Down here, over to the West of Manhattan, where the Upper New York Bay meets the Kill Van Kull, lies a now burgeoning artist and historic community known as St. George, Staten Island. St. George is placed on the Northeastern shore of Staten Island and its name did not derive from the Saint, but however the developer named George Law. He was a developer that acquired the waterfront property at bargain prices. It is home to several Hills; including that of Fort Hill, which overlooks the harbor where an incomparable panoramic view of Manhattan can be seen. The easiest and most romantic way to arrive in St. George from Manhattan is to take the glorious Staten Island Ferry, which will run you a twenty-five minute ride for free, a service that Staten Islanders use on a daily basis to get to and from work. St. George is now being called “Art Hill” by many of the young artists that have found a home here. It’s demographic and the socio economic status of the residents has changed rapidly in the last ten years. Even though there was always an under bed of artists that lived here, there were also many deeply imbedded issues in the area for quite sometime, but these issues have diminished greatly.
Most of Staten Island’s demographic consists of working class families that live in many of it's highly desirable residential areas. St.George differs from the rest of the Island in that it has many high-end condominiums at reasonable prices such as The Point, Bay Street Landing and the Accolades with vistas of Manhattan that are just breathtaking. It also houses many beautifully ornate Victorian, Queen Anne and Tudor Style homes. The prices are still not nearly as high or even comparable to the highly developed Brooklyn Areas such as Williamsburg or Cobble Hill and are definitely cheaper than any lower side Manhattan prices. There are several rentals in the area that are rent stabilized and below the $1000/per month fee which is unheard of in NYC, along with reasonably priced co-operative units that will include a fee. St. George exists on both the highly commercial Bay Street and then coils into the scenic and administrative portion of the area, which lies across Richmond Terrace. The area’s population is highly diverse and the property and housing are quite affordable.
However housing properties in the area are on the rise since the new found deal for the New York wheel, which is estimated to be complete in 2016. The New York Wheel will offer a 38 minute ride in which you get a glorious view of Manhattan and you will be able to throw cocktail parties or even business lunches and dinners. The Wheel is going to be “the tallest observation deck in the world”. North of the Staten Island Ferry terminal and further up on the Hill on Central Avenue and Hyatt Street, there is the back entrance of Borough Hall which is coterminous to the rest of Richmond County, the striking Art Deco St. George Theater and the soon to be Municipal Court House which is destined to be complete by the end of 2015. Saint George houses two high schools, one being McKee High School that the famous writer Frank McCourt once taught at and the other is Curtis High School, built in 1904 and wildly appreciated for its gothic architecture.To the east of the Staten Island Ferry there is commercial Bay Street where you can find parking, supermarkets, restaurants, and shopping.
On Saturdays during the summer at the Corner of Hyatt Street and St. Mark’s Place; Green Space hosts a Farmer’s Market with reasonably priced goods. If you are looking for a farmer’s market year round, Gerardi’s Market in New Brighton sells fresh and more than reasonably priced seasonal goods. They are located on Richmond Terrace. For other dimensions on the lower part of the Hill there is soon to be a public fitness facility now known as The Cromwell Center along with The Lyons Pool that hosts local entertainment during the weekends of the summer months. St. George is about five minute drive from The Verrazano Narrows Bridge and there are several bus transfers (s53 and s79) from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and beyond that will run you about a twenty-minute ride to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. However, when traveling into Manhattan and living in St. George, your best bet is to take the one fair zoned Staten Island Ferry.