The historic neighborhood named for New York‘s iconic Flatiron Building (and roughly between 20th and 28th Streets to the north and south and 6th Avenue and Lexington Avenue to the east and west) is brimming with exciting shops and trendy restaurants. You can easily fill a half a day exploring this bustling and eclectic neighborhood. Here are 10 fun things to do in NYC’s Flatiron District.
See the Flatiron Building
Built in 1902 and named for its resemblance to an old-time clothing iron sitting upright, the landmark triangular Flatiron Building is at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway. It was built in this wedge shape because architect Daniel Burnham needed to fill an odd triangular space. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
Take a neighborhood tour
Free 90-minute walking tours are scheduled each Sunday and can be arranged through flatirondisrict.nyc. Notable buildings you’ll see and learn about include the New York Life Insurance Building (not to be confused with the one in Chicago of the same name) and the MetLife Clock Tower (now the New York Edition Hotel). Downloadable self-guided walking tours are also available through the site.
Take a subway selfie
Pop down into the 23rd Street subway station and take a selfie of you standing under one of the fanciful hats painted onto the tiles there.
Watch cheese be made
Head to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese to pick up a snack from the cheese case, or sit down and order a cheese specialty in their deli cafe to eat right away (they claim to serve the “world’s best” mac & cheese). If timed right, you can observe cheese-making through large glass windows located in the middle of the spacious shop.
Browse ABC Carpet & Home
The entire ground floor of this six-story shop is sub-divided into little wall-less shops that purvey everything from Buddha statues to cotton Indian blouses to splurge-worthy items that you won’t know you need until you see them. Take the elevator upstairs to see the promised carpets and furniture items. Don’t miss the beautiful food at ABC Kitchen, a vegetarian-focused restaurant from super chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Add up all the fun
Said to be Manhattan’s only hands-on science center, the National Museum of Mathematics or (MoMath) aims its exhibits at all ages.
Pick up a souvenir
Get some great souvenirs at Fishs Eddy. This shop, named for an unincorporated village in upstate New York, is stuffed with kitchenware and more. Many especially enticing items are decorated with Manhattan’s famous skyline or bridges.
Eat at Eataly
Cruise the gigantic Italian gourmet palace that is Eataly. It is broken up into bite-size pieces such as a stand-up snack bar, a seated pasta counter, a gelato stand for take away and much more. Celebrity chef Mario Batali is involved, and you’ll leave wishing you had more space in your tummy.
Satisfy your burger craving
Maybe you’d rather have a good-old-American burger. In that case, head to the original Shake Shack in sweet little Madison Square Park and get in the usually long line. The burger is worth the hassle, and you can enjoy eating it outdoors in the park at the cafe’s tables. Celebrity chef Danny Meyeris behind this popular spot.
Don’t want to wait in a long line for a burger or perhaps you’re just tired of celebrity chefs? Schnippers Quality Kitchen also has a line but it moves fast, and roaming deliverers make sure you’re happy once you sit down. With high ceilings and a view of the sidewalk activity, it’s a super spot on a rainy day for classic American comfort food.
Featured image: Alan Turkus, Flickr CC
Tagged: New York Vacation