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First of all, congrats on this anticipated upcoming move on your part. Great place to be, to be able to get in on NYC real estate!
While both areas, UES and Lincoln Center are generally safe areas of Manhattan, my thoughts are where exactly in the UES. If you are farther north, closer to upper E. 90s (where there are more "bargains" to be found in real estate), the problem is you are closer to the border of Spanish (East Harlem). E. Harlem does have Mt. Sinai Hospital nearby and NY Academy of Medicine, the neighborhood in not as unequivocally "safe." On the other hand, you would have to go much farther north from Lincoln Center to come to a "borderline" neighborhood; and south of Lincoln Center, like the UES are good areas.
Both areas are served by good trains, though, again, it depends on how far east you are in the UES. If you are closer to the river, then there would be more of a walk to the Lexington Ave. (4,5,6) Trains. The second ave. trains are coming, but apparently, not for many years and the construction that is going on appears to be disruptive to some businesses (and residents) at or close to this construction work. Lincoln Center area has the 1,2,3,9 trains and also N, R, A, E, etc. in relatively walkable distance (longer walk if you are farther west from the center part of the Lincoln Center area).
I believe there are more options within closer distance to Lincoln Center going north/ south, east/ west in terms of cultural activities, theatre, and restaurants. While the immediate area is expensive (like most parts of the UES for dining and eats), you really can easily go to Hell's Kitchen, uptown towards Columbia U. and areas in between for dining choices on the west side. Moreover, you can easily get to the Broadway theatres from Lincoln Center (1 express stop away) and, of course, Lincoln Center! There also is the wonderful Time Warner Building where you can take in jazz, dance, opera in the Rose and Allen theatres inside (Allen room has wonderful views of Columbus Circle and the park). Whole Foods, Borders also there. Central Park also very, very close by.
Both areas, UES and Lincoln Center have their monied areas, but upper east side near Central Park (5ht Ave., Park Ave.) may be the wealthiest parts of Manhattan, though Central Park West is not shabby either. Overall, I feel there is more of a range of choices emanating from Lincoln Center area. Though if you are into museums, they may be a tad more accessible from the UES.
As I said in my opener, it is a great time of life for you. Congrats again.
Lincoln Center offers the performing arts programs and is also near the Museum of Natural History. The nearby shopping is generally middle brow: Century 21, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Bed Bath & Beyond etc. It feels a lot like the Third Avenue stretch of the UES, but Lincoln Center is closer to popular grocery stores and is also closer to Central Park if you like to walk, ride or jog in the park or visit the Sheep's Meadow,vwhich is one of Manhattan's most spectacular and peaceful of public outdoor spaces. The UES, more traditional and prestigious, has all the magnificent art museums along Fifth Ave, the toniest of shopping districts along Madison Ave and and is closer to the best healthcare. Both areas are very safe and offer housing options that run from reasonably priced (for Manhattan, south of 96th St) to extremely highly priced.
We're not baby boomers but a retired couple looking for a pied a terre in the same 2 areas as you are. We're finding more options in our price range $400-450 in the UES although if we wanted a studio in Lincoln Towers that would be an option. I love the Lincoln Center area and my husband grew up there but we are concentrating on the East 70s and 80s and hope to find something this summer. Good luck!
ues. you can cab it to lincoln center and theater district. unless by lincoln center you mean a park block in the 60s, then lincoln center.
Congrats, Eumendides! We did this a year ago (Chelsea), and we're glad we did. Definitely a great phase of life.
I'd expand the wedge of LC to south (to Columbus Circle), east (park blocks) and northeast (up to west 79th) as better area than the affordable UES.
PMG we'll be practical but an established area and building is important.
Just a correction on the UWS trains.
9 train no longer runs. 1 train is the local train along Broadway. 2/3 are express lines with stops at 72nd and 96th.
Along the park there are the A,C,B,D. A and D are express lines that stop at 59th and 125th. B and C make local stops along the park.
N and R trains do not run on UWS. E train goes east to Queens at 50th and 8th.
All-in-all, the trains are great! Probably one of the best covered areas in Manhattan.
When we were looking for a place to retire to, we wound up on the West Side in Lincoln Towers. What sold us was three things. They had a senior citizen organization that helps seniors by providing activities and services, there were beautiful areas in the complex to sit and get away from the noise and best of all, the great area by the river in which to bike, walk or just sit by the outdoor cafe. While we do not yet need the first two just the thought of it being available when we needed it sold us. It's a relatively short walk to Central Park, Lincoln Center and the express stop on the #2 and #3 and is close to Trader Joe, Fairways and a public library. We thought to ourselves, what more do we need?
I'll put a vote in for the Beekman/Turtle Bay/Sutton area in Midtown East. Very convenient to shopping (Bed Bath & Beyond, TJ Maxx, Home Depot, Container Store, Bloomingdales, Saks, Whole Foods on the way this Summer, etc.) restaurants and theater, most very walkable. The area between E.50th through E.57th between 2nd Avenue and the East River is particularly nice with lots of mom and pop stores along First Avenue. Also several vest pocket parks along the river. Very established neighborhood and easy access to the 59th St. bridge to quickly get out of town.
For the reasons outlined above by others, I would choose Lincoln Center. My friends, who lived on the UES for over a decade, recently retired to the Lincoln Center area and couldn't be happier with their choice.
PMG's first post is an excellent succinct overview. Frankly, don't think you can go wrong. If you are considering purchasing, why not sublet for a few months in each and see which you like? You can find sublets on AirBnB or craigslist, furnished or unfurnished. Either way, you win - well done!
i'd do UES. Lincoln Center is not that residential imho, tons of traffic (cars and people), very touristic (the type of tourism that doesn't provide much to the local) make it kind of stressful. in the UES you are just 5' away from the mess in a place with much nicer aesthetics.
the museum of natural history at your age shouldn't dictate your RE decisions. it's great with little kids during winter, but for seniors? a short walking distance to the museum mile on 5th avenue will provide you with more imho in every aspect. it just feels more pleasurable to walk around the UES than around Lincoln Center (if you are into walking).
just my 2 cents.
I agree with notadmin about the noise and traffic. In recent years I have found the best Sunday walks were over on the UES. Who knew? It's got that quality called peace and quiet. Now the secret is out.
How often are you going to actually GO to Lincoln Center? Once a year? Please. Silly reason to pick a location.
I think the west side in the 70s is best. You can still walk to Lincoln Center, plus its quieter and there's more daily shopping places. The nicest parts of the west 60s near the park are more like the east 60s, busy, a bit touristy and short on daily shopping, except Whole Foods. Even if you only visit Lincoln Center a half dozen times a year, walking home from a performance is a sublime experience.
i'm in my late '40's and wouldn't live in either area because I love living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, BUT if I had to choose between the two, it would be UES for sure. The Lincoln center area is just too busy, touristy, and lacks the neighborhood feel that I think makes New York fantastic. Save your money, and enjoy living in a real neighborhood in the UES.
Is Williamsburg a good area for older than 40s? Doesn't have the access to culture like Lincoln Center our the general accessibility of UES.
Why not consider the high west 80s or 90s before Brooklyn? You won't have to worry about paying for a preferred public school district, so you save some money without giving up on Manhattan convenience. I'm a boomer (51yo) and would consider north Brooklyn for more space or longer tax abatements, while still being close to downtown Manhattan. Parts of Harlem might be a better investment. The farther you travel from prime neighborhoods, the more you get for the money. But by the time you reach your 60s you wont want to be dependent on the subway for regular transit.
We are in our late 50's and spend 3-4 months hear each year. We tried Lincoln Center, 86th at Columbus, 29th at Third and the UES. We bought in the area around Lex and 91st in your price range. We like it greatly! It has a lot of stores, movies, great retaurants, small parks and everything else. I would strongly suggest that you look in the area between Third and Madison, from 82nd to about 95th. Also, try the 92nd St. Y.
Carl, did you choose 91st and Lexington because you got more space for your money or because you liked the Upper East Side or this particular area of the Upper East Side?