The estate planning world sure has some funny acronyms. A NORC is a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community. Believe it or not, there are dozens of NORCs right here in the City of New York. Several were featured in New York magazine last week. Here are a few highlights:
The Lower East Side The Lower East Side has many resources for the aging. Moishe's bakery and Katz's are big winners. One resident cited a small, sunny park in front of PS 134 where they like to exercise. Others use the downtown proximity to walk on Grand Street through Chinatown and to the new Trade Center. Also of worthy mention was the Abrons Arts Center and the Eldridge Street Synagogue, which was just turned into a museum.
Upper West Side On the other end and river is the UWS. It is not breaking any new ground to say that Fairway is the destination of choice for all UWS residents, both young and old. Apparently, Fairway buses people from the UWS to take them to the Fairway at 125th Street where seniors get a 10% discount (!). There is also the stretch between 73rd and 79th streets in Riverside Park with benches, frequented by the retirement crowd. 96th Street boasts tennis courts in Central Park, and there are free concerts by students of Juilliard and Mannes College of Music.
Bed-Sty Believe it or not, Bed-Sty is enjoying a Golden Age, literally. Fulton Street Park offers leisure among the green. Others walk along Bainbridge and Chauncey Streets and past the Akwaaba Mansion on Macdonough. For culture, there is Restoration, offering art shows, the Billie Holiday Theatre, and dances.
Other retirement-agers cite the following activities that get them going, in any neighborhood:
- Philharmonic rehearsals for $20
- Joe's Shanghai for lunch
- New York Society Library
- The "Walk it Out" Group at the Harlem Armory (www.nyrr.org)
- Metropolitan Swimming Masters swim clubs (www.metroswimming.org)
- Ballet for the Older Body, 92nd St. Y (www.92y.org)
- USTA's Eastern Division Metrotennis leagues (www.usta.com)
- Aikido Martial art, www.shinbudokai.org
- Integral Gentle Yoga class, Integral Yoga institute, www.iyiny.org
- Senior Planet, a Chelsea-based hub that offers free tech classes and support, www.seniorplanet.org
- The Center for Fiction, with informal book groups, writing workshops; www.centerforfiction.org
- "Moses Meet Ups" - not that Moses, Robert Moses. The New School's Institute for Retired Professionals offers "study groups", including topics on "Robert Moses: His Life and Place in History." www.newschool.edu/irp
- Fordham's College at 60 offers seniors classes on topics like Martin Buber, Aristotle, and love and philosophy. www.fordham.edu/collegeat60
- The Lifelong Learners Program at Columbia allows up to five lucky seniors to audit any class. Call 212-854-0419.
If a neighborhood is not enough, plenty of NORC buildings offer additional amentities:
- 477 FDR Drive
- 80 Metropolitan Avenue
- 11 Riverside Drive
- 303 East 57th Street
- North Shore Towers
After writing this, I want to retire! Happy NORCing!