicious with some of the best pizzas in NYC. There are also some great local bars where you can enjoy a beer and befriend some locals.
There’s a lot of money going into developing Staten Island. For better or worse, the borough has started to attract more people due to its lower rents, housing prices, and overall space. Of course, the more people move in, the less space people will have. However, for now, the rapid development is bringing more housing opportunities, jobs, retail stores, and more.
Of course, it’s not just about developing new housing or businesses, but improving what’s already in place. A great example of this is Brookfield Park and Freshkills Park. Both were transformed from a solid waste facility and landfill respectively to gorgeous parks with native trees and plants. Local politicians have also invested money into improving infrastructure and storm-proofing Staten Island especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Staten Island is a wonderful location for people of all ages to live. It offers a bit of calm amidst the harried pace of Manhattan. Of course, the biggest draw of Staten Island is the lower rent and the potential to become a homeowner. If you’re okay with a quieter life, then why not consider a move to Staten Island? Once you’re ready, make sure to call professional Staten Island movers like us!
How long does the ferry take from Staten Island to Manhattan?
The ferry takes around 25 minutes to go from Manhattan to Staten Island.
What is the best neighborhood in Staten Island?
If you want a relaxing, residential neighborhood then Huguenot is the best option. However, if you want a little bit of everything, Great Kills might be the best neighborhood for you.
What is the average home price on Staten Island?
The median house price on Staten Island is around $600,000