Why I love... St. George, Staten Island

A TONY staffer explains her obsession with this NYC neighborhood.

  • Richmond County Bank Ballpark

  • 15 Corson Gallery: The Assembly Room

  • 15 Corson Gallery: The Assembly Room

  • Beso

  • Beso

  • Every Thing Goes Book Cafe and Neighborhood Stage

  • Every Thing Goes Book Cafe and Neighborhood Stage

  • Every Thing Goes Thrift & Vintage

  • Postcards

  • St. George Theatre

  • Jimmy Steiny's at Baker Square

  • Jimmy Steiny's at Baker Square

  • Street view

  • Street view

Richmond County Bank Ballpark

St. George, Staten Island | Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn | Hell’s Kitchen

“I grew up on the South Shore,” admits freelance writer Meredith Bodgas, “but St. George, on the North Shore, is what the cool ’hoods in Brooklyn were like before you couldn’t afford to live there. It’s a wonder that more Manhattanites don’t hang out here—especially in a recession. The very pleasant ferry ride (you can buy beer on the boat!) is free, and once you’re on the S.I. side, fun it’s cheap, too.”

Her favorite bars and restaurants

Enoteca Maria (27 Hyatt St between Central Ave and St. Marks Pl; 718-447-2777, enotecamaria.com) “What makes this Italian restaurant stand apart from the countless other ones on the island? The rotating grandma-chefs are actually from Italy—not Bay Ridge. As a result, the restaurant is more European with a menu that changes nightly based on what’s fresh. Rest assured, you can always order pasta.”

Beso (11 Schuyler St between Richmond Terr and Stuyvesant Pl; 718-816-8162, besonyc.com) “Meat and seafood lovers will like the choices at this cozy Spanish restaurant. Order mojitos or sangria, and split tapas, like fried goat cheese and coconut-crusted shrimp, with your friends. Dim lighting and brick walls make it a good date spot.”

Jimmy Steiny’s at Baker Square (2 Hyatt St between Central Ave and Stuyvesant Pl, 718-442-9526) “Though it’s not much to look at from the outside, the inside of this bar is sparkling—it has Blue Moon, Magic Hat and nine other beers on tap. Go after work when pints and well drinks are $3 or less and the jukebox is pumping.”

Her favorite places to visit

Richmond County Bank Ballpark (75 Richmond Terr at Wall St; 718-720-9265, siyanks.com) “Staten Island Yankees games are fun (Scooter the Holy Cow has been known to shoot T-shirts into the stands) and cheaper than the real Yankees. When the Major Leaguers get sent down for a few weeks, they often play here. I saw El Duque pitch a game from a $15 seat behind home plate!”

15 Corson Gallery: The Assembly Room (15 Corson Ave between Daniel Low Terr and Victory Blvd, second floor; 917-586-2325, myspace.com/assemblyroom) “This hipster-friendly gallery is a paradise for anyone who likes his art off the beaten path. Plus, you can catch lively music and comedy performances from local talent here.”

St. George Theatre (35 Hyatt St between Central Ave and St. Marks Pl; 718-442-2900, stgeorgetheatre.com) “You know the battle of the bands concert in School of Rock? That was shot here. Checking out a big-name act at this 1920s theater would be very cool, but I’d highly recommend a kitschy show with local acts, such as Staten Island’s Got Talent.”

Postcards (141 Richmond Terr between Hamilton Ave and Stuyvesant Pl, statenislandusa.com) “I got chills the first time I went to this September 11th memorial, and not just because my husband’s uncle is one of the victims whose profile is accurately depicted on the wall: The wings of the sculpture frame where the Twin Towers used to stand across the bay.”

Her favorite shops

Every Thing Goes Thrift & Vintage (140 Bay St between Central Ave and Victory Blvd; 718-273-7139, etgstores.com/clothing) “Staten Island is not really known for its shopping—the main retail draw is the mall, after all—but there are three floors of vintage threads at this store. It’s as great for everyday duds as it is for Halloween costumes.”

Every Thing Goes Book Cafe and Neighborhood Stage (208 Bay St between Minthorne St and Victory Blvd; 718-447-8256, etgstores.com/bookcafe) “Cater to your ADD with this used-book-and-record store/tea shop/art gallery/performance space/Internet caf. The events are usually free, and you can even make a couple of bucks by selling your dusty paperbacks and vinyls.

St. George, Staten Island | Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn | Hell’s Kitchen

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