Our historic hilltop property is the closest you can get to a comfortable old house in the country while still being in New York City. Your kids can play on the tree swing in the yard instead of being cramped in a tiny hotel room. Yet you are just 20 minutes walk or three bus stops from the Staten Island Ferry, the greatest free ride in the world. You can see the Verrazano Bridge from the windows and glimpse New York Bay from the street.
Our neighborhood is a diverse 'next neighborhood' where yuppies renovating 19th-century homes live side-by-side with struggling immigrant families. Plenty of small shops and economical restaurants within a few minutes walk. We also have parking on our street without the dreaded 'alternate side' rules, a great convenience for car travelers.
Our house is more than five miles from any of the areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The storm has not affected our business or our neighborhood.
Your hosts are a literary couple eager to share the spirit of New York Bohemia and relaxation after a tough day of tourism. We live a few blocks away with our own family.
Access to Manhattan: Despite fare increases everywhere else, the Staten Island Ferry remains the greatest FREE ride in the world, the most beautiful way to enter New York and view the Statue of Liberty and the downtown skyline. Ferries usually run every half hour, every 15 minutes in rush hour, once an hour on weekend nights and after midnight. Like New York itself, the Ferry never sleeps.
The ferry terminal is a relaxing 15-20 minute walk downhill from the house. if you're feeling less energetic on the way back, cabs are available at the terminal for about $7. Parking is also available by the ferry for $7 or $8 a day.
Neighborhood: Downtown Staten Island is our own beloved neighborhood. Your hosts and their family live 10 minutes walk away. It is an area where people of different races and income levels live literally next to each other. A place to experience the 'gorgeous mosaic' of the real New York in a striking geographic setting, on rolling hills coming up from the harbor. Our house is in a row of eight lovingly preserved Victorians, a very rare if not unique phenomenon within New York City.
If you get worn out by Manhattan, Staten Island itself offers worthwhile sights: Snug Harbor cultural center, the Alice Austen Museum, Fort Wadsworth. We can help you explore the 'forgotten borough.'
Cheap Eats: One of the benefits of diversity is diversity of food choices. Within a few minutes walk of our house, you can enjoy, Mexican, Italian, Polish, Sri Lankan and Senegalese cuisines, among others, at much lower prices than the Manhattan tourist traps. Feast on Downtown Staten Island!
Steps: Elevation is one of the great charms of our property. We are located at the top of a steep hill, off a walkway that runs above street level, and a few flights of steps further up from that. You have a feeling of being isolated above the city, and a lot of extra breeze for the summer time. But the place does require basic physical fitness
Parking: Parking a car in New York can add considerable expense and anxiety to your vacation. At our place you can always find parking spots within 50 yards or so of the house, and leave your vehicle there without worrying about moving for street cleaning as in most parts of the city. Parking lots are available at the Ferry for $8 a day, so you can have your car waiting for you after a grueling New York day.