Getting to Know You Seasonal Community Building

 Valerie Smaldone lives in a lovely, well-kept, prewar building in the Midtown  East area, known as the Beekman area. Her building was built in the late 1920's  and, among other amenities, has an extraordinary rooftop garden where she  occasionally meets and socializes with her neighbors. “There are a couple of socials on the roof per year,” says Smaldone, a radio and voice-over personality. “Residents are asked to bring wine or beverages, as well as some food to  contribute to the affair.”  

 In any building, it may be hard for a new resident to get to know their  neighbors. Do you strike up a conversation in the elevator or the laundry room  or go knocking on doors hoping to meet someone new? And what about the  residents who aren’t as socially skilled as other, more gregarious residents, yet who want to meet  their neighbors too?  

 Living Social

 Many condo developments offer on-site amenities such as a pool, gym, or tennis  courts and, frequently, condo associations will also host social events for  residents. Management can help residents to feel more at ease by providing  opportunities for residents to socialize with each other. The more comfortable  the residents are, the more they are bound to stay for a longer period of time.  

 “Co-ops and condos benefit when they have a charter to insure not only fiscal  responsibility, but one of community,” says Adam Weinstein, a board member in charge of adding community-minded  amenities to Hudson View Gardens, a cooperative apartment complex in the Hudson  Heights neighborhood of Washington Heights. “Properties that have diverse committees and program social functions are  successful.”  

 The rooftop and a working fireplace were the deciding factors that made Smaldone  sign on the dotted line and live in this building that has almost 100  apartments, but she is pleased with how management, and even the residents,  create regular fun events. “Throughout the years, there have been a variety of events that have even been  created by residents,” she says.  

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