We are renters in NYC and thinking of buying a place when DC starts K. The odds are that DC will go to school on the UES. However, DH works long hours in the Hudson Yards area, so we are not sure where geographically makes sense. If we live in the UES, it does not seem obvious how to get to Hudson Yards for DH without a lengthier commute (at least 45 min door-to-door, which is not bad, but does mean he won't be around when kids are up in the evening). Conversely, if we live in Hudson Yards area, DC will have to commute to UES (which maybe isn't so bad with bus lanes and point-to-point service). We could live in the middle, e.g. Murray Hill where DH can cross town more easily to Hudson Yards and DC has straight shot up to UES.
Are there good reasons to live in the UES close to the schools? Do communities actually get built around the school neighborhoods? I would be surprised if there are communities because these schools have such small classes sizes (only 60 kids) and I understand many commute to the school (including from other boroughs). So maybe 30 of them are Manhattan (just a guess) of which half of them are not in UES. So maybe only 15 kids in a class are in the UES area (which is a lot as I think about it).