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As far as New York City boroughs go, Staten Island is an anomaly. Nicknamed the "forgotten borough", it exhibits all the traits of a… remote suburb. Let's see. First of all, the subway doesn't extend here. Most residents who work in the (actual) city commute to Manhattan by means of a ferry (The Staten Island Ferry), which departs Staten Island and arrives in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan about half an hour later.
Second of all, the island (14 by 8 miles) has more green space than any other area of the city, bar none. Staten Island even boasts several beaches – South Beach being perhaps the best-known. Truly, an oasis within the city!
Finally, most of the island looks like a suburb. Except in a handful of areas, most of its housing stock is in the form of 1- and 2-family buildings sitting on big lots and plenty of space between the houses. Not exactly the image of a bustling metropolis!
That said, changes is afoot. Staten Island is currently the fastest-growing borough in terms of population - it added almost over 10% to its population in the first decade of this century, which translates into an annual growth rate of 1.23%. At that rate, the idyllic, suburban atmosphere is not too long for this world.
The NYC government divides Staten Island in 3 "community zones" (North Island, Mid-Island, South Island), but of course, there are further, finer divisions between the individual neighborhoods. By way of a very rough socio-ethnic guide, you could say that the North Island is somewhat more African-American and Latino, while the Mid- and especially South Island tend to be Italian-American. All the usual disclaimers about simplifying and generalizing apply.
Among all of Staten Island's neighborhoods, St. George in particular has become home to a fair number "Manhattan exiles" – thanks to the area's convenient location within walking distance of the ferry terminal.Neighborhoods:
Closest to the ferry: