Image from South Beach & Old Town
Image courtesy of Jim Henderson. Used by permission under Public Domain. License Info Photo has been cropped.
Image from South Beach & Old Town
Image courtesy of Jim Henderson. Used by permission under Public Domain. License Info Photo has been cropped.

Living In: South Beach & Old Town

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The South Beach neighborhood of Staten island lies on the eastern shore. Similar to many of Staten Island’s eastern shore neighborhoods, South Beach got it’s start in the early 20th century as a vacation destination for NYC and New Jersey residents. It drew many visitors with the attractive beaches, long boardwalk, and numerous amusement parks. Today, there are no longer amusement parks, but the Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and beachfront continue to be popular among locals and visitors alike. In recent years, the boardwalk has been restored and expanded to offer many entertainment options for its visitors. Year-round features include, but are not limited to: baseball fields, basketball courts, barbecue areas, bocce courts, handball courts, canoe and kayak launch sites, playgrounds, skate parks and more! At the tip of the South Beach area is a sub-section known as Ocean Breeze. This area is home to the Ocean Breeze Fishing Pier- one of the longest Piers in New York City. In addition to the year-round amenities offered by the Boardwalk & Park, South Beach is also home to annual festivals & concerts celebrating the summer. Residents of South Beach and Ocean Breeze can choose to get around via either car or public transit. Although South Beach is no longer served by the Staten Island Railway (SIR), there are a variety of local and express buses operating in the neighborhood. Local Bus Routes in along Hylan Boulevard include S78 & S79 which take commuters to St. George Ferry Terminal and Bay Ridge Brooklyn, respectively. Express bus routes along Hylan Boulevard include the X1, X2, X3, & X9 which have stops across downtown and midtown Manhattan. Local Bus Routes in along Father Cappodano Boulevard include S51, S52 & S81 which take commuters to St. George Ferry Terminal and Staten Island University Hospital. Express bus routes along Father Cappodano Boulevard include the X4, X5, X7, & X8 which also have stops across downtown and midtown Manhattan. Over the years, real estate in South Beach has become more diverse. Originally, South Beach real estate was dominated by summer homes for the wealthy and summer bungalows for the middle class. Today, most residents of South Beach live there year round in colonials, townhouses and semi-attached homes.

Old Town

On the northeastern section of the South Shore of Staten Island lies the small neighborhood of Old Town. As it’s name alludes, Old Town is one of oldest areas in New York City, and was the site of the first permanent European settlement in Staten Island. Originally settled in the late 1600s, Old Town began as a predominantly Dutch community. Realistic examples of 17th century life in Old Town can be seen in the neighboring Historic Richmondtown and is a popular attraction for locals and tourist. Today, Denizens of Old Town Staten Island typically self-identify as Old Town residents, but are technically considered part of the Grasmere and Dongan Hills neighborhoods of Staten Island. The Old Town Neighborhood encompasses the area between Ocean Breeze Park, Norway Avenue, Alter Avenue, and Richmond Rd. However, these borders are approximate as they are rarely clearly defined. In fact, many say that the borders change depending on the source or person you are talking to. Although small, Old Town houses a number of Staten Island institutions including The Staten Island Advance, and the Staten Island University Hospital. The Staten Island Advance was formed in the late 19th century as a daily newspaper, covering mainly local news, making it the only major borough-specific daily newspaper in New York City. The Staten Island Advance is headquartered at the edge of Old Town at 950 West Fingerboard Road. The Staten Island University Hospital is part of the larger system of North Shore LIJ Hospitals. The hospital serves the local community but has become known for cardiac care, cancer and blood-related disease treatments. It can be found at 475 Sea View Avenue. Park in/near Old Town include Ocean Breeze Park and Old Town Playground. These facilities are open the the public and offer Baseball fields, basketball courts, handball courts, outdoor pools, spray showers, bathrooms, swings, jungle gyms, dog friendly areas and more. Housing in Old Town is quite unique. There are nearly equal amounts of renters and owners in Ocean Breeze living in a wide range of houses from small bungalows to mid-sized ranches, to semi-detached row houses, to large 4+ bedroom colonials.

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