Real EstateCity LivingStaten Island City Living: Staten Island's Annadale is the perfect spot for lovers of the outdoors By NOELANI MONTERO / Special to amNewYork Updated September 9, 2015 4:20 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet gShare Email Right off the water in Staten Island's South Shore lies Annadale, a quaint neighborhood that feels more like a small town than part of New York City. Accustomed to lavish homes and plenty of parks, residents of the beachfront community say they rarely move away. Although Staten Island can feel isolated from the other four boroughs, Annadale is a stop on the Staten Island Railway and several of the borough's bus lines run through it. But there's plenty going on here to keep locals in the area. Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales Community events, such as the annual Christmas tree lighting and Family Day, an event with bouncy castles and face painting for kids, are held in Annadale Green, a small park in the center of town. If they're seeking wildlife, locals can hang in the massive Blue Heron Park Preserve, which has marshes, fishing ponds and hiking trails. It is also a great place to spot a Blue Heron, a 4-foot-tall wetlands bird. "As far as Annadale goes, you'd never find a better place to live," doted 69-year-old Richard Arancio. "This is what you want, especially if you have children." Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales Arancio moved to Annadale from Brooklyn in 1989. He lives with his son, who likes to ride his motorcycle to work. Arancio said he was looking for a home on a big property in a safe neighborhood with quiet streets. However, despite Annadale's comforts, a police presence is something Arancio said he'd like to see more of. With speeding cars on main roads among his concerns, Arancio attends the local 123 Precinct's monthly community meetings when he can. Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales Along Hylan Boulevard and Annadale Road -- the nabe's main thoroughfares -- are delis, a pharmacy, a butcher shop, a bakery and even a boxing club. Domenico Spinelli, 60, owns Angelo's Pizzeria just off Annadale Road. While he lives on the other side of Staten Island, Spinelli has been in business here for 30 years. "There are a lot of nice people here," he said. "It's quiet and there aren't many problems." For larger supermarkets and more retail shopping, the Oakwood Shopping Center is about a 5-minute drive away and the Staten Island Mall takes about 15 minutes to get to. Residents admit owning a car is the norm in Annadale. Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales They also usually own their homes, which don't come cheap: A detached house with three bedrooms and three bathrooms costs anywhere from $500,000 to a $1 million, according to Natalia Zukhovich, a realtor from Robert DeFalco Realty which has an office nearby in Rossville. "It's like a little town with nice stores and restaurants," Zukhovich said when asked to describe Annadale. Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales By the water, homes get even larger and more lavish. Overlooking Raritan Bay, mansions complete with pools and multi-car garages sell for millions, Zukhovich said. Annadale residents keep their homes tidy with manicured lawns and gardens. A local tradition, however, are their custom mailboxes. The decorative and old-fashioned mailboxes are a source of local pride and form rows of art along the residential streets. Find It According to StreetEasy, Annadale is bordered to the north by Woodrow Avenue and the south by the Raritan Bay. Its eastern boundary goes along Poillion Avenue, Amboy Road, Albee Avenue and Jefferson Avenue. Its western boundary goes down Annadale Road and Arden Avenue. The Basics Photo Credit: Getty Images Transportation Train: Staten Island Railroad to Annadale Buses: S55, S56, S59, S78, x23, x24 Post office: USPS, 4455 Amboy Road Library: NYPL, Huguenot Park Branch, 830 Huguenot Ave. Crime: Annadale is covered by the 123rd Precinct at 116 Main St. in Tottenville. In the week of Aug. 24-30, the precinct reported two burglaries and six grand larcenies, or major thefts, in its CompStat report. So far in 2015 as of Aug. 30 the precinct reported no murders or rapes. The precinct reported one murder and no rapes in all of 2014. Real Estate Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales To Buy 23 Eylandt St. #1Five beds, four baths; $995,000 14 Eagan Ave. Five beds, three baths; $403,000 4774 Hylan Blvd. Four beds, 2 ½ baths; $599,000 2015 Annadale market data as of Sept. 9: Median sales price: $520,500 Number of units on market: 89 Median rental price: N/A Number of units on market: 6 To Eat Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales -- II Sogno Ristorante Italino, 26 Jefferson Blvd. This fancy Italian eatery is great for special occasions. It?s known for its veal dishes and tasty wine selection. They serve wine, veal and have many popular pasta entrees. 718-356-7800 --Mike's Place, 4677 Hylan Blvd. (718) 984-9479 Come for the diner-style food and Greek staples like souvlaki sandwiches. --Sweet Sweet Sue's, 895 Annadale Road Treat yourself to custom cakes and baked goods from this bakery that has a cute outdoor seating area. sweetsweetsues.com To Party Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales Play Sports Bar, 2 Sneden Ave. This game-day hub is great for residents looking to watch sports while enjoying an array of beers and pub-style food. playsportsbarsi.com Twisted Dish Tavern, 885 Annadale Road Nosh on American comfort food while relaxing with a drink. Twisteddishsi.com The Curly Wolf Saloon, 825 Annadale Road A weekend hangout spot that serves good drinks in a friendly atmosphere. 718-227-0027 To Shop Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales Bing's Barkin Bakery, 1 Ionia Ave. This off-the-line dog bakery is a great place to get custom treats and birthday cakes for your furry friends. They also sell dog toys and accessories.Bingsbarkinbakery.com Forever Yours Florist of Annadale, 894 Annadale Road Pick up a gorgeous bouquet for that gift you need to get. Foreveryoursfloristsofannadale.com Annadale Meat Market, 881 Annadale Road This old-fashioned butcher shop is a local favorite for great cuts of meat. 718-984-1337 To Do Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales Blue Heron Park, Amboy Road and Barclay Avenue This massive park is perfect for nature-lovers. Peppered with fishing ponds, hiking trails and wildlife, it provides a whole summer day of fun. Nycgovparks.org Picnic on Ocean Driveway The pretty patch of grass overlooking the Raritan Bay from Ocean Driveway provides a beautiful view of the area's beaches. Rustam's Boxing Club, 12 Jefferson Blvd. A boxing and fitness club that offers classes for anyone aged 9 and up. They can also train you for boxing competitions like the New York Golden Gloves. Rustamsboxingclub.webs Buzz: Mayor de Blasio approved new BID to help promote commercial district Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales Mayor Bill de Blasio recently approved a new business improvement district (BID) covering parts of Annadale, along with nearby Eltingville and Great Kills. "Efforts for Annadale businesses to join the South Shore BID began three or four years ago," according to Frank Rapacciuolo, director of land use for local Councilman Vincent Ignizio. "The mayor approved the deal in late April." A BID is a public-private partnership where property and business owners pay dues for the upkeep, security and promotion of their commercial district. "The businesses in Annadale will each pitch in about $60,000 a year," Rapacciuolo said. Natalia Zukhovich, a realtor from Robert DeFalco Realty which has an office nearby in Rossville, does not foresee the BID bringing up property values in Annadale. However, she thinks it will look attractive to prospective buyers. "[The BID] will play a nice role in determining whether or not to live in the neighborhood for sure," she said. Q&A with Frank Rapacciuolo: Director of Land Use for Councilman Vincent Ignizio Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales Frank Rapacciuolo, 29, is the director of land use for Councilman Vincent Ignizio. He has lived in Annadale all his life and says childhoods are best spent on the south shore. Dedicating his time to his beloved neighborhood, Rapacciuolo plans many of the community events and was one of the forces behind the creation of the South Shore BID. What makes Annadale unique? How everyone comes together, we saw it during [Superstorm] Sandy a lot. Also how residents stay and grow up here. I grew up five blocks away from where we're sitting and then I moved four blocks away, also from where we're sitting. What do you think nabe will be like in 10 years? In 10 years I see it probably staying along the same course. Just more people my age and a few years younger that are coming in and starting families here purchasing their parents' home, a home near their parents or purchasing a business. Myself, I'm looking into purchasing a restaurant in the area. What do you do for fun in the area? There are tons and tons of restaurants. In the area you have four pizzerias and a sushi place. Other than that there's family barbecues on Saturdays and Sundays. Now that it's the summertime you have a lot of block parties. What's a favorite memory from growing up here? I used to go to a private catholic school and on Wednesdays we used to have a half a day. I would hang out in my grandparents' house and my uncle, who's three years older than me, and I would ride our bikes into the town. There used to be a baseball card shop, so we'd go in there, trade cards, try to find a Michael Jordan card and then go get pizza. 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