1. INDEPENDENT LIVING
Carnegie East House
1844 Second Ave., at 95th St.; 212-410-0033, carnegieeast.org
Facilities: 104 apartments, from studios to two-bedrooms.
Fees: $4,000 to $6,600 per month; $250 application fee.
Waiting list: At least six months for units with East River views; two to three years for one of 21 units set aside for qualifying low-income applicants.
This $35 million, nineteen-floor high-rise attracts an active, solidly upper-middle-class crowd. The residents form a small, fairly intimate community, with no significant religious orientation. Built as a senior residence four years ago, Carnegie East has a modern but homey feel; bright, open common spaces; and well-designed apartments with easy-access showers and small kitchenettes. This $35 million, nineteen-floor high-rise attracts active, upper-middle-class residents, who form a small, intimate community, with no significant religious orientation. Most independent-living facilities don’t provide staff to help with dressing, bathing, and grooming—families have to hire an aide, either on their own or from an agency affiliated with the residence. But one notable perk of Carnegie East is the three-and-a-half hours of personal care per week included in the monthly fees (anything above that is about $18 an hour). There’s also a “healthy aging” program staffed by a nurse practitioner, a consulting geriatrician, and social workers that provides free health screenings, nutrition counseling, and exercise classes.
The Village at 46th and Ten
510 W. 46th St., at Tenth Ave.; 212-977-4600, ext. 4678, villagehousing.org
Facilities: 83 apartments, from studios to two-bedrooms.
Fees: $3,000 to $4,600 per month; state-subsidized rate is $978.
Waiting list: None for market rate; two years for subsidized.
The Village isn’t lavish. The lobby resembles an off–Times Square budget hotel, the food is simple rather than gourmet, and there’s no daily shuttle to the Met. The folks who live here, however, rave about the congenial social atmosphere, and elder-care experts tout the residence’s affiliation with Village Care of New York, a respected nonprofit that runs a host of senior health programs around the city. A rare well-regarded option for low-to-moderate-income New Yorkers (it’s state-subsidized), the Village hosts a religiously and ethnically mixed crowd of retired bohemians (musicians, artists) and blue-collar types (bricklayers, postal workers). Apartments resemble spacious dorm rooms, with institutional beige carpeting but nice-size windows. Residents can purchase basic daily-living assistance packages from an affiliated agency for $450 to $1,600 a month; aides are $15 an hour. Marthe Reines, a 93-year-old former office manager who’s lived there almost four years, says she values the Village’s sense of community. “You always have contact. You have your privacy, yet there’s always someone to turn to.”
305 West End Ave., at 74th St.; 212-874-5000, esplanadesenior.com
Facilities: 150 apartments, from studios to one-bedrooms.
Fees: $3,950 to $6,000 per month; entrance fee of one month’s rent.
Waiting list: None for studios; three to six months for one-bedrooms.
Proximity to Fairway, H&H Bagels, and Filene’s Basement is an oft-cited plus for residents of the Esplanade, many of them longtime Upper West Siders (and up to 90 percent of them Jewish). Décor in the former residential hotel runs to the grande dame, with marble entryways and floral carpets in communal spaces. Apartments, carpeted in plush off-white, have high ceilings and an airy feel. “The building is attractive, well kept, and clean,” says Irving Heller, a 91-year-old retired schoolteacher. “And the people are universally congenial.” Most tend to eat in the recently renovated dining room rather than on their own. Residents can hire an aide from an affiliated agency for $18 an hour or bring in their own.
Atria 86th Street
333 W. 86th St., nr. Riverside Dr.; 212-712-0200; atriaseniorliving.com
Facilities: 156 apartments, from studios to a two-bedroom penthouse.
Fees: $3,700 to $8,500 per month.
Waiting list: None.
The exhaustive social and cultural calendar at the Atria features Juilliard concerts, a 24-week course in comparative religions, Shakespearean readings, Broadway plays, museum outings, restaurant trips, and film screenings. While the apartments are nice overall, they vary quite a bit, from light-deprived studios facing an air shaft to a two-bedroom apartments with a wraparound terrace ($8,500 a month). Tenants in the 21-story prewar jockey for the brighter units on higher floors, which tend to go to longtime residents. Most residents choose to eat meals in the basement dining room—if they complain about the food, it’s usually that there’s too much. (A walk-in kitchen in the lobby serves snacks around-the-clock.) The flagship of a 130-residence chain with addresses in Long Island and Queens, Atria 86th Street won this year’s Gilbert Guide vote-of-excellence award for long-term-care facilities.