Wow. Plenty to say here, I’ve lived in NYC since 1981. Seems the largest issue is schooling for the kid(s). It will directly guide where you live and what her commute will be into the city.
In broad strokes: The 5 boroughs are not what they were. If you like living in a neighborhood that is deeply diverse with tons of languages being spoken, you can find those areas. If you much prefer an area that is NOT so, you can find them too. It’s a darned pricey place to live. Since the kids are almost out of school, why not rent an apartment/ small home for a year or two till they are at college, then plant yourselves in an area that suits YOUR lifestyles without having to consider schooling?
I happen to adore the Upper West Side. It’s also numbingly expensive. Just north of 96th Street may be a bit cheaper, and past Columbia University into Harlem cheaper yet. That’s a wicked quick ride down to work for her on the 1/2/3/ line.
Do you work? Where will you work? That will also guide your housing choices I’d think.
Autumn is my favorite time in NYC. Unlike Spring, which lasts just over 11 days between numbingly cold winds and the torpor of summertime, Autumn stretches out like a cat on a sunny windowsill for a while. If you’re art lovers ( and I’d hope someone working at The Met is an art lover !!! ), you can all get the free IDNYC Card once you get here. Doesn’t matter if you’re US Citizens. Saves real money on museums, etc.
A good place to start is her colleagues at The Met. Who lives where, who has kids, etc etc. These are people living the same moderately insane schedule and have negotiated the city, some for their entire lives. ( I work in film/t.v. production and used to be married to an opera singer. I grok the lifestyle. )
Welcome to Enwye !!