Boca Down the Block

Locals walk us through the some of the city’s largest Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities—the Upper West Side, the deep Lower East Side, and Bedford-Stuyvesant.


AREA Lower East Side

Grocery store:

1.“I go to Moishe’s Bakery because it reminds me of the bakery my parents had in Poland. And they have terrific rye bread.” —Milton Laks, 90

Restaurant:

2.“Katz’s is not kosher anymore, and it’s not open 24/7, but it’s good. I get the pastrami on rye, not too much fat, and a cream soda. I’ve been doing it since I was a teenager.” —Irwin Kaplan, 69

Bench:

3.“There’s a small sunny park in front of P.S. 134 where we like to do benchwork. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we’re out for up to five hours a day, preaching the word of Jesus and Jehovah.” —Nell Dalton, 83

Walk:

4.“I walk every day. I always start on Grand Street and sometimes go through Chinatown to Broadway to the new Trade Center and just look at it.” —Ruth Taube, 88

Culture:

5.“The Abrons Arts Center is a great space. We just saw Twelfth Night there. Also, the Eldridge Street Synagogue was just turned into a museum. There’s a spectacular window there.” —Herb Zolty, 82

UWS Upper West Side

Grocery store:

1.“I like going to Fairway—that place is always jumpin’.” —Irving Fitterman, 83

Restaurant:

2.“Talia’s Steakhouse is kosher and has wonderful food. I take my second son there. He’s an Orthodox rabbi.” —Judy Kronengold, 73

Bench:

3.“There’s a stretch between 73rd and 79th in Riverside Park which has wonderful benches, and it’s always filled with kids, which I love.” —Anna Tafet, “25-plus”

Walk:

4.“I have a scooter and a Chihuahua mix. We have a spot behind the 96th Street tennis courts in Central Park we like to go to.”—Phyllis Edelman, 73

Culture:

5.“There are tremendous free concerts by students at Juilliard and at Mann College of Music.” —Eddy Kronengold, 82

BEDSTUY

Bedford-Stuvyvesant

Grocery store:

1.“It’s Foodtown or Key Food. I prefer Foodtown because it has more of a variety. The place I really love is Fairway in Red Hook, but it’s far.” —Pauline Barfield, “over 65”

Restaurant:

2.“Peaches has a lot of food for the black community like grits, gumbo, and ribs. But it also has healthy options like a kale salad.” —Gloria Boyce, 85

Bench:

3.“I haven’t had much time for that kind of leisure, but when I do, I go sit in Fulton Street Park. I played there as a kid; I grew up in that playground.” —Al Vann, 80

Walk:

4.“I like walking down Bainbridge and Chauncey Streets and past the Akwaaba Mansion on MacDonough. It’s such a beautiful building.” —Catherine Suarez, 72

Culture:

5.“I go to Restoration—one of the hallmarks of the neighborhood. They have art shows, the Billie Holiday Theatre, and dances.” —Brenda Watts-Larkins, 68