New York City's Flatiron District: On the Rise

The iconic Flatiron Building in New York City. Amy Chen
By Jacquelin Carnegie

For years, the Flatiron District has been under-the-radar. No more. Within the past two years or so, it seems as if every trendy hotel and restaurant is opening up here.

In fact, part of the Flatiron District is even being referred to by a new name -- NoMad (North of Madison Square Park). Welcome to the neighborhood.

Photo Caption: The iconic Flatiron Building in New York City.
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A large street clock near the Flatiron Building. Douglas Corrance
The Flatiron neighborhood -- which runs roughly from 23rd Street to 29th Street and from Park Avenue to Sixth Avenue -- gets its name from this triangular-shape building. Designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham and completed in 1902, the iconic 22-story Flatiron Building was the world's first steel-frame skyscraper.

In the mid-1800s, the area was one of New York's most fashionable neighborhoods with posh hotels. Recent openings of trendy hotels and restaurants are revitalizing the area.

Where: 175 Fifth Ave. at 23rd St.

Photo Caption: A large street clock near the Flatiron Building.
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The rooftop pool deck at Gansevoort Park Avenue hotel in New York City. Courtesy Gansevoort Park Avenue Gansevoort Park Avenue
This stylish hotel has 249 rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and modish d├ęcor. There are fabulous views everywhere you turn, especially from the tri-level Plunge Rooftop Bar + Lounge. (The heated indoor-outdoor pool looks out toward the Empire State Building.) At street level, there's the swanky Italian restaurant Asellina.

Where: 420 Park Ave. S. at 29th St.

More Info: tel. 212/206-6700; www.gansevoortpark.com

Photo Caption: The rooftop pool at Gansevoort Park Avenue hotel in New York City. Courtesy Gansevoort Park Avenue
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The lobby at Ace Hotel in New York City. nan palmero
Since opening in Spring 2009, the 260-room Ace Hotel continues to attract hipsters, musicians, and celebrities. Even the lobby, with a bar and a lounge, is a hot spot.

The in-house restaurants are also ultra-trendy: The Breslin (www.thebreslin.com) for carnivores and The John Dory Oyster Bar (www.thejohndory.com) for seafood lovers.

Where: 20 West 29th St. between Fifth Avenue and Broadway

More Info: tel. 212/679-2222; www.acehotel.com/newyork

Photo Caption: The cozy lobby at the Ace Hotel in New York City. Photo by nan palmero/Flickr.com
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Stumptown Coffee, which adjoins the lobby of New York City's Ace Hotel, has baristas clad in dapper uniforms and caps. ahemler
Need some caffeine? Don't be surprised if the line for the adjoining Stumptown Coffee spills into the Ace Hotel lobby.

Photo Caption: Stumptown Coffee, which leads into the Ace Hotel lobby, has baristas clad in dapper uniforms and caps. Photo by ahemler/Flickr.com
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The lobby at Kimpton's Eventi hotel in New York City. Courtesy Eventi Eventi
Though technically located on the fringe, Kimpton's latest New York City hotel is so close to the Flatiron/NoMad action that it'd be a shame to leave it out. The 292-room hotel is a few blocks from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, making it a popular choice for professional basketball players.

At the on-site Bar Basque restaurant, the wine "automat" dispenses tastings of 30-plus vintages. Downstairs, you'll find gourmet food stands in the FoodParc, a food court that leads into a public plaza with a giant movie wall screen for year-round viewing.

Where: 851 Sixth Ave. at 30th St.

More Info: tel. 212/564-4567; www.eventihotel.com

Photo Caption: The sleek lobby at Kimpton's Eventi hotel, where guests enjoy the complimentary wine hour every night. Courtesy Eventi
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Eataly, a new Italian gourmet market and food hall in New York City. feministjulie
Celebrity chef Mario Batali's Italian gourmet market is packed to the gills at all hours of the day and night. Whether you stop in for an espresso or to sample one of the dining options, the upscale food hall is worth a visit if you're a die-hard foodie.

Where: 23rd Street at Fifth Avenue

More Info: www.newyork.eataly.it

Photo Caption: Eataly, a new Italian gourmet market and food hall in New York City. Photo by feministjulie/Flickr.com
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The cafeteria-style Hill Country Chicken is an affordable option in the Flatiron District. Courtesy Hill Country Chicken Hill Country Chicken
Kids as well as adults will enjoy the fun, friendly atmosphere at Hill Country Chicken. The comfort food -- delicious fried chicken, chicken salad, homemade pies, and more -- is served cafeteria-style (get a tray, get in line). But this is no ordinary cafeteria; the affordable eatery is run by the same crew as nearby Hill Country BBQ (www.hillcountryny.com)

Where: 1123 Broadway, at 25th St.

More Info: tel. 212/257-6446; www.hillcountrychicken.com)

Photo Caption: The cafeteria-style Hill Country Chicken is a budget-friendly option in the Flatiron District. Courtesy Hill Country Chicken
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Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. ChrisM70
All the trendy hotels and restaurants are bringing a new vitality to the area, but some neighborhood venues have been cool all along.

If you want to stand in line for 45 minutes to get a burger, look no further than Shake Shack. Though there are now four other locations, devotees say the original Madison Square Park location is worth the wait.

Named after President James Madison, Madison Square Park (www.madisonsquarepark.org) has been a public space since 1686 and a city park since 1847. In the late 19th century, the Square was an elite enclave surrounded by mansions and fancy hotels. Today, it's a lively neighborhood park with contemporary art displays year-round and a free concert series in the summer and fall.

Where:
23rd Street between Fifth & Madison Ave. in Madison Square Park

More Info: tel. 212/889-6600; www.shakeshack.com

Photo Caption: Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. Photo by ChrisM70/Flickr.com
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