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Celebrate Flatiron Chefs! will be hosted in Madison Square Park on July 15
Celebrate Flatiron Chefs! Returns to Madison Square Park
On July 15, Celebrate Flatiron Chefs!, on behalf of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, will return with more than 30 of the best chefs and restaurants in the Flatiron district.
This year’s roster will include Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park), Tom Colicchio (craftbar), Tyler Kord (No. 7 Sub), Craig Koketsu (General Assembly), Nick Anderer (Maialino), April Bloomfield (The John Dory Oyster Bar), and several others.
The full menu is still subject to change, but will feature diverse options from the entire Flatiron neighborhood, including a Humm Dog (bacon-wrapped hot dogs with truffle mayo) from Daniel Humm, uni toast with robiolina and tomato butter from Craig Koketsu, and bagged squid cracklings from April Bloomfield, to name a few.
See the full list of participating chefs and restaurants on Madison Square Park’s blog.
Tickets for general admission at 6:30 are available for $200, while early admission tickets are available for $350. Proceeds will benefit the park’s horticulture, maintenance, and free cultural programs.
For the latest food and drink updates, visit our Food News page.
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.
The Other Central Park: Madison Square Park’s Residential Renaissance
For years after the crash, One Madison loomed despondently over the square from which it drew its name. Not quite finished and sparsely occupied, it served as a mocking reminder of the city’s many unrealized real estate dreams.
The luxury condo building was to have been a triumph for Ira Shapiro and Marc Jacobs, two developers from Rockland County. They had never built anything in the city before, but in the frenzy of the boom, the partners secured more than $300 million in loans and hired Pritzker-winning architect Rem Koolhaas—a combination of lavishness and inexperience that proved disastrous when the recession hit.
A slew of investor lawsuits stymied the project. Mr. Jacobs alleged that Mr. Shapiro had forged his signature and misused money. The few early buyers were left with no option but to move in and rattle around in the building’s unfinished interiors.
But in February of this year, a very different state of affairs prevailed. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch bought the tower’s triplex penthouse for $43 million and the entire 57th floor for another $14 million, essentially setting the record for most expensive Downtown condo if he combines the units.
Mr. Murdoch’s choice of Madison Square Park represents perhaps the most heavyweight endorsement to date of the neighborhood, which has, in the last few years, become known as a favorite of celebrities.
An interior rendering of 10 Madison Square Park.
Madison Square Park—the green gem located in the heart of the Flatiron District, known for the triangular landmark just to the south—was named for President James Madison. Over the years, the once-stunning park fell into disrepair along with the neighborhorhood, but a massive renovation in the early 2000s transformed both the park and the streets surrounding it. When the renovation was complete, the park had not only been returned to its former glory, but in many ways surpassed it. Besides maintaining the park, the Madison Square Park Conservancy introduced a number of innovative touchs, like displaying outdoor art sculptures that draw office workers and families alike.
The park has also become a destination for gourmands. Trendy burger joint Shake Shack, which began as a hot dog cart in the park, opened its always-bustling kiosk in 2004. Italian market Eataly, which is invariably mobbed with tourists, opened at 200 Fifth Avenue in 2010. Meanwhile, loftier tastes are satisfied by Eleven Madison Park, which has earned three Michelin stars under the guidance of its James Beard Award-winning chef Daniel Humm.
Nor is the park only concerned with creature comforts: the Museum of Mathematics opened in late 2012, giving the area the kind of cultural clout that is more commonly boasted by bigger parks like Central and Prospect.
“The park is the heart of the district, but there are other assets as well,” said Jennifer Brown, the executive director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, the local business improvement district. “It has really become a livable community.”
The area surrounding the park has become a hot bed of real estate activity. Leslie Parrott/The New York Observer
But while the neighborhood was building cultural cachet, real estate development ran into obstacles, delaying what seemed to be the residential community’s inevitable arrival. There was the turmoil at One Madison, of course. Next door, investment company Africa Israel and fashion label Versace’s plan to transform the former MetLife clock tower, on the southeast corner of the park, into luxury condos also ran into trouble. With the plans stalled, Africa Israel sold the property to Marriott International in 2011.
All those false starts seem to have vanished in the past year, however, as new development gathers momentum. Numerous new residential properties have opened, signaling the next wave of change for the venerable neighborhood.
Developer Mitchell Holdings LLC converted the former headquarters of textile firm Clarence B. Whitman and Sons into a four-unit luxury condo, christening the 1924 neo-Georgian building, at 21 East 26th Street, the Whitman in homage to its former tenant.
“We’re offering 30 feet of frontage to Madison Square Park,” said Dina Lewis, a broker with Douglas Elliman who handles sales at the Whitman with her partner, Melanie Lazenby. “We had these incredible floor plates.”
When the Whitman opened sales last spring, it promptly landed a number of boldface buyers, among them Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, who bought an apartment for $9.25 million. NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon also bought a $10 million unit, moving from 15 Central Park West, one of the most exclusive buildings in the city. After a hedge fund bigwig snapped up the Whitman’s other floor-through last summer, the 10,000-square-foot penthouse, listed at $25 million is all that remains on the market.
The neighborhood’s central location is a major asset, with subway lines connecting to all parts of Manhattan. Its proximity to Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station is also a boon for commercial tenants. It has all the Downtown cachet of Tribeca, in other words, with none of the inconvenience.
“This is a neighborhood that is right in the center of everything,” said Ms. Lewis.
Another major project on the park is the Witkoff Group’s $300 million renovation of the former International Toy Center. Already 90 percent sold, the project is known as 10 Madison Square Park West and is expected to open in 2015. Developer Savanna bought the property’s 20,676-square-foot retail space for $60 million earlier this year. The former Toy Center is also one of the last parcels useable for residential development, and it’s likely that future projects will lack the park views that buyers crave.
“There’s only a finite number of buildings,” said Scott Alper, a partner at the Witkoff Group. “For the person who wants to live downtown, this is the location.”
For Southeast Asian food that doesn’t come out too fast (plan to call ahead, and then to wait), and which can get pretty spicy, there’s this to-go outpost of Thai restaurant Rhong Tiam. The specialty is Thai roti wraps, but you also can get summer rolls, pad thai, and the like.
People of Flatiron, it’s worth the walk up to the Sweetgreen on Broadway, and you probably don’t need us to tell you that. Be grateful for what you have.
You know how cold supermarket sushi is actually kind of good sometimes? Ennju is good in that way. You’ll find everything from udon soups to rice bowls to yes, cold prepackaged sushi that’s actually kind of good in this Japanese spot on 17th. It’s an order at the counter kind of situation, but there’s usually somewhere to sit.
Rolling with vegans? Direct yourself to Terri, home to vegan and vegetarian sandwiches and wraps.
There’s not much in the way of secret spots in the area, but if you want to be THAT person in the office who knows about secret spots, you need to know about Kofoo. Located in the back of a nondescript deli called Four Seasons, you’ll find not New York’s hottest nightclub, but. a legit Korean takeout place with very good spicy ramen and tofu stews.
Want to basically eat Chipotle, but have not it actually be Chipotle? Now you have Oxido. Everything’s natural and free range (and food poisoning-free) and you can build bowls, burritos, or tacos.
What’s New at Shake Shack Madison Park
There are a few changes since the last time we saw Shake Shack here. Most notably are the addition of the Park Burger and the renamed C-Line. The Park Burger is only available at this location for a limited time so make sure you head over to check it out. This special burger is adorned with white cheese sauce and bacon and it is totally irresistible. As for the C-Line, it is just the same as the B-line but more appropriately named because they only serve cold foods (ie custards, concretes and shakes).
For me though you’ve always gotta go with a Shack Burger, maybe a double, and some cheese fries. This time in fact they even threw some bacon on my burger, probably by accident but I didn’t complain! The Shack Burger to me is just such a classic delicious burger, melty American cheese, patties that are tender and melt in your mouth, a slightly sweet toasted potato roll, fresh lettuce and tomato… perfection.
We also taste tested the Stack Burger, this frankenstien of a burger combines Shake Shack’s Shroom Burger and a Shack Burger. Translation: One beef patty with American cheese topped with a deep fried Portobello mushroom filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheese and finished off with lettuce, tomato and Shack Sauce. Honestly I was disappointed by this, as a meat eater I’d never been temped to try the ‘Shroom Burger but this seemed more my speed. But the coating on the mushroom was too hard and the cheese wasn’t nearly as melty as I had hoped.
But we ended on a high note with some Shack Attack Concretes, chocolate frozen custard with fudge sauce, chocolate truffle cookie dough, chocolate chunks and sprinkles. It’s a good think we eat fast because these were starting to get melty by the end of my Shack Burger. I love all of the Shake Shack desserts but this one is a chocolate lovers dream.
Head out to the newly reopened Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, just maybe check the line on The Shack Cam first.
Food Operators Flock to East 23rd Street By Madison Square Park
The southern side of East 23rd Street between Broadway and Park Avenue has seen an uptick in food tenant leases over the last few months, as retailers stakeout spots for both the locals and in anticipation of SL Green Realty Corp. ’s redevelopment of the office building at 1 Madison Avenue .
One of the newest leases is for a co-branded Dippin’ Dots and Doc Popcorn at 24 East 23rd Street , across from Madison Square Park .
This is the sweet treats chain’s first location in New York City and will be a flagship. The tiny store of just 376 square feet at base of the luxury, high-rise condominium known as One Madison. The asking rent was $400 per foot.
Jack Hurley and Louis Franco of Isa Realty Group represented Dippin’ Dots and Doc Popcorn, while Ike Bibi of Kassin Sabbagh Realty represented the retail condo’s ownership. The space was previously occupied by Gasoline Alley Coffee .
The franchisee, Neil Hershman , a financial analyst, aviation enthusiast and triathlete, also recently signed a lease in Times Square at 732 Seventh Avenue for a flagship for his other franchise, frozen yogurt company 16 Handles . When it has its soft opening in March, it will be its fifth location in the city. Another four uptown are owned by another franchisee.
“I always loved dessert, but in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would be in the business,” Hershman said. He is currently prepping for a Mt. Everest climb, which will take place right after the two flagships open, he said.
“Hershman is becoming a local dessert entrepreneur and is now betting on the city in a big way,” Franco noted.
At the base of the Flatiron District building, One Madison is also home to a Sticky’s Finger Joint barbecue spot and a McDonald’s . Most recently, Popeye’s leased the former Flats Fix restaurant a few doors west at 14 East 23rd Street .
Brokers say another food joint is likely to take the former Blue Dog Kitchen at 112 East 23rd Street . That building is represented by Chris Salizzoni of Capital Real Estate Advisors , who declined to discuss any possible deal as did the owner.
Additionally, the former Arby’s at Solil Management ’s 32 East 23rd Street is being marketed as-is. Solil’s 38 East 23rd Street is currently a Xi’an Famous Foods . Solil’s retail broker did not return requests for comment.
Next door, at 40 East 23rd Street , Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish is open for takeout and delivery.
rd Street has historically been a fast-casual New Yorker block,” said Franco. “As dead as people think New York is, there is activity.”
Eataly NYC Flatiron‘s food court and grocery holds down the west side of the park at 200 Fifth Avenue . The Eleven Madison Park restaurant, which now has dinners for pick-up, is located on the east side of Madison Square Park, as is The Clocktower inside the New York EDITION hotel, which serves a $40 prix fixe weekday lunch.
While Schnipper’s in the base of 1 Madison Avenue is shuttered for good and the building is under construction, its developer, SL Green, is known for adding fab food outlets to its properties. When the building opens at the end of 2023, SL Green says it will include a 15,000-square-foot artisanal food market.
While 2023 seems like a long time off, Newmark broker Jason Pruger describes the area as, “A great combination of residential, office and hotel, which is always lively.” Pointing to Madison Square Park, he said, “Remember, that’s where Shake Shack started its empire. It’s always been a good food area.”
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Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby's International Realty network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby's, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby's International Realty name and the development of a full franchise system. Affiliations in the system are granted only to brokerages and individuals meeting strict qualifications. Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC supports its affiliates with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Franchise affiliates also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby's auction house, established in 1744.
Madison Square Park
Construction activity is underway at One Madison Avenue in the Flatiron District, where the 13-story full-block structure is being renovated and expanded with a new 18-story addition. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and developed by SL Green, the project will stand 27 stories and yield 1.4 million square feet of Class A office space. Helping to develop and finance One Madison Avenue’s future are the National Pension Service of Korea and Hines, contributing a grand total of $1.25 billion in construction financing. The property is bound by East 23rd Street to the south, Madison Avenue and Madison Square Park to the west, East 24th Street to the north, and Park Avenue South to the east.
Construction Begins on One Madison Avenue, a 1.4 Million-Square-Foot Office Tower in the Flatiron District
7:30 am on November 25, 2020 By Sebastian Morris
SL Green recently celebrated the commencement of construction at One Madison Avenue, a new 1.4-million-square-foot office building in the Flatiron District. The project entails the expansion and redevelopment of an existing 13-story structure into a 27-story Class A office building.
Updated Proposal for Porcelanosa Flagship in Flatiron District Heads to LPC
7:00 am on June 11, 2019 By Sebastian Morris
Earlier this year, Porcelanosa Group revealed its plans to renovate and expand its existing flagship location at 202-204 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan’s historic Flatiron District. Following an expanded visibility study, the ceramics manufacturer has returned to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) with revised proposals that reduce street-surface views of the building’s rooftop mechanicals.
CetraRuddy Designs Expansion of Porcelanosa Flagship at 204 Fifth Avenue in Flatiron
7:30 am on April 18, 2019 By Sebastian Morris
Porcelanosa’s prominent flagship location in the Flatiron District of Midtown, Manhattan could receive a major vertical expansion and interior renovation if approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. New proposals, dated April 16, 2019, are arranged by CetraRuddy Architecture in collaboration with preservation consultants Higgins Quasebarth and engineering consultants Walter P. Moore.
“Whiteout” Public Art Installation Comes to Madison Square Park, Flatiron District
7:30 am on January 11, 2018 By Andrew Nelson
A new public art installation has come to Madison Square Park’s Oval Lawn, in the Flatiron District. The piece is named Whiteout, and it consists of nine hundred white LED orbs suspended by cable in the shape of two parallel rectangular grids. The lights hang about a foot above the ground, allowing the wind to create noticeable oscillating patterns. Erwin Redl, an Austrian artist, is responsible for the creation of the piece.
Celebrate Flatiron Chefs! Returns to Madison Square Park - Recipes
Madison Square Park Tree Lighting Centennial Celebration Lighting
Its reported arrival by railroad from New York State's Adirondack region was made "to cheer up the lonely and the destitute." And, for one woman, who hobbled along on crutches, the 63-foot Balsam fir had "the Almighty put snow on the tree to make it prosper." Such were the holiday sentiments among many city residents when America's first community Christmas tree debuted in Flatiron's Madison Square Park a century ago.
"In 1912, Madison Square Park hosted the nation's first public tree lighting in hopes that the ceremony would become a location where the rich and poor could gather," explains Debbie Landau, President of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, the non-profit organization that is also celebrating its 10th year of supporting and maintaining the seven-acre location between 23rd and 26th Streets, from Fifth to Madison Avenues. "Traditions came and went over the years but one thing is certain, the public tree lighting remains an American symbol of holiday cheer and goodwill."
On Tuesday, December 4th from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., the Madison Square Park Conservancy, with support from the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, Marimekko, Hill Country Barbecue Market, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, will sponsor a centennial celebration of the tree's lighting in the park's Northern Plaza. Notes Landau about this year's 35-foot Balsam fir that will be lit at approximately 4:55 p.m., "We were inspired by vintage Christmas tree decor from the turn of the 20th century, lots of metallic! This year's color scheme will be comprised of shades of blue, white, and silver. Nice and frosty! We will also bring back a tree topper to commemorate The Star of Hope, now located at the southern end of the park."
In addition, says Landau, there will be a number of festive activities, including a crafts tent for children and another one to feature historic facts about Madison Square Park and the tree lighting ceremony, as well as holiday music provided by The New York Life Singers and Audra Rox, and cookies, Texas sheet cake and hot apple cider, courtesy of Hill Country Barbecu e Market. "We normally expect about 1,000 people for the ceremony," declares Landau, "and the tree will be on view through the New Year, lit each day from dusk till the park's close at approximately 11:30 p.m."
The concept of a community "Tree of Light" was a European-inspired idea reportedly launched in 1911 by Upper West Side resident Emilie D. Lee Herreshoff, a socialite and the wife of prominent chemical scientist and yachtsman J.B. Francis Herreshoff. She had proposed the plan to then Mayor William Jay Gaynor, according to Richard W. O'Donnell's 2012 article "The Lighting of the First Community Tree" published in Arbor News by the Cassity Tree Service. Herreshoff's initial request was denied, but later granted in 1912.
It was that Christmas Eve, noted O'Donnell, that Herreshoff flicked the switch and made history when "a faint glow appeared at the very top of the tree, expanding and increasing in intensity until a 10-inch star gleamed brightly against the deep, dark blue of the night sky." After that, "many-colored fire leaped along one show laden branch after another in a blaze of green, blue, white and red lights."
The tree would go on to be a beloved topic of coverage throughout the decades. On Christmas Day 1920, The New York Times described the then 65-foot tree, which featured 5,000 electric candles, as "big enough for the heart of Manhattan" and "could be seen for more than two miles along the highways converging at the park."
The 1942 Christmas season, according to published reports, was under "strict wartime dimout regulations" because the nation's coastal businesses and residences were asked to turn off their lights one half hour after sunset to avoid possible enemy air attacks during World War II. But for the Madison Square Park area, the lack of light didn't keep visitors away from singing carols and celebrating the season around the downsized tree.
This year's milestone event, however, marks a much brighter occasion. "We all take a real sense of pride in creating not only this joyous event for the neighborhood," explains Laudau of the Conservancy's role, "but also continuing this tradition of bringing the community together to celebrate the season." And for Landau, the Flatiron area is one in which "the historic significance of the district coupled with its current renaissance makes it a pulsating destination in the heart of New York City, as it once was in the 1900s. The neighborhood continues to be a mecca for culture, cuisine, and commerce."
Vincent Paris, Cornas Geynale, 2019
Vincent Paris has become quintessential Cornas to us in the same way a ribeye is the definitive steak. The wines are deeply satisfying, bone-in Syrahs of confidence and structure. They follow a perfect recipe of exceptional old-vine parcels, granite soils, and generations of passionate winemaking, Of course, as any chef will tell you – it's one thing to have excellent ingredients and quite another to execute an authentic and delicious plate of food. Mastery takes time. Here at Flatiron some of our earliest experiences with Paris' wines did not always hold our attention. He has exemplary holdings – including his retired uncle Robert Michel's prized "La Geynale" – but the wines were often more good than great. However, recent vintages deliver effortlessly. Each cuvée offers more than you hoped, yet exactly what you wanted. Much like a thoughtful chef, his selections are designed with purpose in mind – the younger vine cuvées are generous and joyous (a mood in which you will share, given the more than reasonable price tag), while the more serious bottlings pull you deeper into the terroir, exposing the mystique of purity and pedigree.
Countdown to fun: National Museum of Mathematics adds up the fun at Madison Square Park event
North America’s only math museum took their numbers to the street on Sunday at Madison Square Park.
The National Museum of Mathematics remains one of the few museums that are still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Associate Director Timothy Nissen of the National Museum of Mathematics, this is due to the fact that 90% of the exhibits are physically interactive, leading the doors to the East 26th Street location to stay shuttered.
With young New Yorkers unable to visit their exhibition, the Math Museum decided to bring the exhibit to them, and out in the open.
Staff members of the National Museum of Mathematics showcased fun games using geometric shapes and numbers. Photo by Dean Moses
With the number of COVID-19 cases hitting new lows seemingly every day, the countdown to brighter days has begun with outdoor math.
Thanks to the Big Apple’s Open Streets program — which Mayor Bill de Blasio recently made a permanent fixture — the National Museum of Mathematics set up a free outdoor calculus event on May 16 for families to enjoy.
Various geometry games lay spread out, stretching down East 26th Street beside Madison Square Park, with children racing over mats depicting numbers, shapes, and mazes.
Dylan, a two-year-old numerical enthusiast, became the first person to give the museum’s longest exhibit a test drive.
Dylan is a huge fan of numbers and the National Museum of Mathematics. Photo by Dean Moses
“We found out about this on amNewYork’s things to do. Stuff that is outside really helps because we have a two-year-old who is not vaccinated yet, so it is really nice. He is learning to count but he is already a big fan of numbers,” said Marc Franzblau, Dylan’s father.
In addition to the ground exhibits, displays included television screens presenting kaleidoscopic imagery and a gigantic Connect 4. Staff from the museum were on hand to play and teach young people regarding the fun side of math. These adults joined in the amusement by participating in the activities alongside the children.
A massive Connect 4 was also at hand for those savvy enough to play this classic game. Photo by Dean Moses
Associate Director Nissen was overjoyed to watch life flutter around the museum again for the first time in well over a year.
“We are outdoors, the weather is nice—we are starting up again,” Nissen said, adding, “It is really nice to see this. We have had kids crying to stay at our museum.”
Associate Director Timothy Nissen of the National Museum of Mathematics. Photo by Dean Moses
The beaming sun made the event appealing to those who were just passing by. With the street blocked off from traffic, children of all ages were afforded the ability to jog around the area without parents fearing for their safety. Longtime fans of the National Museum of Mathematics also made sure to attend.
“My daughter loved the Math Museum since she went on a field trip here with her school and it has been closed for a while so when I saw they were having this, I knew I had to check it out,” Carlie Sigel said.