Last night, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District kicked off the sixth annual “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” season featuring free performances, fitness sessions, prizes, hot beverage giveaways, and much more. The centerpiece of the festivities, Flatiron Reflection, selected through the fourth-annual Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition in partnership with Van Alen Institute and NYC DOT Art, also was unveiled on the North Public Plaza in the shadow of the famed Flatiron Building.
“23 Days of Flatiron Cheer,” which runs from Friday, December 1st through Saturday, December 23rd, includes free, holiday-themed events showcasing the intersection of shopping, dining, and culture in the neighborhood. The launch event featured a performance by The Jazz Gallery, small bites from ilili BOX, hot chocolate from Shake Shack, and opportunities to win gifts from local businesses by spinning the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership’s Prize Wheel.
“You can brighten your holidays with a visit to Flatiron this season,” said Jennifer Brown, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “We’re excited to showcase all this amazing neighborhood has to offer with fun-filled activities for everyone who visits, works in, or lives in the district. This holiday season, Flatiron is the place to be!”
“23 Days of Flatiron Cheer”
Now in its sixth year, “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” is made possible by generous sponsors Meringoff Properties (Presenting Sponsor), 212 Fifth Avenue and Sony Square NYC (Supporting Sponsors), and Porcelanosa (Contributing Sponsor).
This year’s roster of events – which can be viewed at FlatironDistrict.nyc/holiday2017 – includes:
Dive into dishes. Every Tuesday, starting today with Chefs John Doherty and Matteo Bergamini from Black Barn the Flatiron Partnership is sharing favorite holiday recipes of Flatiron chefs. Coming weeks will feature Cosme, Eataly, and the Natural Gourmet Institute amongst others. Recipes will be available on FlatironDistrict.nyc and through weekly newsletters!
Work out on “Winter Wellness Wednesdays.” Sign up for free morning fitness classes at a number of Flatiron studios, including: Barry’s Bootcamp, bodē nyc, ANYA, New York Health & Racquet Club, ChaiseFitness and Tiger Schulmann MMA.
Relax and enjoy performances. Every Friday and Saturday, from Noon to 4:00 PM, there will be activities here on the North Public Plaza, with free beverages, and the ever-popular Prize Wheel. Fridays also will feature performances by The Peoples Improv Theater among others.
Tote around Flatiron. Every Saturday, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership will distribute free “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” tote bags filled with discounts to neighborhood businesses.
Walk around and discover. Every Sunday at 11:00 AM, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership leads free, holiday-themed walking tours led by professional guides. This year includes a special tour on Sunday, December 3rd, focused on the Flatiron Building and including a discussion with the architects of Flatiron Reflection.
Veer into the virtual. New this year is a family-friendly Holiday Gift Preview Party at Sony Square NYC on December 12th at 6:00 PM, where attendees can experience virtual reality and other holiday-must haves. The event includes a festive mocktail and tasty bites from Flatiron’s new restaurant, Merakia. The first 350 attendees also receive an exclusive Sony PlayStation gift bag, courtesy of Sony Square NYC.
Savor the Winter Solstice. On December 21st MoMath and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership will celebrate the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Festivities kick off at 4:00 PM, when attendees can enjoy small bites and beverages from BONMi, and spin the Flatiron Prize Wheel. Starting at 6:00 PM participants can also help complete a stunning Fibonacci Spiral puzzle with the team at MoMath.
Visitors to the installation and participants in “23 Days” programming are encouraged to share their photos on social media using the hashtag #FlatironReflection. Throughout the month of December, photos using the hashtag will be entered to win prizes from local businesses.
The Giving Season
The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership will continue its holiday tradition of giving, encouraging donations to support the Food Bank For New York City. A number of local businesses have signed up to partner and collect food donations, and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership is encouraging New Yorkers to visit the BID’s holiday page to make virtual donations.
Anchoring “23 Days” this year is Flatiron Reflection, which was selected through the fourth-annual Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition in partnership with Van Alen Institute and NYC DOT Art, in which a curated list of designers and architects proposed concepts for the holiday season. The installation— situated on the Flatiron North Public Plaza at the intersection of 23rd Street, Broadway and Fifth Avenue—will be up through January 1st.
Flatiron Reflection, designed by Future Expansion, is a publicly spirited space that encourages new experiences of the city, new modes of dwelling in the plaza, and new views of its context. A bundle of shimmering tubes creates a fragmented column at the scale of the public plaza. The fluted perimeter offers niches that can be occupied, while a panoramic central space opens out like a stage into the plaza. The conical interior form cuts out the visual noise of the city to isolate the image of the Flatiron Building and its neighbors on the skyline.
The project is designed to be experienced both up-close and from a distance. As you walk around it, the play of light, shadow, and reflection changes its appearance against the background of buildings and trees. From a distance, the folds create soft reflections that become clearer as you approach; Indistinguishable shapes sharpen into hazy impressions of familiar landmarks.
“We’re excited to be working with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute to temporarily transform this spectacular site,” said Deirdre and Nicholas McDermott, principals of Future Expansion. “The installation is designed for three scales of experience: the deeply creased exterior makes spaces for individuals; the interior room offers an intimate panorama for small groups; and the north-facing wedge presents a platform toward the plaza. We hope that the installation opens new possibilities for interaction and experiences while reinforcing the pure public essence of the site.”
The installation is permitted through NYC DOT Art and is open to the public daily, weather permitting.
The closed-call competition began in June 2017, when the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute—a non-profit that organizes design competitions, public programs, and research to make cities better places—invited ten design and architecture firms to submit proposals. Invited firms were: BAS/Annie Barrett; Future Expansion; Hive Public Space; Khamsi, Marman and Borins; Kyle May, Architect; McEwen Studio; Practice; Schaum/Shieh; The Principals; and, Thread Collective. Eight submitted proposals.
A jury with expertise across the worlds of design and public art, including representatives from the Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute’s board of trustees, reviewed the proposals.
“These installations have become a neighborhood tradition enjoyed by those who live, work, or visit Flatiron during the holiday season, and take part in our annual ’23 Days of Flatiron Cheer’ celebration,” said Ms. Brown. “Flatiron Reflection most certainly will become a destination for people who already are in love with Flatiron—or are visiting our neighborhood for the first time. We are proud to partner with Van Alen Institute and Future Expansion, and invite all New Yorkers – and your holiday guests – to visit Flatiron this season!”
“This installation is the latest of four rewarding years of collaboration between Van Alen Institute and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership on the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition,” said David van der Leer, Executive Director of Van Alen Institute. “The initiative has become a valuable platform for launching new practices, a visible celebration of inventive, temporary designs that enliven public space during a chillier season, and an opportunity to understand how these spaces impact our minds and bodies.”
“It’s hard to believe that this is the fourth year that DOT Art has partnered with the Flatiron Partnership to activate the Flatiron plazas with specially commissioned holiday installations, said NYC DOT Assistant Commissioner of Design + Art + Wayfinding Wendy Feuer. “The glistening materials and choir-like sculptural formation will prompt passersby to engage with the art, while serving as a backdrop for festive programming throughout the holiday season.”
About the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership
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 accomplished by maintaining a clean and safe environment for the district’s businesses, residents and visitors; by spearheading area improvement projects; and by marketing the diverse business and retail options in this vibrant and historic neighborhood.
About NYC DOT Art
Launched in 2008, the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program invigorates the City’s streetscapes with engaging temporary art installations. The Program partners with community-based organizations and artists to present murals, sculptures, projections and performances on plazas, fences, barriers, bridges, step streets and sidewalks for up to 11 months. Projects are presented within four program tracks: Arterventions, Barrier Beautification, Community Commissions and Art Display Case Exhibits.
Learn more at www.nyc.gov/dotart