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! 

 

Flatiron History

Discover Flatiron: Memorial to Victims of the Injustice of the Holocaust

April 4-11 marks the Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust, the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust.  In memory of the victims of the Holocaust and in honor of the survivors as well as the rescuers and liberators, the Flatiron Partnership reverently recalls the historic installation of our neighborhood’s own Holocaust memorial while rededicating ourselves to the active promotion of human dignity and the confrontation of hate whenever and wherever it occurs.

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Photo Credit: Smithsonian Learning Lab

The marble obelisk-shaped sculpture, known as the Memorial to Victims of the Injustice of the Holocaust, is erected on an exterior wall of the annex at the Appellate Division Supreme Court of the State of New York on Madison Avenue and 25th Street. Created by artist Harriet Feigenbaum, the monument was the first of its kind to appear on a U.S. public building in 1990.

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Photo Credit: New York Courts

In 1987, the Appellate Division’s Presiding Justice Francis Murphy and attorney David Finkelstein were engaged in a meaningful discussion. The topic was “the indifference towards injustice,” remembered Finkelstein in a Daily News interview on January 21, 1990. “And the talk just leaned towards injustice being the cause of the Holocaust. The fact is that indifference continued for so long it created the Holocaust.” The subject prompted Justice Murphy to assemble a team of consultants to consider the idea of a privately funded Holocaust memorial.

To finance the monument, a reported $200,000 was raised from various New York City law firms. More than 60 artists applied for the commission, but only five were asked to submit their proposal to a panel comprised of Justice Murphy, a representative from the Department of Cultural Affairs, and three individuals connected to the arts. Then, in May 1988, the group selected Harriet Feigenbaum, who had attended Columbia and the National Academy of Design.  

For her proposal of a memorial, Feigenbaum studied for more than a month “photographs of the death houses and a rendering of the main camp at Auschwitz in Poland, drawn by a prison inmate in 1944,” according to The New York Times on July 27, 1988. Feigenbaum explained, “I want people to be drawn to the sculpture and to want to discover what the Holocaust was–the methodical method of murder, the horror that was Auschwitz.” She then traveled to Querceta, Italy to design the monument, which would be crafted from Carrara marble, the same type of milky white material that reportedly had been used to build the Appellate Division courthouse.

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Upon its completion, the structure was shipped to New York City. The Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program describes Feigenbaum’s Holocaust memorial design as “a six-sided half column rising 27 feet above its base. The five-sided concave base extends one story below ground level, the overall height of the memorial being 38 feet. Carvings of flames along the length of the column recall the flames of the gas chambers at Auschwitz. They appear to blow in the direction of the courthouse as if to threaten the symbol of Justice. A relief of an aerial view of the main camp at Auschwitz is carved into the base at eye level. An inscription ‘Indifference to Injustice’ has been carved above the relief, ‘Is the Gate to Hell’ below it.”

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The monument also cites specific locations within the Auschwitz camp complex, including the Torture Chamber, Execution Wall, Gas Chamber, and Crematorium 1, Commandant's House. The Department of Cultural Affairs says that Feigenbaum’s primary source for her depiction of the death camp was “a photograph taken during an Allied bombing raid on August 25, 1944. By the selection of this photograph, the artist is saying that the Allies must have known of the camp and they took no action. On the base under the relief is a giant flame extending below ground level as a final reminder of Crematorium 1 at Auschwitz.” 

For the public unveiling of Feigenbaum’s Memorial to Victims of the Injustice of the Holocaust, dignitaries and the artist gathered outside the Appellate Division courthouse on May 22, 1990. One year later, on October 22, the sculptor’s installation would garner an Excellence in Design award from the city’s Public Design Commission. “Every day our city sees countless acts of human kindness, decency, and justice,” said Mayor David Dinkins at the May ceremony. “This memorial is one such act.” Former Mayor Ed Koch shared that “the survivors of the concentration camps are now elderly and many are feeble. Soon they will be gone and no one will be left to recall personally what happened. This monument will serve as a remembrance.”

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Photo Credit: PBDW Architects

Justice Murphy, who had also authorized the location of the memorial with clearance from Mayor Koch and the New York City Art Commission, expressed that “this Holocaust Memorial is now and forever a part of this Temple of Justice. It will speak forever of justice under law.” And, noted then New York State Governor Mario Cuomo, the memorial “transformed through the artistry of Harriet Feigenbaum from a mute shaft of Carrera marble into a powerful and striking symbol of monstrous injustice, will be for all who see it a reminder of events we dare not forget.”

Header Photo Credit: New York Courts

Thumnail Photo Credit: Untappedcities

Flatiron Faces

Flatiron Faces: Cindy Kim, Co-Founder, Silver Mirror Facial Bar

Meet Cindy Kim, who co-founded with business partner Matt Maroone, Silver Mirror Facial Bar. Located at 20 West 22nd Street, Silver Mirror provides unique and customized skincare treatments and offers discount membership deals and gift cards. “Our philosophy,” says Kim, “is that skincare should be accessible, affordable, effective, and fun.”

1. Briefly describe Silver Mirror Facial Bar and your role as Co-Founder. What aspect of the job excites you most?

Silver Mirror Facial Bar is changing the way consumers think about, take care of, and maintain their skin. We view facials not as spa luxuries, but as results-driven skin treatments meant to improve your skin over the short and long term. We encourage our customers to embrace the concept of developing a plan and investing in their skin for a lasting, healthy, and beautiful complexion. Why? Because good skin takes consistent work. We say it’s just like going to the gym. You don’t see true results unless you work for it and keep at it.

I think the most exciting thing about being a Co-Founder and entrepreneur in this space is that there is not one day that is the same. I thrive on creating and building companies and problem-solving through issues, and with Silver Mirror there is never, ever a dearth of things to do, improve, fix, streamline, and work through. It keeps me on my toes!

 2.  What are the benefits of a Silver Mirror facial? What makes your facial bar stand out among others?

Silver Mirror facials are results-driven skincare treatments. At Silver Mirror, every facial is customized to each person’s unique skin condition and goals. We want to understand your skin and your concerns (we’re like skin detectives!), lay out an effective treatment, and then educate you about how to best take care of your skin at home because getting a facial is only one part of the solution to achieving healthy skin.

True to our results-driven values, every facial at Silver Mirror includes a professional exfoliation (chemical peels and/or enzymes), extractions, high frequency, customized serum infusion, and finishes with a vitamin-enriched oxygen treatment. All 50-minute facials include LED therapy. Many of these items are often expensive add-ons at other spas and facial bars, but we include them in the price of the facial. Our commitment to our customers is over the long run and we believe that the more we can invest in a client’s skin during each treatment, the faster and more effectively we will be able to help them reach their skincare goals.

3.  Which skincare treatments are favorites with customers, and which do you recommend most for the warmer weather ahead?

Our 50-minute Anti-Aging Facial and Acne-Fighting Facials continue to be our most popular facials across all of our stores. Every 50-minute facial at Silver Mirror includes a double professional exfoliation, extractions, serum infusion, LED therapy, and a vitamin-enriched oxygen treatment, so you’re really getting a packed treatment every single time.

When the weather gets warmer in NYC, we see many clients who come in with skin that has been overexposed to the sun, is dehydrated, sensitive, and congested from sweat, pollution, and sunscreen. Our Seasonal Hydrating Facial was specifically created to directly address these weather-related issues, so we recommend that one for the spring and summer ahead!

4. Are there any misconceptions around skincare that you can help clear up?

I find that a lot of people avoid delving into skincare because it can seem incredibly daunting and overwhelming. I’m here to say that it doesn’t have to be! Skincare is simple and effective if you approach it in a simple and effective way:

  • Identify 1-2 (and only 1-2) of your main skin concerns
  • Identify one main improvement you would like to see in your skin over the next 3 months
  • Continue using the basic skincare products that currently work for you, and look to incorporate 1-2 active products that will work to address your skincare concerns and help you reach that main short-term skincare goal

5.  For in-person appointments, describe the safety protocols in place for guests and staff.

We have invested heavily into ensuring the health and safety of all of our Silver Mirror guests and staff. We understand the gold star standards that we need to uphold in order to maintain the trust of our clients and our team.

Our facilities are disinfected with hospital-grade disinfectant continuously throughout the day. All stations, machines, tools, and products are thoroughly disinfected by our estheticians before, in-between, and after every single client. Our estheticians are required to wear a face mask, face shield, and gloves at all times while treating a client. We also have acrylic bed shields to place in between the esthetician and client should a client feel more comfortable with one.

We’ve also invested extensively in placing high-grade air filtration machines throughout each location. We stagger the stations that are in use in order to maintain 6-feet distance protocols. And we now ask guests to check-in for their appointment on their phone and to fill out their consent forms prior to entering Silver Mirror so that we maintain proper distancing at all times.

6.  Each season your business partners with a non-profit organization to send a portion of the proceeds from your Seasonal Facials to those in need. Tell us more about your giving back campaign.

At Silver Mirror, we are just as passionate about positive change in the world as we are about skincare. We have a special passion for education, healthcare, social justice, and women’s economic development opportunities. Each season we partner with a different non-profit to direct a portion of the proceeds of our Seasonal Facials to those in need.

This season we are proud to offer our Seasonal Defense facial that will be directing a portion of proceeds to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF). The NAACP LDF, a non-profit organization, is America's top legal firm fighting for racial justice and equality for all Americans. You can try out this timely facial and help support an incredible organization.

 7. What led you to pursue a career in the personal care industry? For those considering this field, what professional advice can you share?

Skincare was always present in my life when I was younger–whether it was watching my mother do her nightly skincare routine or schlepping to dermatologist offices week by week as a teen to combat my acne. But it was during an internship with a beauty company that I started to realize that I could potentially make a career in this incredibly exciting and robust industry, and I never looked back. For those who are considering this field, read and learn and talk to as many people in the industry as much as you can about your particular interests. Is it in makeup? Skincare ingredients? Formulations? Innovative beauty technologies? Beauty in the context of social media? Once you figure out what piques your interest the most, you can really dig into potential career paths and options you have.

 8. In addition to being a Stuyvesant High School alum who earned a B.A. in Economics from Wellesley, you’re also a former Team USA synchronized ice skater and now a coach. What’s appealing to you about skating?

Coaching young athletes is really about helping them to build their skills, discipline, and confidence to be successful, step by step, practice by practice. Watching my skaters improve at every practice, reach their skating goals–no matter how big or small, and work together to do so, is fulfilling and rewarding in a way that I cannot even begin to describe. Being a coach can be stressful and is certainly not easy, but it’s all worth it for the opportunity to make an impact on the lives of young women and help them blossom into the skaters they strive to be.

 9.    Along with your Flatiron location, you’re also on the Upper East Side and in Washington, D.C. Why did you also choose the district, and what do you love most about being in the neighborhood?

Flatiron was one of the neighborhoods that we knew that we absolutely had to be in from the start. It has such a busy and vibrant community of residents and office workers who like to take care of themselves and invest in their wellness, fitness, and beauty. We made a conscious decision to take our time to find the right space and location within Flatiron for Silver Mirror, and it took much longer than we had anticipated. But the wait paid off, because the space we have on 22nd Street really feels like it was meant for us to be in and has attracted such a loyal crowd of customers.

10. When you’re not at Silver Mirror, how do you like to spend your time?

Entrepreneurship, especially for a retail store, is 24/7. As an owner, you are constantly on call and need to be ready to drop what you’re doing and fix a problem at any given moment. During the times I can turn off, even if for a few hours or at night, I enjoy meeting up with my friends and loved ones. It helps to shift my focus away from work and onto good conversations, laughter, and meaningful connections that make me happy and feel fulfilled.

11.  Where do you like to grab a bite to eat in the neighborhood? Do you have a go-to dish?

My go-to spot for a quick and delicious lunch is Bite on 22nd Street for their fresh sandwiches and soups. The Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich and Country Tomato Soup combo never fail me!

12.  Finally, choose three words to describe the Flatiron District.

Community. Vibrant. Resilient.

Silver Mirror Facial Bar, 20 West 22nd Street Between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, (212) 702-8742, @silvermirrorfacialbar

Photo Credit: Cindy Kim

Walking Tour

Weekly Free Walking Tour

Join our professional guides on a 90-minute journey through this vibrant neighborhood, viewing some of the City’s most notable landmarks.

Click here for more information.

What People Are Saying see

“Village meets midtown.”

When asked to describe the Flatiron District in three words

Brandon Stanton
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

Marc Glosserman
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

Quick Stats

22M+

Square feet of commercial real estate

39M+

Total 2018 MTA riders for 23rd Street (1,6,N,W,F,M) and 28th St (1,6,N,R) stations

6,500

Hotel rooms

7,563

Taxi drop offs per weekday in 2017

3.3+

Dollars invested in the Public Plazas by the BID

160K

Citi Bike trips originated or ended within Flatiron in June 2018

580

Ground floor business in the Flatiron District