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Manhattan/Gramercy Flatiron

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Flatiron Building

Gramercy Flatiron actually constitutes at least three neighborhoods in Manhattan, situated between 14th and 34th Streets, east of Sixth Avenue. The western part of this area, to the west of Madison Square Park (see below) is the Flatiron. Gramercy can be thought of as the southeastern part of the area, centering around Gramercy Park (q.v.). Murray Hill is the northeastern part of the area, including a sub-neighborhood comprising approximately 26th-29th Sts on and around Lexington Ave, which is nicknamed "Curry Hill," due to the agglomeration of Indian stores and restaurants there. And the central street of Koreatown is 32nd St between Broadway and 5th Ave.

Understand[edit]

Union Square was completely revitalized in the 1990s and is now one of the city's premier shopping, dining and entertainment districts. The loosely-defined "Flatiron District" extends east from 6th Ave and north of Union Square, centering on the famed Flatiron Building on 23rd St. Tranquil, exclusive Gramercy Park is open only to immediate area residents, though the old brownstones surrounding the park and on Irving Place are some of Manhattan's most attractive streetscapes. Toward the north is Kips Bay, an affluent residential neighborhood, and, in the low 30s between 5th and 6th Aves near Herald Square, an emerging Little Korea of BBQ restaurants and Asian markets.

Get in[edit]

Gramercy Flatiron Map

You can get in via many different subway lines. The 6 line runs under Park Ave, stopping at 33rd St, 28th St, 23rd St, and 14th St/Union Square, with the 4 and 5 stopping at Union Square as well. The N and R lines run under Broadway, stopping at 34th St, 28th St, 23rd St, and 14th St/Union Square, with the Q also stopping at 34th St and Union Square. The F and M lines run under 6th Ave, stopping at 14th St, 23rd St, and 34th St, with the B and D also stopping at 34th St. The L train runs under 14th St, stopping at 1st Ave, 3rd Ave, Union Square, and 6th Ave, Additionally, PATH trains to Hoboken and Jersey City, New Jersey stop at 14th, 23rd, and 33rd Sts on 6th Ave. There are plenty of local buses, but they can be slow, especially on crosstown routes and on Park Ave S. Time allowing, walking is highly recommended.

See[edit][add listing]

Landmarks[edit]

The Flatiron District contains three great examples of classic New York skyscrapers, all within a few blocks of one another:

  • Flatiron Building, Broadway and 5th Ave (Subway: N, R trains to 23rd St). An iconic building, considered the oldest remaining skyscraper in Manhattan, the Flatiron was completed in 1902. 285 ft (87 m) tall.  edit
  • Metropolitan Life Insurance Building, 24th St and Madison Ave. A lovely building with a tall clock tower just across Madison Ave from Madison Square Park.  edit
  • The building formerly known as the International Toy Center, Broadway from 24th to 25th Sts. Actually two buildings connected by a pedestrian bridge.  edit

Museums and galleries[edit]

  • Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, 28 E 20th St, +1-212-260-1616, [1]. Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM, closed federal holidays. A designated National Historic Site, Roosevelt lived at this site from his birth in 1858 until the age of 14 years. The building is not the original - that was demolished in 1916 - but a reconstruction erected by admirers only three years later in 1919 after Roosevelt's death, and subsequently furnished with many of the original fittings and memorabilia of the 26th U.S. President by Roosevelt's wife and sisters. $3, children under 16 free, guided tours available.  edit
  • Museum of Sex, 233 Fifth Ave (Subway N or R trains to 23rd St), +1-212-689-6337, [2]. Su-F 11AM-6:30PM, Sa 11AM-8PM. $14.50.  edit

Parks and gardens[edit]

  • Union Square, [3]. An important and historic intersection in New York City, situated where Broadway and the Bowery came together in the early 19th century. Union Square Park (3.5 acres) is known for its impressive equestrian statue of George Washington, erected to Henry Kirke Brown's design in 1856. In April 1861, soon after the fall of Fort Sumter, Union Square was the site of a patriotic rally that is thought to have been the largest public gathering in North America up to that time. A newer addition, added in 1986, is a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the southwest corner of the park. Union Square is also known for its Greenmarket and also its history as a focus for political demonstrations, most recently protests of the 2004 Republican National Convention. Following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, Union Square became a primary public gathering point for mourners and those seeking information about missing loved ones. People created spontaneous memorials in Union Square, and the square was the setting for vigils held to honor the victims of the attacks.  edit
  • Madison Square Park, (btwn 5th and Madison Aves from 23rd to 26th Sts). A lovely small park which offers beautiful views of the Flatiron, Metropolitan Life Insurance, International Toy Center, and Empire State Buildings. There is also a popular Shake Shack kiosk that serves burgers and shakes in the southern end of the park.  edit
  • Gramercy Park. A private park open only to immediate area residents and guests at hotels on the perimeter who have access to keys to the gate.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • People’s Improv Theater, 123 E 24th St, +1-212-563-7488, [4]. Dedicated to the instruction, performance and development of original comedy. Wednesdays are free!  edit

Learn[edit]

  • The Institute of Culinary Education, 50 W 23rd St, [5]. Founded in 1975, The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) is New York’s largest cooking school. ICE career cooking programs feature classes in culinary arts, pastry arts & baking, and culinary management.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Adorama, 42 W 18th St (btwn 5th and 6th Aves). One of the country's largest suppliers of cameras, film, and photographic accoutrements of all kinds. Staffed largely by Orthodox Jews, closed on Sa but packed to the rafters every other day of the week. And they provide very good service.  edit
  • Kalustyan's, 123 Lexington Ave, +1-212-685-3451 (fax: +1-212-683-8458), [6]. M-Sa 10AM-8PM, Su and holidays 11AM-7PM. Probably the most complete source for Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and South Asian foodstuffs in Manhattan, though some of the spices and such cost more than you'd pay at the smaller Dual in the East Village. While you're there, make sure to go upstairs and get some mujadara. Some of the other prepared products are just OK, but the mujadara is great. Eat in or take out.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • 2nd Ave Deli, 162 E 33rd St (btwn Lexington and 3rd Aves), +1-212-689-9075, [7]. This famous kosher delicatessen, which used to be on 2nd Ave and 10th St, recently reopened at its new location. The place is a real throwback, which really feels like an old-school Jewish deli. The menu is more extensive than old-school delis were, however, and includes what used to be considered "appetizing" (i.e., pareve - neither meat nor milk) foods. Try their tongue, corned beef, pastrami, and kasha varnishkes, and enjoy their freebies of artisanal cole slaw, pickles, and gribenes (chicken fat cracklings). The food may be bad for the heart, but it's good for the soul.  edit
  • 11 Madison Park, 11 Madison Ave (at 24 St), +1-212-889-0905, [8]. Has one of the most beautiful rooms of any restaurant in New York. Long well-liked for its upscale American cuisine and helpful service, it has in the last few years been graced with a new chef who has been getting rave reviews from many quarters. Call ahead for reservations.  edit
  • Blue Smoke, 116 E 27th St (at Park Ave S), +1-212-447-6058, [9]. Danny Meyer's barbecue restaurant. This is also an important venue for live jazz. Reservations recommended.  edit
  • Gramercy Tavern, 42 E 20 St (btwn Broadway and Park Ave), +1-212-477-0777, [10]. Thought of as Danny Meyer's flagship restaurant, serves upscale American food at higher prices than 11 Madison Park. Expect to pay over $100/person for dinner in the main dining room. The actual Tavern is more informal and more moderately priced. Gramercy Tavern is known as one of the more difficult reservations to obtain in Manhattan.  edit
  • Dos Caminos Park, 373 Park Ave S (btwn 26th and 27th Sts), +1-212-294-1000, [11]. Lunch M-F 11:30AM-4PM, Sa Su brunch 11:30AM-4PM, dinner Su M 4PM-11PM, Tu-Th 4PM-midnight, F Sa 4PM-12:30AM. One of two up-market Mexican restaurants in Manhattan by the same name and under the same ownership (the other's in SoHo) Sticky, saucy ribs and guacamole to die for.  edit
  • Ess'a Bagel, 359 1st Ave (on the SW cnr of 21st St and 1st Ave), +1-212-260-2252, [12]. Open 7 days a week. This legendary place serves up doughy, chewy bagels the size of hubcaps that some New Yorkers consider 'the best bagels in NYC - which means everywhere'. Bagel-eaters will also find a wide variety of mixed cream cheeses, tofu spreads, and smoked fish. Bagels are cheap, but prices depend on whether you eat it or take out! Expect to pay $3 for two bagels and a small tub of your favorite cream-cheese spread. Lines can be long at lunchtime.  edit
  • Union Square Café, 21 E 16th St, +1-212-243-4020, [13]. Lunch M-Sa noon-2:15PM, dinner Su-Th 6PM-10:15PM, F Sa 6PM-11:15PM. One of New York's best-loved restaurants, serving great American and Italian cuisine with flair and crisp style. Osso buco, tuna burgers, roast vegetables and corn pudding are fine examples of the dishes created using the best local and seasonal produce from the Café's neighbor, the Union Square Farmers' Market. Mains in excess of $30 average. Reservations recommended.  edit
  • Kang Suh, 1250 Broadway (actually on W 32 St just E of Broadway), +1-212-564-6845. A Korean restaurant with a large menu. You are best advised to order from the regular menu and avoid the lunch specials, which are not as good. There are special banquet rooms for large parties (reserve those in advance), and excellent service is provided.  edit
  • Seoul Garden, 34 W 32nd St, 2F (btwn Broadway and 5th Ave), +1-212-736-9002. Another Korean restaurant with a substantial menu and some people's favorite.  edit
  • Live Bait, 23rd St (where Madison ends, near 5th and Broadway). Great and cheap oysters, clams and other seafood, raw and cooked as well as southern fare like jambalaya. Not afraid of the Tabasco here. One of the few places that serves Abita Springs beer from Louisiana.  edit
  • Scopa, 79 Madison Ave (at 28th St). Modern Italian. Large restaurant, good for groups. Nice lounge/bar area that always has a game on.  edit
  • Penelope, (Lexington at E 30th St). Cafe/restaurant/bakery with a cozy, inviting atmosphere. Homestyle food and casual but friendly service. Inexpensive. Wine and beer served. Long lines for weekend brunch.  edit
  • T Salon, 11 E 20th St (at Broadway/Fifth Ave, just S of the Flatiron Bldg), [14]. Tea house and cafe; excellent teas and tasty nibbles. A quiet oasis in a hectic city.  edit
  • Vatan, 409 Third Ave (at 29th St). A prix-fixe vegetarian Indian restaurant with wonderful food. The decor is a little hokey, but the food makes it worthwhile.  edit
  • Casa Mono, 52 Irving Pl. A delightful Spanish wine bar and restaurant by Mario Batali. The food is smashing.  edit
  • Saravanaas, 81 Lexington Ave. Excellent South Indian food at good prices. This is a vegetarian kosher restaurant and a branch of one in Chennai, India. Expect to wait a half hour or so on weekends.  edit
  • Minado, 6 E 32nd St (btwn Madison and Fifth Aves), +1-212-725-1333, [15]. If you like sushi and Japanese food in the slightest, you will love Minado. It has over 100 feet of all-you-can-eat very fresh and tasty sushi and other items like crab legs, udon, salads of all varieties and a big dessert bar as well.  edit
  • Shake Shack, Madison Square Park, [16]. Awesome roadside food stand in Madison Square Park serving hot dogs, burgers, frozen custard, beer, and wine.  edit
  • Don's Bogam, 17 E 32nd St (btwn 5th and Madison Aves), +1-212-683-2200, [17]. noon-midnight every day. Pleasant restaurant with real decor and ambiance, specializing in Korean barbecue - especially meat marinated in hot sauce - among other things. Don's Bogam and Madangsui (on W 35 St, and therefore, covered in the Theater District article) are widely considered to be the best Korean BBQ specialists in Manhattan. BBQ $26-30/portion, comes with generous and excellent ''banchan'' (complimentary side dishes).  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Koryodang, 31 W 32 St (btwn Broadway and 5th Ave), +1-212-967-9661. An upscale and classy Korean tea and pastry house and a popular date place for young Koreans. Expect to pay some $5 for a cup of artisan flavored tea. Interesting shaved ice desserts are also available.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • Gershwin Hotel, 7 E 27th St (at 5th Ave), +1-212-545-8000, [18]. Cheap fun place to rest. Internet kiosks available. Between Times Square and Union Square—great location near Madison Square Park. From $99.  edit
  • Grand Union Hotel (Grand Union Hotel), 34 E 32 St, [19]. European style, family operated. From $150.  edit
  • Hotel 17, E 17th St (between 2nd & 3rd Aves), +1-212-475-2845, [20]. Slightly north of East Village, a favorite with hipsters, Europeans, bargain-hunters. $60–80 for shared bath rooms, $90–100 for private bath rooms..  edit
  • Lotus Hotel (Lotus Hotel), 294 5th Ave (btwn 30th & 31st Sts), [21].  edit
  • Wolcott Hotel, 4 W 31st St, +1-212-268-2900, [22].  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Hotel Deauville (Hotel Deauville), 103 E 29th St, +1-212-683-0990. checkout: Noon. Good price for the location. Family-run business, with friendly staff. Around $170.  edit
  • Hotel 31, 120 E 31st St, [23]. Twenty-four hour concierge, daily maid service, cable T.V., telephone and helpful multilingual staff.  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Hotel Giraffe, 365 Park Ave S, +1-212-685-7700, [24]. Free high speed Wi-fi and complimentary refreshments in the Grande Lobby 24 hours a day including breakfast in the mornings and wine and cheese receptions in the evenings except for Sunday nights.  edit
  • Hotel Chandler, 12 E 31st St, +1-212-889-6363, [25]. Deluxe rooms on the edge of Koreatown. In-room high-speed internet. Health club, sauna and day spa. $250–500, though ask for deals.  edit
  • Inn at Irving Place, [26]. Near Gramercy Park, the inn, built in 1834, consists of two landmark townhouses.  edit
  • 52 Irving, [27]. A six story Colonial Revival style apartment building offering long term guests a pre-war apartment close to Union Square and Gramercy Parks.  edit

Contact[edit]

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