New York is the largest metro area in the United States. It includes the island of Manhattan, an eight-county area immediately north, western Long Island, and Staten Island. It is the fourth largest in the world behind Tokyo, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Regardless of how the area is defined, New York is among the richest and most complex places to live in America.
Fairfield at Oakdale, Greenwood at Oakdale, built in 1989, is a 75-unit condominium complex at which two-bedroom units sell for about $165,000. Windmill Gate, with 110 free-standing homes, is a community for those age 55 and over. Two-bedroom homes there start at $185,000, with common charges of $156 a month. Birchwood on the Green, built in 1970, is a 336-unit co-op whose two- and three-bedroom units range from $50,000 to $80,000. In 1976, 148 units of subsidized housing for the elderly were built on 52 acres that had been part of the Jacob Ockers estate. There is a five-year wait for these units.
Ockers, a Dutch immigrant, parlayed old-world shell fishing skills into a booming oyster business. His Colonial Revival style house, built in the 1860's, has been acquired for restoration by the Town of Islip, in which Oakdale is a hamlet. Oakdale was part of a land grant to William Nicoll in 1697. After the coming of the South Side Railroad in 1868, the area was dominated by millionaires who built huge estates. The most prominent were William K. Vanderbilt, Frederick G. Bourne, William Bayard Cutting and Christopher R. Roberts. These industrialists came to bond and hunt at the 3,575-acre Southside Sportsmen's Club, that, thanks to the efforts of local environmentalists, became in 1967 Connetquot River State Park, a conservation area.