The bustling neighborhood, as diverse as New York itself, includes some of the city’s most popular restaurants in a variety of price ranges and cuisines; a dynamic retail environment with a profusion of fashion, beauty and home furnishings stores; superb educational institutions and such architectural highlights as the fabled Flatiron Building, the Metropolitan Life and New York Life buildings and the exquisite New York State Appellate Courthouse. A burgeoning residential community is adding its own new vitality to this historic neighborhood. The district is easily accessed by a range of public transportation options and is just a short stroll from either Grand Central Terminal or Penn Station.
So look around explore, enjoy, and Discover Flatiron!
Discover Flatiron: Bowling Comes to Madison Square Garden
The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership takes a look back at Madison Square Garden and the historic bowling tournament billed as the most "elaborate ever held" in 1909.
For the first time in its history, The National Bowling Association held its International Tournament in New York City from May 24 to June 12, 1909. The tournament was held in Madison Square Garden, then located on 26th Street. The second Madison Square Garden was designed by noted architect Stanford White who was commissioned by a team of wealthy clients, including J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, for a reported final cost of $3 million when it opened in 1890.
Bowling's popularity boomed in the late 19th Century, and the Garden was deemed a perfect fit for the sport. "For the tournament, which will bring together many of the best bowlers of the country and the crack teams that have figured in the championships in former years, Madison Square Garden will be converted into a huge bowling hall, the entire floor space of the building occupied by twenty-four high-grade alleys, laid in the amphitheatre,” reported The New York Times on January 17, 1909.
On opening night of the 1909 tournament, which offered $50,000 in prize money, a total of 4,000 fans were in attendance. The three-week lineup featured 313 five-man teams, 700 two-man teams, and 1,420 individual players.
"I welcome the bowlers of America to the greatest city on the American Continent," said New York City Comptroller Herman A. Metz, reported The New York Times on May 25, 1909. “It is a stupendous enterprise, and well worth the support of every New Yorker who takes a pride in his city."
By the second day, New York teams dominated. The five-man team from "Jamaica, Long Island crowded out the Ravenswood team of Long Island City by rolling the high score of 2,809," reported The New York Times on May 26, 1909. By the tournament’s closing night on June 12, the top individual winner hailed from Brooklyn and two Manhattanites secured second place in the two-man competition.
Bowling continued to thrive at Madison Square Garden even after the venue’s relocation to Midtown (Eighth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets) in 1925, then-considered the new hub of the City's flourishing business and commercial real estate markets.
Lisa Mansour, NY Cake
Flatiron Faces: Lisa Mansour, CEO of NY Cake & Baking Supply and Founder of NY Cake Academy
The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership is pleased to introduce Lisa Mansour, CEO of NY Cake & Baking Supplies and Founder of NY Cake Academy. Located at 56 West 22nd Street, the retail store is the go-to site for a variety of baking accessories and instructional classes, and is great for the upcoming Easter and Passover holidays. "Cake is fun," says the Brooklyn-born Mansour. "Cake makes people happy."
1. Briefly describe your dual role as CEO of NY Cake & Baking Supplies and founder of the NY Cake Academy.
I run the store day-to-day, look for new products, and help customers. I grew up watching my mom teach and I knew it's what I wanted to do, so NY Cake Academy was created. I am the main instructor, I create the classes, and bring in guest teachers at least once a month because there’s always new techniques to learn. We do private events, parties, corporate events, and our classes range from beginner to expert decorators. I love teaching and having that one-on-one with my customers. It’s the best way to do business.
2. You opened your retail store in 1989. Can you recall the early days in the community?
The District was completely different back then, very quiet, not much foot traffic for businesses. It was a little scary to open a retail store in the area but it was the most affordable rent in Manhattan so we took the chance. The community blossomed into this hot spot with shops and restaurants everywhere. It’s wonderful now.
3. Which baking supplies do you highly recommend to consumers?
I always recommend anodized cake pans to my customers over nonstick. They give you a lighter crumb finish and a more even bake.
4. You launched the NY Cake Show in 2012. Briefly tell us about the idea behind the event, and what can we expect this year.
This is an event devoted to cake lovers, and the artistry behind cakes. The NY Cake Show is an activity for the whole family, there is something for everyone. This year the theme is Broadway, and we have a cake decorating competition, classes and demos for the novice and expert baker, kids classes, a free cupcake bar for kids, shops, and the most beautiful cakes you’ve ever seen. Forget what you’ve seen on TV, the things people create for this show will blow you away. The show has grown to a two-day event now, and takes place June 10th and 11th!
5. The culinary arts is a major part of your life. What do you consider the most important skills for those interested in this career path?
Keep an open mind, there’s always new techniques and trends to explore. Even when you think you’ve learned everything, don’t stop. Don’t be afraid to try new things, you’ll discover talents and hobbies you didn’t even know you had.
6. What led you to pursue baking and retail as your career?
I grew up in it, I was always going to do this. My mother was a cake decorating instructor. I didn’t have playdates when I was a kid. I went with my mother to her classes and sat with her students. Her students wanted to buy products and there was no internet or Amazon like there is now, so we decided to open up a store on 22nd Street with my Mom teaching and I ran the store.
7. What do you love most about the Flatiron District?
It’s so lively and unique. There’s history everywhere you look, the stone work and architecture often inspires me for cakes. It’s a wonderful environment to come to everyday.
8. Other than a visit to your business, what do you consider a "must-see” or “must-do" destination in the neighborhood?
Eataly is one of my favorite shops in the city. They have everything and it's all fresh. It's not exactly a secret, though, it's always packed!
9. What's your favorite building or architectural element in the area?
The Flatiron Building. The shape and detailing is unique; buildings just aren’t made like that anymore. I would love to do a cake like it one day!
10. Choose three words to describe the Flatiron District.
Stylish. Active. Fun.
Image via Anthony Prou.
“Village meets midtown.”
When asked to describe the Flatiron District in three words
photographer, Humans of New York
“It's a three-way tie. The architecture. The vibe. The food.”
When asked about his favorite thing about the Flatiron District
Founder & CEO Hill Country Hospitality + local resident
“You are building a community like no other!”
Excerpt from remarks at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership
Gale A. Brewer
Manhattan Borough President
Square feet of commercial real estate
Total 2015 MTA riders for 23rd Street (1,6,N,R,F,M) and 28th St (1,6,N,R) stations
Taxi drop offs per weekday in 2015
Dollars invested in the Public Plazas by the BID