Summer Guide 2024: Seniors

| 14 May 2024 | 02:24

New York Society Library

53 East 79th Street


There’s no indoor activity—at least none that we can write about— more pleasurable than going to a library. While the New York Public Library has many virtues, it has significant limits too, including, at present, no Sunday hours, which were controversially eliminated following Mayor Adams’ mid-2023 budget cuts. Enter the New York Society Library—founded in 1754—which is open on Sundays and while it isn’t free (Annual memberships are $270 for individuals, $350 family) bibliophiles get a lot for their money. (For a small extra fee, NYSL offers books my mail service also.) Besides a full range of library services for readers and writers, the NYSL offers study rooms, an extensive calendar of children’s events, reading groups, book talks and more. Pick Hit—and open to the public: a June 22 performance of “Nurse!” a one-woman performance by Ayun Halliday inspired by the life of actress Kate Claxton.


Friends of the Upper East Side Walking Tour


Once upon a time, we too took the Upper East Side for granted. How wrong we were! Block by block from Yorkville to Central Park, the neighborhood— including historical districts such as Carnegie Hill, Henderson Place, Rhinelander and Treadwell Farm— is as dense with street-level historical interest as any in the city. Did you know, for example, the elevated IRT 2nd Avenue Line ran until 1940; the 3rd Avenue El rumbled and screeched until 1955? These are just two of the defining, often forgotten facts one might learn during a free walking tour led by the area’s leading advocate of historic preservation, Friends of the Upper East Side. Because they’re not just amicable but also wise, the Friends tend to be mature—and generous with their knowledge. Bring a grandchild or other younger person ...


Henry Street Settlement

265 Henry Street


Founded in 1893 by 26-year-old Lilian Wald as the Nurses’ Settlement and supported by German-born banker and Jewish philanthropist, Jacob Schiff, the Henry Street Settlement (as it was later renamed), is one of the city’s most storied social services and cultural organizations. Adapting many times over to the Lower East Side’s changing demographics, Henry Street today provides a wide range of childcare, education, health, and arts programs—as well as many senior services, including a multi-lingual Older Adult Center, Meals on Wheels and Senior Companions. For those not in need but who wish to assist Henry Street, volunteer opportunities are ample.


Museum of Jewish Heritage

36 Battery Place


Few institutions manage a complex mission as deftly as the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The key is in the institution’s formal subtitle— A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, which is to say that Jewish life today has an acute importance that, if inextricable from the horrors of its collective past, are yet distinct and worthy of celebration. In addition to its ongoing exhibitions, the Museum offers a rich selection of in-person and virtual events including theater, music, genealogy and book talks. In person attendees shouldn’t miss LOX at Café Bergson, the museum’s on-site Kosher restaurant, overlooking New York Harbor, owned by chef David Teyf.


Summer on the Hudson: Movement Speaks

New York City Parks plays host to innumerable outdoor summer programs—indeed, there are so many, in so many parks, that keeping track of everything offered in even one neighborhood can be difficult. With this abundance of in mind, it’s worth highlighting both Summer On The Hudson—the Parks department’s annual May-September Riverside Park festival—and its Movement Speaks series. Led by Naomi Goldberg Haas, an acclaimed dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Dances for a Variable Population, these free dance workshops focus on seniors while being open to all. Indeed, intergenerational participation is strongly encouraged. Classes will be held weekly, June through August at Grant’s Tomb (Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to Noon) and June and July at Pier I in Riverside Park (Thursdays, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.). In August, the workshops move north to West Harlem Piers (Thursdays 11 a.m. to Noon).