Ready to downsize, but not prepared to give up on city life quite yet? There’s a place for you to unwind and explore in Manhattan.
Upper West Side
If you’ve been a city person your whole life, that probably won’t change as you retire. Check out the bitesize apartments of Upper West Side Manhatten to get keep your city flare while getting your nature fix. Plan for sunset picnics at Riverside Park South, or relax in the green space of the American Museum of Natural History at Theodore Roosevelt Park after a day of cultural exposure inside. History buffs will love to explore the archives of the city’s history at the New York Historical Society. Close to The Juilliard School, Columbia University, and The Lincoln Center, the Upper West Side offers itself as a hub for artists and intellectuals. For nearby eats, your new favorite will be Jacob’s Pickles for buttermilk fried chicken or The Mermaid Inn for renowned seafood.
Midtown is the ideal place to live for downsizers who desire a contemporary city feel without the loud party atmosphere of trendy downtown neighborhoods. At Bryant Park, the four-acre green space of the expansive New York Public Library, you can sprawl out to read your newest book. Take a waterfront walk at Peter Detmold Park, where you’ll find plentiful trails and dog runs. For shopping and iconic eats, make your way to Columbus Circle and the Rockefeller Plaza. Spend your next chapter broadening your horizons while exploring the rotating exhibits of Asian art at the Rubin Museum. When you take a wine cellar tour of the famous prohibition speakeasy, the 21 Club, or eat at Patsy’s Italian Restaurant, where Frank Sinatra used to serenade diners, you’ll feel connected to the beating heart of New York culture.
Upper East Side
Downsizers looking for a life where they’re never far from their next high-end espresso will feel right at home on the Upper East Side, where shops like Oslo’s Coffee Roasters and Hutch & Waldo are plentiful and short between. Spend endless days taking in the Museum Mile, where you’ll find attractions like Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Acquavella, a can’t
-miss gallery that showcases major artists. For a bird’s-eye view of the city, take the Roosevelt Island Tramway. The neighborhood offers a variety of options for warm outdoor days, like the flower-filled Carl Schurz Park along the East River, and St. Catherine’s park, which provides sports courts and walking trails. Indulge in a decadent date night Sfolgia, or keep it casual at PQR, one of New York’s most iconic pizza spots.
Lower East Side
For a free-spirited, young-at-heart retiree who values a history steeped in diversity and culture, there’s the Lower East Side. Rotating vendors sell artisanal crafts and a broad range of snacks at the Hester Street Fair, making it the prime activity for collectors. Also closeby is Essex Market, the oldest public market in New York City, home to over twenty vendors. Photographers will appreciate the International Center of Photography Museum and those interested in contemporary art should take time to see the 8-story modern art collection at Sperone Westwater. Enjoy proximity to Russ & Daughters, a specialty food shop that’s been around since 1914, famous for its bagels and fresh produce. Treat yourself to pastrami on rye at Katz Delicatessen, or settle in for a chic night at Contra on Orchard St.
Battery Park City
The neighborhood surrounding Battery Park lies on the southernmost tip of Manhatten and boasts ample green space and river access. This will suit retirees looking for a bit more of a suburban feel. The Battery Park City Esplanade is filled with paths and lawns, perfect for strolling or lounging. Discover the indoor atrium called The Winter Garden, housed within Brookfield Place, a center for eclectic shopping and quality restaurants. At the Irish Hunger Memorial, you’ll find more green space and a commemoration of the Great Irish Famine. Check out Rockefeller Park’s expansive lawn with ponds, waterfalls, and playgrounds, then relax riverside with a glass of wine at Battery Park Garden Bar. Try Bluesmoke’s signature ribs, or enjoy Tuscan food with a view of the Statue of Liberty at Gigino at Wagner Park.
Fifteen miles outside downtown Manhattan lies Bronxville, an unassuming village known for its close-knit neighborhoods and walkability to the business district and train station. You may find your new home in Lawrence Park, a quaint neighborhood registered as a National Historic District, or in Crow’s Nest, which lies high on a hill with a view of Manhattan’s skyline. In Bronxville, you can wind along the river at Scout Field part of the historic Bronx River Reservation, or stroll around Bronxville Lake on the Bronx River Pathway. Visit the Bronxville Farmers’ Market, or wander Pondfield Rd, where locally beloved independent shops like Slave to the Grind coffee and Womrath Bookshop abound. For cozy courtyard seating and Tuscan specials, visit Scalini Osteria. And for the best brew in town, kick back at Beer Noggin.