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January Flatiron Newsletter

in this issue:
  • Stay in Touch With the BID
  • Shop Flatiron: The 2010 Guide Is Here
  • January 15 Deadline to Take Survey, Try for Prize
  • Trees Trees Trees!
  • New Banners Unveiled for Winter 2010
  • New Bike Law for Office Buildings
  • New Neighbors: Bread & Butter, Brio Camicia, Press NY
  • Restaurant Week: Winter 2010
  • The Ace: Playing With a Fuller Deck
  • Discover Flatiron: Manhattan Flight Simulator
  • Recent News About the BID
  • Newsletter Archives
  • About Us

  • Shop Flatiron: The 2010 Guide Is Here
    shopping guide

    "SHOP FLATIRON," THE 2010 GUIDE TO neighborhood retailers and restaurants, is now available for the asking at stores, bars and eateries throughout Flatiron. It can also be found on the BID website by clicking here.

    The guide lists, by category, the varied shopping opportunities in the district as well as the adjacent area. Categories range from art supply stores to thrift shops, from fashion to furnishings. A map that pinpoints the precise location of each listed establishment is included.

    The 2010 guide is supported by three sponsors: Tekserve, Hillstone (formerly Houston's) and Park Avenue Floratique.


    January 15 Deadline to Take Survey, Try for Prize
    survey 2009

    THE DEADLINE FOR PARTICIPATING IN
    the 2009 BID Community Survey is fast approaching. Respondents have until January 15 to complete the survey and possibly win a prize. Four respondents will be chosen at random to win a $50 gift certificate to a Flatiron district restaurant. The survey, which is open to everyone, is a valuable tool used by the BID to help evaluate its work and to learn more about the needs and interests of the community.

    If you have not done so already, please click here to complete the survey.


    Trees Trees Trees!
    street tree

    IN 2010 THE FLATIRON
    Partnership will continue its efforts to coordinate with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation MillionTreesNYC program, which plants trees, free of charge, on sidewalks in front of homes, apartment buildings and businesses throughout the City. The BID has succeeded in having 27 trees planted throughout the district since the program's inception. Requests are now being taken for the spring 2010 planting season, one of two during the year.

    Any property owner may request a street tree, but not all requests can be fulfilled, due to underlying infrastructure conditions that may exist, such as vaults or subways.

    For more information, or to request a location for a tree to be planted, contact the BID office at (212) 741-2323 or by e-mail at info@flatironbid.org.


    New Banners Unveiled for Winter 2010
    winter banner

    THE FLATIRON PARTNERSHIP HAS ROLLED out a new streetlamp banner design across the district. The new design, which features the BID's logo and website in bright colors, is meant to encourage people to visit the BID's website where they can learn about all of the great things going in the Flatiron district.

    The banners offer a splendid opportunity for companies to promote their names, show their commitment to the area and, at the same time, help increase awareness of the BID. Additional streetlamp locations are still available. Interested parties may contact the BID office by calling (212) 741-2323 or by e-mail at ezaretsky@flatironbid.org.


    New Bike Law for Office Buildings
    bike rack

    A NEW LAW AIMED AT HELPING cyclists gain access to secure parking in the office buildings in which they work went into effect December 11. It's part of the Bikes in Buildings program jointly overseen by the Department of Transportation and the Department of Buildings and is geared to encourage the growth of commuter cyclists.

    The measure, known as the Bicycle Access to Office Buildings Law, or Local Law 52, applies only to office buildings with at least one freight elevator, and not to residential buildings. It calls for a tenant or sub-tenant to ask a building owner for bike access by filling out a Tenant Request Form, available online on the DOT's website.

    The building owner must then grant access to a parking space or request an exception from the City. Buildings wishing to grant bike access must submit a Bicycle Access Plan. Buildings asking for an exception must either provide alternate parking for cyclists or show that safety conditions preclude carrying bikes in a freight elevator.

    For more information and access to the relevant forms, click here.


    New Neighbors: Bread & Butter, Brio Camicia, Press NY

    Bread & Butter

    BREAD & BUTTER, A FOOD COURT that carries the tagline "Habits to Be Made," has opened at 315 Park Avenue South, between 23rd and 24th Streets. Open 24 hours a day, every day, it carries a wide selection of hot and cold food for delivery or takeout and provides a small area in back for on-site dining. Bread & Butter includes a breakfast bar, soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps, panini, pizza, sushi, burritos, prepared foods, baked goods and beverages. For deliveries, call (212) 254-0444 or fax (212) 254-2259. For catering, call (866) 965-7799 or e-mail catering@habitstobemade.com. A website, www.habitstobemade.com, is under construction.

    Brio Camicia

    BRIO CAMICIA, WHICH SPECIALIZES in men's dress shirts, ties and accessories, has opened at 251 Fifth Avenue, at 28th Street. The name of the store is Italian for "shirts with verve." It is owned by Moshe Bouskila of Domani Fashions. The shirts, according to store manager Jonathan Haglili, are all characterized by unconventional touches such as a dab of color in an unexpected place or a mitered barrel cuff. A selection of suits is planned. Brio Camicia is open Mondays through Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., on Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. For more information, call (212) 951-7020 or click here.

    Press NY

    PRESS, A QUICK-SERVICE EATERY focusing on wraps made with fresh-pressed dough, has opened at 34 East 23rd Street, near the foot of Madison Avenue, its second New York location. The quick-service restaurant offers chicken, steak, grilled vegetables, burgers or veggie burger wraps, with a variety of toppings, on white, whole wheat, rosemary or sun-dried tomato wraps. The menu also lists salads, soups, fries, desserts and soft drinks. Press is open Mondays to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and weekends from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For deliveries, call (212) 677-5775. For additional information, click here.


    Restaurant Week: Winter 2010

    RESERVATIONS WILL OPEN ON JANUARY 12 FOR RESTAURANT
    Week Winter 2010, a two-week event presented by NYC & Company. The dates are January 25 to February 7, with Saturdays excluded for all restaurants and Sundays excluded for some. More than 250 restaurants will offer three-course prix-fixe lunches for $24.07 and three-course prix-fixe dinners for $35. Beverage, tax and tip are not included. This celebration of dining dates back to 1992.

    A number of restaurants in the Flatiron district are participating. They include such local favorites as: A Voce (lunch only), Allegretti, Bar Stuzzichini, Tabla (lunch only), Blue Smoke, Dos Caminos Park, Giorgio's of Gramercy, Hill Country, ilili, Olana, Pranna, Primehouse NY, SD26 Restaurant (lunch only) and Tamarind (lunch only).

    To receive a reminder e-mail on the day reservations open, click here.


    The Ace: Playing With a Fuller Deck

    WITH ITS BRESLIN RESTAURANT QUICKLY ESTABLISHING ITSELF
    as one of Manhattan's newest dining destinations, the Ace Hotel will soon unveil some additional attractions. At the same time, renovation work has resumed on the NoMad Hotel, which is at Broadway and 28th Street, one block south of the Ace. Both hotels are properties of GFI Development Co.

    Two new fashion boutiques are slated to open at the Ace in February, according to Michael Rawson, president of GFI Hotels, a subsidiary of the parent company. They are Opening Ceremony, which features a combination of designer labels and vintage clothing for "the downtown crowd," and Project No. 8, whose fashions include an eclectic array of New York and European designers.

    Opening Ceremony will take some 1,500 square feet along the Broadway side of the Ace. The company, which also has boutiques in Tokyo and Los Angeles, has a New York store on Howard Street, where Chinatown meets SoHo. Project No. 8, which also has a store in Chinatown, will fill 750 square feet on the 29th Street side of the Ace, just west of the entrance.

    In March, the Ace is expected to add The Sub Shop to its Broadway side, with sandwiches of artisanal meats and cheeses for takeout or delivery.

    Rawson is particularly proud that the Ace was honored last month by Interior Design magazine as "best of the year" in the boutique hotel category. The magazine cited the design firm of Roman and Williams for infusing the landmark 1904 building, including the Breslin restaurant, "with a moody, loungy vibe achieved by combining vintage and found objects, comfy custom furniture, and edgy art."

    It's that approach, said Rawson, that has turned the lobby into a hub of sorts for New Yorkers seeking an inviting spot for a late-night drink and a bite to eat: "People are drawn by the coziness of it, the sofas, the low lights."

    People have also been drawn to the Breslin since its recent debut and that's no surprise to restaurateur Ken Friedman, who together with executive chef April Bloomfield -- his partner at The Spotted Pig -- conceived of their latest monument to meat. Friedman describes it as "what we know best: comfort food, upscale pub food." It's casual, with two levels, seats for 130, lots of wood, the original ceiling, a big space divided into intimate snuggeries, and a "no reservations" policy. The most popular dishes, reported Friedman, are the lamburger, the fries, pork belly, stuffed pig's feet and crispy pig's ears. It's what the British call "nose-to-tail eating."

    Friedman said he and Bloomfield had been approached numerous times by hotel owners, but picked the Ace for their latest venture because of his friendship with the hotel's Alex Calderwood and also because of the location.

    "When Alex made plans to open the Ace here, I thought it would be a great combo: Alex and this neighborhood," said Friedman. "I really started looking at the buildings on this block. These are amazing buildings, the coolest in Manhattan. The rents were low, even pre-recession, subways and buses everywhere, the great Madison Square Park close by with the Shake Shack, we're only blocks away from attractions like Madison Square Garden and the Flatiron Building, and we're right between Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

    "We have the best of both worlds here: a captive audience that extends from the hotel, with its 260 rooms, to this really cool neighborhood with all the creative people who work right around here."

    Friedman is now thinking of installing a bar in the basement that might be themed around Tin Pan Alley, that century-old mecca to music that was exactly one block south of the Ace.

    Which bring us right to the doorstep of the NoMad, where renovations resumed in December after being halted for almost a year.

    "Now's the time," said Rawson of GFI. "Hotel business in New York City was down 30 percent in 2009, compared to 2008, but we expect it to be off only 3 percent in 2010. We're planning an opening for the NoMad in 2011."

    Stay tuned.


    Discover Flatiron: Manhattan Flight Simulator

    YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU'RE LIKELY TO FIND IN FLATIRON.

    Architecture of the highest order, of course. Some shops that have been around since before the Great Depression -- and are still doing business. An intimate auditorium where young musicians play on 17th-century Stradivarius violins. The church where Eleanor Roosevelt was baptized. All, and more, have been chronicled in this newsletter over the past three years.

    And now, to begin 2010, we bring you the story of yet another Flatiron find: a place where pilots fly Cessnas and Pipers and sleek twin-engine KingAirs, steering them through all kinds of wind conditions and fog and rain and other manifestations of low visibility, and it all happens only three stories above sea level, inside a room not much bigger than a coat closet.

    Welcome to the world of Manhattan Flight Simulator, a flying school that got off the ground about a year ago inside 1178 Broadway, at the corner of 28th Street.

    Manhattan Flight Simulator is not for folks who don't yet know how to fly. It's for people in one of two categories: those who are licensed to pilot private planes when visual conditions reveal the horizon or coastlines, but need to upgrade their skills so they can fly by instrument, and those who are already advanced pilots, but must meet "currency" requirements on a regular basis.

    The Manhattan Flight Simulator device that mimics actual flight conditions is an Elite iGate IFR Integrated BATD. Translation: iGate is an acronym for "integrated General Aviation Training Environment"; IFR stands for "Instrument Flight Rules" and a BATD is a "Basic Aviation Training Device." The Elite version meets Federal Aviation Administration regulations and replicates the kind of controls one would find either in single-engine or in light twin-engine craft. It is not for the Jet Set.

    The student-pilot sits in front of the device, with an instructor in an adjacent seat, manipulating flying conditions with the aid of a computer and observing the pilot's reactions. The cadre of instructors includes Beatrice Uerlings, a founder and co-manager of the facility.

    What makes Manhattan Flight Simulator unusual is its setting. It is probably the only facility of its kind in Manhattan and its location eliminates the need to head for an airport, where instruction of this kind is usually given. That explains why most of its clients are from Manhattan and why instruction generally takes place in the evenings or on weekends.

    Pilots who want to upgrade to instrument flying generally require about 10 hours of training on the simulator and another 10 hours of "ground school" or theory instruction, which is given in a conference room at the same location. Pilots seeking to meet currency requirements require about two hours on the simulator.

    (Manhattan Flight Simulator, 1178 Broadway, at 28th Street. Phone: (646) 530-8524. Hours: By appointment. E-mail: stefan@manhattansimulatortraining.com. Website: http://manhattansimulatortraining.com)


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    About Us

    The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District, formed in 2006, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the area's reputation as one of New York's most vital and exciting neighborhoods. This is undertaken by maintaining a clean and safe environment for those who live, work and visit the area; by spearheading area improvement projects; and by marketing the diverse business and retail options in this vibrant and historic neighborhood.

    For more information go to our Web site at www.discoverflatiron.org or e-mail us at info@flatironbid.org.

    Contact Information:

    Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership
    27 West 24th Street, Suite 800B
    New York, NY 10010
    (212) 741-2323


    Stay in Touch With the BID

    District Deals provides an opportunity -- at no cost -- for all neighborhood businesses, organizations and Friends of the Flatiron Partnership Marketing Affiliate Program participants to publicize any special sales or services currently being offered.

    For more information and to submit a deal, click here.

    Free Walking Tours
    On Sundays at 11 a.m.

    The BID sponsors free walking tours every Sunday.

    Join our experienced guides on a 90-minute journey through this vibrant neighborhood, viewing some of the City's most notable landmarks, including the New York Life Insurance building, the MetLife Tower, the Appellate Courthouse and the famous Flatiron Building.

    Time:
    Every Sunday at 11 a.m.

    Meeting Place:
    The southwest corner of Madison Square Park, at 23rd Street and Broadway, in front of the statue of William Seward.

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