Living in the Flatiron District: Things to Do and See in the Flatiron District, New York
The Flatiron District—The Silicon Valley of New York
This small yet vibrant commercial district in Midtown is so-named for its architectural centerpiece, the most distinctive, original, and inspiring of Manhattan's original skyscrapers. The shock of the 20th century arrived when the defiant, steel-framed wedge of the Flatiron Building first rose above the confluence of Broadway and Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street in 1902. Chicago architect Daniel Burnham’s site-specific, 22-story, wind-braced design—dubbed “Burnham’s Folly” by dubious New Yorkers—was leading-edge tech in its day. Its inspiration lingers. The neighborhood was known first as the Toy District, for its wholesalers’ innovative playthings; then, as the Photo District, as new, mass-market camera technology arrived. Lately, it’s known as “Silicon Alley,” and "Multimedia Gulch" for its many tech-start-ups, multimedia firms, and innovative ad agencies that Flatiron welcomed to begin the 21st century.
Where is the Flatiron District Located in NYC?
- East to West Boundaries: Park Avenue to Sixth Avenue
- North to South Boundaries: 18th Street to 26th Street
- Subways: R, W, and 6
- Ticket out of the City: Penn Station
What to Do in the Flatiron District?
Flatiron is a one-stop destination for shopping, dining, and nightlife. Along the Fifth and Park Avenues, you’ll find luxury emporiums dedicated to fashion, cosmetics, and interior design. On the side streets, expect to find a quirky mix of yoga studios, high-end gyms, juice bars, antique and art galleries, bridal boutiques, and theatrical costumiers. For its size, this eclectic neighborhood has a wealth of exciting entertainment venues, where you can find everything from stand-up comedy and Off-Broadway theater to velvet-roped nightclubs.
Start with the regular art exhibitions in the building’s Flatiron Prow Artspace. Then move to the building’s public plaza and visit the Flatiron Reflections art installation: “A bundle of shimmering tubes creates a fragmented column … 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 district’s art galleries include Pen and Brush, devoted to women artists; Rennert’s Gallery of rare and vintage posters; and, the charming William Secord Gallery, devoted to realistic paintings of dogs.
What to See in the Flatiron District?
One of the first New York skyscrapers to go up in Midtown Manhattan, the Flatiron Building takes center stage, both literally and figuratively. Flatiron’s other architectural treasures include the Metropolitan Life Tower and the Woolworth Building.
High-end retailers, day spas, and top restaurants surround Flatiron’s coveted commercial and residential real estate offerings, which are hidden behind imposing prewar façades. There are several luxury developments. Among them are 240 Park Avenue South and One Madison, which cater to residents seeking concierge services and wellness facilities. Flatiron also has its fair share of green spaces. At its south is Union Square, with its famed Greenmarket and Holiday Market. Just to its north is Madison Square Park, with its lush gardens, art installations, sculptures, summer concerts, and year-round events.
Where to Eat in the Flatiron District?
Flatiron offers a dizzying array of dining options, from nationally recognized eateries to local favorites. Once night falls, Flatiron becomes a fine-dining destination. Favorites include Eataly NYC, Almond, and the three-Michelin star Eleven Madison Park, one of the world’s top restaurants. Hot newcomer Merakia celebrates the Greek art of spit-roasting in a chic, contemporary setting. At the other end of the spectrum, there’s the ever-popular Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.
What Schools are in the Flatiron District?
Flatiron offers something a little different for learners of all ages. The General Assembly and the Flatiron School are two new higher-education institutions that support the neighborhood’s burgeoning tech industry. Kode with Klossy, founded by model Karlie Kloss, is a unique independent summer camp for girls who want to learn computer coding and other tech skills. The private École Internationale de New York offers offers an excellent PreK–8 education. The public school options include Manhattan Village Academy and School of the Future, in nearby Gramercy Park.
How Many People Live in the Flatiron District?
Population: 136,697 (2017 data)
What Languages Are Spoken in the Flatiron District?
What is the Currency in the Flatiron District?