via C. J. Hughes/The New York Times
Tottenville, a self-contained enclave along Staten Island’s southwestern waterfront, can be rich in contrasts.
Brightly painted wood-frame houses from the Civil War era sit near beige 21st-century stone mansions. Lines of cars snarl Amboy Road, but on wooded paths by Raritan Bay, a walker may have only cardinals for company.
And on a recent afternoon, along the industrial Arthur Kill waterway, tugboats sat marooned in a dirt lot, while next door at La Bella Marketplace, shoppers browsed the Italian delicacies.
“There is modern, there is old. There is large, there is small. But this is definitely a very quaint and quiet community,” said Mildred Merlucci, who relocated to Staten Island a few decades ago from Brooklyn in search of more light and space.