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April 25, 2012  In This Issue
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New Neighbors
Maison Kitsunémaisonkitsune
The highly anticipated French clothing and accessory boutique, Maison Kitsuné, is adding its unique style to the corner of 28th Street and Broadway. Housed within the NoMad Hotel, the Maison Kitsuné brand has been sold at Barneys and Opening Ceremony, but this is the first dedicated shop to open in the U.S. In addition to carrying its own label, other popular brands such as grooming products by Aesop, bags by Want Les Essentiels De La Vie, sandals by Michel Vivien, and a shoe collaboration with J.M. Weston are available.  The store is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Maison Kitsuné, 1170 Broadway, (212) 481-6010, www.kitsune.fr   

Mihoko's 21 Gramsgrams
Leaping into the Flatiron district is Mihoko's 21 Grams, an upscale restaurant created by Mihoko Kiyokawa, a former ballerina, collector and philanthropist. The name of the restaurant describes the mythical weight of a person's soul - 21 grams. The food, however, feeds the body with a Franco-Japanese menu that boasts a sushi bar and a seasonal tasting menu, which includes selections such as housemade buckwheat pasta with pork belly and spring onions, and King salmon with Japanese eggplant, fennel, chrysanthemum, and olive jus. A shop in front sells rare teapots, glasses and dishes.

 

Mihoko's 21 Grams is open for dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays, and closed Sundays and Mondays.  

 

Mihoko's 21 Grams, 16 West 22nd Street (between 5th & 6th Avenue), (212) 741-0021, mihokos21grams.com   

Spring Speaker Series Wrap-up:
City Council Speaker Christine Quinnquinn

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, in association with TD Bank at 655 Sixth Avenue, welcomed a return visit by New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to the speaker series breakfast on April 24th. This was the 10th event that the BID and bank have partnered on since the program began in 2008. The speaker series is part of the overall BID events brand "Intersections: A BID series, focused on information, ideas and our community."

 

"Speaker Quinn has proven herself to be a tireless champion of practical solutions in areas of importance, notably education, affordable housing and job creation, and she has been a great supporter of the work that the BID has done since we were formed in 2006," said Jennifer Brown, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership about Quinn, who also represents part of the district. "And, she has worked on innovative programs for entrepreneurs, particularly tech entrepreneurs. We know that the tech sector has been very important to the rebirth of the Flatiron district."

 

With the industry's expanding presence, Quinn sees the boom as a way to diversify New York City's economy. "Flatiron, now being Silicon Alley, is a citywide issue," she noted. "High tech, digital media, new media, bio tech, med tech. We've seen that all over Flatiron. I was at a job fair with 70 start-ups, many of them located in the Flatiron. Of the 10 companies I talked to, this was the answer from eight of them about hiring, 'As many people as we can get. If we see talent, we're going to hire it! We're looking for engineers, graphic designers, marketers, finance people.' And with all that money coming in, somebody's got to keep track of it!" Added Quinn about the emerging role of New York City as a tech business leader, "We now have beaten Boston as it relates to venture capital investment in tech and we're only behind California. I think clearly we can kick their butt!" 

Flatiron Faces: Barbara Murphy-Warrington, CEO of the
Girls Scouts of Greater New Yorkgirlscouts
To highlight some of the great aspects of the Flatiron district, the BID has asked notable residents, business and property owners several questions about the district they have chosen to call home. Please meet Barbara Murphy-Warrington, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York.  The Girls Scouts organization has called the Flatiron district home since 1985, and most recently operating a special Girl Scout Cookie pop-up shop at their location on 23rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue through May 5th.

Q. Describe the Flatiron district in three words: Way too amazing!!

 

Q. My favorite Flatiron district building is: Wow, that's tough, but it's the Stern building, especially with the fabulous new coat of luminescent white paint.

 

Q. Don't miss: the building that gives the district its name and uniqueness - the Flatiron building. 

 

Q. The Flatiron district needs more: benches, like the beautiful red one in front of Mangia, along 23rd Street for people to sit and enjoy the ambiance, spirit and eclectic nature of the area.

 

Q. My favorite place to grab a bite in the district is: Schnipper's, if you can get in!!

 

Q. What is your favorite piece of Flatiron district history? The district was not only known for fashion during the Gilded Age, but also, the old Fifth Avenue Hotel was a center of social and political life during the time.

 

Q. The Flatiron district merit badge would be for: the Girl Scout badge for Customer Loyalty! (pictured at right).  

     

Q. A Flatiron district Girl Scout Cookie. . . would be made of all six varieties of the cookies we sell, pieced together to make a Girl Scout cookie mosaic.

 

Q. Do you have a tip for visitors to the Flatiron district? Come with plenty of time to explore and plan to visit when there's an event in Madison Square Park.

 

Q. My favorite store in Flatiron is: Marimekko

 

Q. Favorite thing about the Flatiron district: The diversity of people, restaurants, environs and spaces.  It has so much to please every one of your five senses.

 

To learn more about the great works and special pop-up shop of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, go to their website or click on the icons below:

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Girl Scouts of Greater New York, 43 West 23rd Street, (212) 645-4000, www.girlscoutsnyc.org
Discover Flatiron:
Forty One Madison, the New York Merchandise Martfortyone

 For Laurie Burns, it's great to be at the top. "I'm a tabletop girl," she says with a smile in her 39th floor office that features a palatial view from its 26th Street location at 41 Madison Avenue. "I love the fact that this is the center of this industry." Burns' business is leasing the 100 showrooms to global manufacturers of tabletop, gift and houseware items in the building known as Forty One Madison, the New York Merchandise Mart. "The shows are great because this is where all the trends start," says Burns, who serves as senior vice president and director of the property and is also a Flatiron BID board member. The 42-story tower with its black glass and brown aluminum façade covers 500,000 square feet and is owned by the Rudin Management Company, one of New York City's premier real estate enterprises. "I love that it's a Rudin building and one of the safest in the city," notes Burns. "Many of our tenants are from abroad and this is the location of their U.S. business to meet their customers. When they get here, we hope to give them a great experience."

 

The bi-annual exhibits for retail store buyers attract approximately 10,000 individuals to the Flatiron area, for which Burns describes as "the coolest, hottest and what retailers want" from luxury to middle- and low-priced brands. In addition, celebrities and fashion designers continue to play an important role in the industry. From bridal registry gifts to restaurant cutlery to the "green" trend in packaging, stylish collections with high-profile names such as Martha Stewart, Donna Karan and Vera Wang occupy the initial 24 floors of the building, which was the site last week of the tabletop presentations and its significant turnout by retailers based on encouraging economic growth in sales and the prospect of better business.

 

This same location also once proved to be a profitable property for one native New Yorker and his family more than 150 years ago. On the southeast corner of Madison Avenue at 32 East 26th Street, the Jerome Mansion was built in 1859 and named after lawyer and financier Leonard Walter Jerome, who was dubbed the "King of Wall Street" due in part to the fortune he made in the stock market. Jerome was also later known as British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill's maternal grandfather when Jennie, one of Jerome's three daughters, married Parliament member Lord Randolph Churchill in 1874.

Jerome Mansion, c. 1878

 

It was during a stay in France nearly two decades earlier that Jerome and his wife Clarissa, also known as Clara, were captivated by the "the gay social swirl of fancy-dress balls and dinner parties held at splendid palaces, grand Parisian mansions, or noble chateaux in the French countryside," according to author Wayne Craven's book, Gilded Mansions. Jerome reportedly then told Clara, "I'll build you a palace yet!" And Jerome did when he commissioned London-born architect Thomas R. Jackson to design the Jerome's $200,000 dream home. The mansion, which stood six stories with a slate-shingle mansard roof, had a French décor interior that included stained glass windows for the thoroughbred horse stables; a ballroom with two fountains, one spouting champagne, another cologne; and a dining room to accommodate 70 guests.

 

By 1965, the property's distinguished legacy earned it landmark status from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. But despite efforts to save it from demolition, the Jerome Mansion was torn down in 1967 to make way for the New York Merchandise Mart. Designed by award-winning architect Emery Roth & Sons, the building, with its address of 41 Madison Avenue, opened in 1974 as "New York's first total market center." Recalls Burns, who has been coming to the shows since 1984, "The building opened at a time when you didn't want to come to this area, but the neighborhood has since evolved and it's now residential and commercial. People like to live here, work here, come here."

 

And for tabletop expert Burns, a visit to the former Jerome Mansion, where her office now stands, would have been priceless. "Being in the business, I would have loved to have sold items for what was then the largest dining room in New York City," she reveals, "and to have eaten in that dining room!"

MTA FastTrack Program: Service Changes fasttrack

Overnight subway shutdowns will take place on the Eighth Avenue corridor. From the night of Monday, April 23rd to the morning of Friday, April 27th, there will be no A, C, and E train service from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. at these stations: 50 St., 42 St., 34 St., 23 St., 14 St., W 4 St., Spring St., Canal St., Chamber St. - World Trade Center, Fulton St., and High St.

District Deals, Walking Tours, Free Wi-Fi and more...more
District Deals
Check out special offers from Flatiron district businesses on the District Deals page.  From discounts on beauty services, restaurant and bar happy hours to free tax time consultations, the deals page has it all. Click here.
Facebook & Twitter
"Like" us on  Facebook and follow us on Twitter for regular and up-to-the-minute updates.
NearSay.com
The Flatiron Partnership regularly contributes to NearSay.com, a website devoted to local information on New York neighborhoods.
Free Walking Tours

From the site of Stanford White's infamous love nest to the story of America's first community Christmas tree, the Flatiron Partnership's free walking tours offer a unique perspective of a historic neighborhood.  Expert guides spin a spellbinding narrative filled with inside information about the area's more colorful figures and its architectural wonders like the MetLife Clock Tower, the Flatiron building, and the exquisite NYS Appellate Courthouse.

 

The tour meets every Sunday (rain or shine) at 11:00 a.m. at the southwest corner of Madison Square Park, 23rd Street and Broadway, in front of the William Seward statue.  For more information, click here.
Free Wi-Fi
Courtesy of the Flatiron Partnership and SkyPackets, free Wi-Fi access is available in the North and South Flatiron Public Plazas.
Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership
27 West 24th Street, Suite 800B
New York, NY 10010
T 212.741.2323
F 212.741.2324
info@flatironbid.org
discoverflatiron.org