The magic of the holiday increases the more we connect with one another. As John Muir, naturalist wrote: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” Behold the bounty of nature and the warm presence of those near and dear to you. Wishing Joy to the World!
This month’s edition of Culturally Inclined focuses on the Flatiron District which takes its name from the famous Flatiron Building—(aka Fuller Building)—at 23rd Street and Broadway. The skyscraper creates a wind-tunnel effect that is said to have been the reason why “23 skiddoo” entered American slang, for the phrase cops would shout at men waiting around, hoping the wind would whip up a skirt or two. The Flatiron neighborhood generally runs from 6th Avenue to Park Avenue South between 14th and 23rd Streets, excluding the blocks adjacent to Union Square. Experience the holidays traveling to the area’s outdoor Urban Square Holiday Market and specialty shops (Abracadebra NYC, Books of Wonder, Fishs Eddy, Flying Tiger, Kidding Around, Moderne Chocolate, Paragon Sports, Reverie, Rizzoli Book Store, Whisk), take in the 1902 Flatiron Building (Fuller Building) “one of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers and a quintessential symbol of New York City” and the International Toy Center – 200 Fifth Avenue. Stop-in at a few sweet spots – The City Bakery, Dough Donuts, Eataly’s Patisserie Counter, Kellog’s Store, Maison Kayser, Nutella Cafe, Patisserie Chanson Dessert Bar, Venchi Cioccolato and Gelato Shop, explore the specialty art galleries – Center for Books & Arts, Rennert’s Gallery, Roman Zangief Photos, Tibet House, National Museum of Mathematics and music at the Flatiron Room a famous destination for jazz, food and libations.
“Star of Bethlehem First Light on Tree,” reads the headline, and the story opens…
“Let all the people who visit the big Christmas tree in Madison Square Park to-night watch for the appearance of the Star of the East–the Star of Bethlehem. With the first call of the trumpets it will appear, faintly shining, at the top of the tree. As the sound of the “Parsifal Call” continues, with the crescendo, the star will gradually increase in radiance until it shines brilliantly, and then the entire tree will blossom luminously with many colored lights.”
Andy Warhol loved Christmas and promoted friendship and togetherness. Click on “Christmas Art” to view his work on Pinterest. Currently on exhibit at the Whitney Museum until March 31st is The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again. Take a tour and see Warhol’s vision in a new light. “Christmas,” he writes, “is when you have to go to the bank and get crisp money to put in envelopes from the stationery store for tips. After you tip the doorman, he goes on sick leave or quits …” Bah! Humbug!” Warhol believed in the spirit of the holiday, not commercialism. Tiffany’s commissioned Warhol to design a Christmas card in 1956 and did so every year until 1962. Warhol “often dressed as Santa on Christmas and had his friends dress up as Santa too and took photos of department store Santas. An inspiration to the Santa Con of today. The Santa in the Myth series was taken from a Polaroid of a department store Santa…maybe a little more naughty or mischievous than the Hallmark Santa…but still iconic and, oh, so Warhol.”
Installation “Happy” located in front of the Flatiron Building is an art installation by Studio Cadena featuring “24 transparency vinyl screens, soft enough to sway with the wind, offering a yellow glow to the everything surrounding it”. Happy is selected as Winner of the Annual Flatiron Public Plaza Design Competition in New York City and on view until January 2nd. Happy is sponsored by the Van Alen Institute and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and developed in collaboration with Silman engineers and Youngbuk Art Services. More information can be found by clicking here.
Full Steam Ahead by artist Arlene Shechet commissioned by Madison Square Park Conservancy is on view until April 28, 2019. Marking the artist’s first major public art project, Full Steam Ahead features a series of new sculptures in porcelain, wood, steel, and cast iron installed around and within the emptied circular reflecting pool in the north of Madison Square Park. More information can be found by clicking here.
5th Avenue Gingerbread House in Madison Square Park is on view until December 19th. Tour a wonderland experience at the Ginger Bread Boulevard installation. The house’s roof is made from 500 pounds of candy canes and the structure is made of licorice, gummies, and other colorful candy-like trimmings. This year you can step-in side this fantasy home.
Beautiful Homes in the Flatiron District worth dreaming about this holiday season: 1. 45 East 22nd Street Unit 52AB – $17,995,000 | 2. 45 East 22nd Street Unit 56FL – $15,995,000 | 3. 260 Park Avenue South Unit PHA – $15,000,000 |4. 23 East 22nd Street Unit 41 – $13,750,000 | 5. 23 East 22nd Street Unit 24A – $11,950,000 6. 260 Park Avenue South Unit PHJ – $11,995,000 | 7. 15 Union Square West Unit 3B-2N – $11,550,000 | 8. 10 Madison Square West Unit 11E – 9,900,000 | 9. 15 Union square West Unit 3B – $9,450,000 | 10. 240 Park Avenue South Unit 9A – $8,995,000. “A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.”
Celebrating Chocolatier Milène Jardine At the Warburg Flatiron office -18 West 21st Street last week the holiday spirit was present as we gathered to celebrate local resident and friend Milène Jardine on the launch of her new International 70% Dark Chocolate Bars. The event was successful due to the collaboration and support of the local business sponsors: Barterhousewines, Cheese Groto, Amy Y Lee Studios (Photographer), and Akiko Fukuda Illustration with her beautiful photos and artists who designed the packages.
Milène chocolate bar flavors tell a story about a different culture with the vision to celebrate diversity through chocolate: Sicilian Salted Lemon | raw Pistachio | Rosemary | South American Dark Chocolate | Toasted Coconut & Kaffir Lime Leaf. The chocolates are made with freshly sourced ingredients from around the world like lemons from Sicily and cacao beans from Peru and Ecuador. The use of real fruits, nuts, and herbs create a refreshing experience.
At the chocolate launch event, each chocolate was displayed in a beautiful Cheese grotto and paired with select cheese and spirit from for a harmonious tasting. The Cheese Grotto crafted and produced in the United States with green materials protects your cheese from premature molding and drying out, saving you hundreds of dollars over time. The Cheese Grotto stores all styles of cheese, unwrapped. Designed to balance humidity and breath-ability. With its clay brick and natural materials, the Cheese Grotto is the perfect environment for wedges and wheels of cheese to thrive and extends their shelf-life. No more throwing away old bits of beautiful cheese. Milène Jardine Chocolates and Cheese Grotto are the perfect holiday gift to order for a loved one.
The holiday spirit is alive within all of us. John Muir in Travels in Alaska reflects that “When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.” Wishing you good tidings.