Sunnyside is located on Staten Island’s North Shore, surrounded by various neighborhoods and landmarks. To the north, you’ll find the peaceful Clove Lakes Park and Silver Lake Park, offering wooded trails, sports fields, and places for picnics. Grymes Hill, an upscale residential area, is to the east. Castleton Corners, a commercial area with shops and restaurants, can be considered the informal western boundary, located just a short walk from Sunnyside. The bustling Staten Island Expressway marks the southern border, separating Sunnyside from the hilly communities of Todt Hill and Emerson Hill.
Sunnyside’s charm comes from its green parks, classic architecture, and convenient access to both businesses and transportation routes. The landscape of Sunnyside is characterized by woods, parks, and tranquil residential streets.
Map of Sunnyside, Staten Island
History of Sunnyside
It was originally farmland on either side of Clove Road. As farms gave way to residential housing, the Vanderbilt family built homes in the area, including two which still stand at the corner of Victory Boulevard and Clove Road. The area was once known as Clove Valley or Clovenia, and then adopted the name Sunnyside from a boarding house that was established there in 1889.
Sunnyside Hospital, founded in 1940, was located on Little Clove Road and Ontario Avenue, but was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the Staten Island Expressway. The hospital later relocated to Targee Street as Doctor’s Hospital in 1963.
Though small, Sunnyside has several landmarks and points of interest:
- Saint Nicholas Chapel – This is a Roman Catholic Church that was constructed in the 1920s and is affiliated with the parish of the Church of Saint Teresa of the Infant Jesus.
- Clove Lakes Park – The park is known for its rich natural history and valuable ecological assets. It’s a green haven stretching almost 200 acres and features three lakes, lots of woodlands, running paths. In the winter, it also has an ice-skating rink.
- Clove’s Tail – This is a smaller park; it was named for its location at the tail end of Clove Lakes Park.
Arts and Cultural Scene
Here are a few noteworthy locations in the surrounding neighborhoods:
- Sri Lankan Art & Cultural Museum NY: This is the inaugural Sri Lankan Museum established outside of Sri Lanka, situated in the vibrant Stapleton Heights neighborhood.
- Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden: Nestled in the Randall Manor neighborhood, this center hosts a diverse array of arts events and programs, providing a rich cultural experience for visitors.
With over 38,000 residents, Sunnyside is one of Staten Island’s most diverse and vibrant neighborhoods. Its population represents a rich mix of ethnicities – 18.3% of residents report Arab ancestry, 4.6% Lebanese, with sizable White, Hispanic/Latino, Asian and African American communities as well. This diversity infuses Sunnyside with cultural gems like the Arab American Cultural Center. Sunnyside provides an excellent quality of life, from its engaged residents to good public transit access and array of local businesses. The neighborhood truly embraces its multiculturalism, where people of all backgrounds flourish together.
Sunnyside provides reasonably priced housing options within the broader New York City region. Condominiums and cooperative apartments typically range from $300,000 to $600,000, while single-family homes vary between $400,000 and over $1 million. For rentals, whether apartments or houses, you can expect monthly rates in the range of $2,000 to $3,000.
When compared to numerous neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Sunnyside’s real estate offers excellent value near the city. The area boasts a diverse selection of well-preserved historic homes, pre-war cooperative apartments, and newly constructed condominium buildings. Additionally, the neighborhood benefits from excellent access to public transportation.
Nevertheless, it’s essential to note that housing inventory can be limited. There may only be a few homes available for sale at any given time. Sunnyside’s small-town appeal and its convenient location make it a highly sought-after place to reside. Homes in this neighborhood tend to sell swiftly, often above their asking prices.
Sunnyside contains branches of New York City’s public schools – P.S. 35 The Clove Valley School and P.S. 029 Bardwell both are elementary schools. Higher performing public schools can also be found in nearby neighborhoods.
For high school, many students attend Staten Island Technical High School, one of the city’s nine specialized public high schools. The prestigious all-girls Notre Dame Academy is also located in Staten Island.
There are no colleges located within Sunnyside itself. However, the College of Staten Island, St. John’s University, and Wagner College are just a short drive away. Working adults can also conveniently commute to schools in Manhattan.
Given the large numbers of school-aged children, education is a top priority in Sunnyside. Residents are active in supporting the neighborhood public schools.
Sunnyside is considered one of the safest neighborhoods in New York City. According to NYPD data, Sunnyside’s crime rate is 71% lower than the New York average. Violent crime is especially low.
Property crime such as burglary and auto theft do occur but are still significantly less than other parts of the city. The 121st Precinct actively patrols the neighborhood and has helped drive down crime rates.
Sunnyside benefits from engaged residents who look out for one another, strong community organizations, and excellent civic participation with police to prevent and report crime. Families feel comfortable letting their children play outside well into the evenings.
In Sunnyside recreational opportunities abound, offering something for everyone. Clove Lakes Park, located at 1150 Clove Rd, Staten Island, NY 10301, is a natural oasis featuring lakes, ponds, and lush tree-lined spaces. This park also boasts modern recreational facilities, including playgrounds and an outdoor skating rink, making it a hub of outdoor activity. Additionally, Terrace Playground, situated at Martha St, provides a convenient spot for play and leisure, further enhancing the neighborhood’s options for recreation. Whether you are in the mood for a serene stroll by the lakes or some active fun at the playground, Sunnyside has you covered.
Cost of Living
Sunnyside’s cost of living is 20% lower than the New York average. Housing makes up the largest expense, although Staten Island properties are generally more affordable than other boroughs. Groceries, transportation, utilities, and other costs are also lower compared to the city average.
Key reasons why Sunnyside remains reasonably priced include quick access to retail chains with lower prices, suburban location outside Manhattan’s prime real estate, and availability of diverse housing stock. Limited dining and nightlife options help keep costs in check as well.
At the same time, Sunnyside residents enjoy close proximity to New York City resources, entertainment, and employment opportunities. The neighborhood strikes an excellent balance between convenience and affordability.
- How do I get to Sunnyside?
- The Staten Island Railway is the easiest way to reach Sunnyside from Manhattan and Brooklyn. Begin with a ferry ride, followed by a train journey that includes a stop in Sunnyside. Alternatively, you can access the neighborhood by car via the Verrazano Bridge or through various tunnels and bridges from New Jersey.
- Is parking easy in Sunnyside?
- Yes, parking in Sunnyside is relatively straightforward. Most homes offer private parking spots or garages, and street parking is abundantly available, a rarity compared to most NYC neighborhoods. Notably, there are no parking meters to contend with.
- What are the best schools in the area?
- Sunnyside offers excellent educational options. Top-rated elementary schools include P.S. 150 and P.S. 199, while I.S. 126 is renowned as one of the city’s best public middle schools. For high school, Notre Dame Academy is a highly selective all-girls Catholic institution.
- How long is the commute to Manhattan?
- The commute to Manhattan from Sunnyside typically takes 25-45 minutes by both train and car, with access via the Verrazano Bridge. The Staten Island Railway connects Sunnyside to the Staten Island Ferry in just 15 minutes, providing a quick and free ride to Manhattan.
- Is Sunnyside safe?
- Yes, Sunnyside is known for its safety, boasting one of the lowest crime rates in NYC based on NYPD data. Violent crime is extremely rare in this community, thanks in part to the neighborhood watch program and community policing efforts.
- Is Sunnyside a good place to raise a family?
- Absolutely, Sunnyside is highly family-friendly, offering a combination of low crime rates, top-notch schools, ample parks and recreational opportunities, and a strong sense of community. The neighborhood is home to many young families with children.
- What is there to do in Sunnyside?
- Sunnyside offers a range of activities, including visits to Sunnyside Gardens Park, the Snug Harbor cultural center, neighborhood farmer’s markets and fairs, cafes and restaurants, as well as opportunities for waterfront exploration. Despite being in NYC, it maintains a charming small-town vibe.
- What is the population of Sunnyside?
- According to the 2020 census, approximately 15,000 residents call Sunnyside home, making it one of the most diverse neighborhoods in NYC.
- Are there apartments for rent in Sunnyside?
- Yes, apartments are available in Sunnyside, although inventory may be more limited compared to other neighborhoods. Rental rates typically range from $1,500 per month for a studio to $3,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.
Sunnyside is a charming, safe community with rich history, beautiful parks, and a strong neighborhood feel. Convenient to Manhattan but with a peaceful suburban vibe, the neighborhood offers an excellent quality of life. Families, young professionals, and creatives alike appreciate Sunnyside’s diversity, affordability, safety, recreation, and small town charms. The neighborhood’s location, culture, and engaged residents foster a vibrant arts scene. For those looking to enjoy the perks of New York City close by while living in a friendly community, Sunnyside is tough to beat.
Greetings! I'm Dr. Andrew Stepanov, a passionate explorer of Staten Island's vibrant neighborhoods. Rooted in the heart of the borough as a devoted resident, I've dedicated myself to unveiling the unique history and experiences that define Staten Island. Through my blog, Staten Island Explorer, I aim to share insights into the rich diversity shaping our community. Come join me on a journey to uncover hidden gems, embrace diverse cultures, and revel in the beauty that makes Staten Island a place I am truly honored to call home.