"Almost moved here..."
I went through a phase- maybe a lot of NY residents have them- a while back where in desperation I went *everywhere* seeing if there were cheap rents to be found in an area that wouldn't get me killed. Normally I'd just confine the search to Queens/Brooklyn, but on this occasion I checked out some areas of Staten Island as well, and I feel a little in love with Royal Oak- or more specifically, the streets it borders on-- Rice Ave, Potter Ave, Lakeland Ave. First of all, it's GREEN. So very, very green, being right next to Clove Lakes. That was perhaps the biggest temptation- just disappearing into the Park for hours on end-- maybe I wouldn't even need a house, if I could hide there! Kidding. Mostly.
And while it wasn't meant to be, I still point friends-with-babies-in-need-of-more-space to the area, because it really is lovely, and pretty affordable.