Living In: New Dorp Beach

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New Dorp Beach is a small neighborhood in Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City. Nestled along the shore of the larger neighborhood of New Dorp, it is also bordered by Midland Beach to the north, Oakwood Beach to the south, and as its name would imply, the ocean to the east. Originally inhabited by American Indians of the Lenape tribe, the first Europeans settlement in the area occurred in 1671, when an 86 acre parcel of land was patented to Obediah Holmes by Governor Edmund Andros from the Governor's Lot. This land held a small, two-room cottage. This cottage was eventually owned by Nathaniel Britton, the botanist who founded the New York Botanical Garden. The Britton Cottage, as the house would come to be known, remained on the land for over 200 years. Deeded to the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences in 1915, the cottage was eventually moved to Historic Richmondtown in 1967, where it is preserved as an example of Colonial architecture. The neighborhood of New Dorp Beach flourished after the Civil War. The area functioned as a resort, with campgrounds and seasonal huts popping up on side streets throughout the neighborhood. The waterfront was further developed with wooden piers and hotels. Chief among these developments were the New Dorp Beach Hotel and the Cedar Grove Beach Club, which provided seasonal housing in a line of summer bungalows. Today, much of the area is now owned as parkland by the Parks Department, and many old streets have since been turned to walking paths. The neighborhood's past as a resort and beachfront community space is now literally buried: 10-foot tall sand dunes, erected in the mid-1980's, now cover any remains of these old structures. Current residents of New Dorp Beach tend to be a more diverse lot than those in New Dorp proper. Many houses in the area are converted former beach houses, and as such are smaller than the nicer homes in New Dorp. New Dorp Beach residents have plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy. Chief among these is the neighborhood's titular beach, whose sandy banks are a popular summer spot for locals. However, areas of the neighborhood do experience flooding, particularly between Marine Way and Tysen's Lane. Other green space in the neighborhood includes Dugan Park and Miller Field. A former airfield and US Army facility, Miller Field is now parkland with baseball and soccer fields. It also hosts a neighborhood concert by the New York Philharmonic every summer.

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