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Flatiron Plaza Hosts 23 Days of Free Holiday Events

By Joe Parziale | November 29, 2012 8:37pm

FLATIRON — The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership kicked off a 23-day series of free holiday-themed activities Thursday with the unveiling of a life-sized 3-D greeting card depicting a nostalgic winter scene situated in the shadow of the iconic Flatiron building.

Beginning Dec. 1, the Flatiron Plaza at 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue will play host to “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer," offering up a slew of free readings, auctions and performances that are all open to the public. The opening on Thursday of the multidimensional greeting card depicting a wintry scene from an earlier period at the same intersection helped kicked off the seasonal festivities.

“The card depicts a scene from yesteryear,” said Jennifer Brown, executive director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, the local business improvement district. “But as you can see today, the neighborhood is as bustling as ever.”

The events to be held throughout December are meant to highlight cultural, shopping and dining attractions in the neighborhood and will include a celebrity-designed gift box auction, a children’s reading program, free holiday cookies and treats, and an “ugliest holiday sweater in New York” competition.

Brown said many of the events will benefit charity organizations, in addition to bringing additional commerce to the area.

“Macmillan Story Time” on Dec. 9 will include readings from a number of acclaimed children’s authors, including Nick Bruel, Sean Kenney and Stephen Savage.

Tourists and residents can take in some culture at a Dec. 19 performance by jazz group Matt Wilson’s Tree-O, a cutting edge improv comedy show by People’s Improv Theater on Dec. 13 and carols by Tada! Youth Theater on Dec. 16.

And last-minute shoppers can find a helping hand on Dec. 22 at the complimentary gift-wrapping station or by taking part in one of the pre-stamped holiday card distributions on Dec. 3 and Dec. 14.

Local merchant, longtime resident and contributing sponsor Nick Athanail, of Corcoran Real Estate, said he’s confident the events will add business traffic to an area already teeming with holiday tourists and locals this time of year.

“This intersection is already one of the most trafficked in the city without the programming, so it’s kind of the perfect place,” Athanail said. “It’s important to have something not only for the tourists, but a little gift for the folks that are here 365 days a year.”

More information, including a full list of festivities, is available at www.flatiornbid.ord/holiday.