The Case for Living in Staten Island

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*This article appears in the September 5, 2016, issue of New York Magazine.

The scene on a Saturday at the Urby complex in Stapleton. Photo: Tobias Hutzler

First things first: Staten Island is not the new Williamsburg. Having a car is pretty much required, and there are far more Dunkin’ Donuts than artisanal-coffee shops. But Staten Island hasn’t been in the news lately only because it might vote for Trump in the election; the waterfront near the ferry is exploding with new developments. In addition to a $580 million Ferris wheel, which just broke ground in St. George, there are hundreds of new residential constructions, including the unfortunately named Urby, a massive rental complex in Stapleton that comes with a resident farmer and a pool with a view of downtown Manhattan. Which makes sense because Stapleton and its nearby neighborhoods are crawling with Brooklynites priced out of the borough who can’t stomach moving to the suburbs just yet. There’s even a growing artist community, which one recent transplant tentatively says is reminiscent of “Bushwick in 1999.” The less-new things that have always been wonderful about the oft-overlooked borough include its creaky Victorians with front porches; a bizarre abandoned shipyard; the sprawling, green, Catskills-like sensory experience; the truly excellent pizza; and the fact that you can party for free on the 24-hour ferry.

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