The atmosphere is quite amazing in and around Madison Square Park. The park acts as the central meeting place for Flatiron residents. But the park is also an excellent spot to take in the surrounding sites such as the Flatiron building. This popular summer destination features several open area lawns, and is generally just great to stroll down its paths, circulating through and around the entirety of the park. Madison Square Park owes its name to the famed sports arena that used to be located just north of the park, on 34th Street.
You can’t move to Flatiron and not immediately go to Eataly. The foodie magnet is copycat of the Italian market in Monticello, the largest marketplace in the world. The owners, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, opened Eataly’s doors in 2010, and stocked it with anything you can possibly think of that’s centered around Italian food – from cured meats to cheese to breads. There’s also a rooftop bar (Sabbia at La Birreria) that features an immense selection of beers from Dogfish Head. You could spend hours exploring this playground of food. This early in the day, you’ll be happy to have beaten the crowds.
And now something completely different… the Museum of Sex. Even while dealing with touchy and risqué topics, the spot is in fact a 3-dimensional sex ed course done in good taste. The museum is dedicated to delving deep into the history, evolution and cultural significance of sex, while also putting a heavy emphasis on the history of the LGBTQ community, from struggles to strides. There’s also an exhibit that covers the diseases that could be contracted as a result of sexual intercourse.
The crème de le crème. That’s what it must feel like to be a restaurant in the Flatiron. There’s the array of famous names: Gramercy Tavern, Craft, Blue Smoke, Tacombi and Rosa Mexicana, most rated in the top 100 restaurants in the world. And all that, naturally, leads us to the best restaurant in the world that just happens to be in your neighborhood. Eleven Madison Park was originally owned by Danny Meyer, who also started Shake Shack (the burger’s original location is just across the street from Eleven Madison Park), and provides the most elegant dining experience you will ever have. The American cuisine channels its French and Italian influences to the forefront with its famed tasting menu.
The night ends with something completely out of the ordinary for Flatiron. The presence of the 40/40 Club gives the area a sense of diversity, since most of the bars and restaurants are geared to the upscale. The 40/40 Club was opened by rapper and producer Jay-Z and follows a sports theme. Traditionally, it attracts many athletes on the weekends. Today, it remains as popular as the day it opened more than 10 years ago.