Flatiron BID to hold free tech workshops, other events

General Assembly will once again present tech workshops at the Flatiron South Plaza. (Pictured) A workshop held last year (Photo courtesy of Flatiron/23rd Street BID)

General Assembly will once again present tech workshops at the Flatiron South Plaza. (Pictured) A workshop held last year (Photo courtesy of Flatiron/23rd Street BID)

By Sabina Mollot
In recent years, summertime in the city has become synonymous with concerts and other events at parks and neighborhood spaces, and the Flatiron District is no exception.
However along with traditional events like fitness classes and outdoor theater, both of which are being offered in the Flatiron pedestrian plazas, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership (BID) is also bringing back another popular activity: tech workshops.
For the past two summers, the Partnership has partnered with local company General Assembly to give classes on a variety of tech and business topics outside on the south plaza.
The first workshop in a three part series took place on Tuesday, July 8 and the remaining classes will take place on July 15 and 22 at the south plaza, located on Broadway between 22nd and 23rd Streets. On Tuesday, July 15 at 6 p.m., “Rules of Engagement: Moving Consumers from Awareness to Advocacy” is the scheduled class aimed at teaching social marketing strategy. On Tuesday, July 22 at 6 p.m. “Inbound Marketing Solutions: Marketing on a Budget” will focus on how to generate leads and improve traffic with a limited marketing budget.
Jennifer Brown, the BID’s executive director, said the tech workshops were part of the organization’s mission of helping the local business community, which really got underway after the recession. So far the events have been a hit locally with around 30 to 40 attending when the weather is favorable. Sometimes people register in advance, but other attendees just happen to be walking by and sit down once they see what’s going on.
“The topics are interesting for people across different industries, like marketing,” said Brown. “Last summer they did a workshop on perfecting your pitch. That’s helpful no matter what your profession is.”
General Assembly, like the other groups and businesses the Partnership is working with on the programming, is donating its services, and classes are free for those who attend. The company also offers classes at its two locations, but, noted Brown, “People typically have to pay for them.”
As for the other programs, on Wednesdays, instructors from Flatiron fitness studios will be teaching exercise and yoga classes, sponsored by Athleta, on the south plaza. Upcoming fitness classes are: “Barreless Core Fusion” with Exhale on Wednesday, July 16 at 6 p.m. and “Shanti Flow with Yoga Shanti” on Wednesday, July 23 at 6 p.m.
On Thursdays, the Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) will take the stage at the north plaza, on the west of Madison Square Park. House teams will perform a brand-new musical made up on the spot on July July 17 and July 24 at 6 p.m. each evening. PIT performers have worked the Flatiron plaza crowd before for holiday programs in December.
Brown said the decision to offer fitness classes was inspired by similar seasonal programs now running at Union Square and Bryant Parks as well as the fact that the Flatiron neighborhood has become home to many fitness and yoga studios.
“We’ve been talking about working with them for years now,” she said.

New recycling bins with solar-powered trash compactors have been installed in the Flatiron pedestrian plaza. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

New recycling bins with solar-powered trash compactors have been installed in the Flatiron pedestrian plaza. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The BID pays for its programming as well as its other projects like maintenance of the pedestrian plazas and beautification of the neighborhood. Tree pit guards were recently implemented throughout the district and three new recycling bins with solar-powered trash compactors were installed in the plazas, paid for out of a $350,000 annual budget as well as other revenue. The BID gets some income from two food kiosks on the plazas and also gets a fee, along with the city, when the plazas are used by companies for promotional events. If there’s a movie shoot, the BID will usually get some sort of voluntary monetary contribution. Most of the years since its creation though, the expenses have been more than what the budget allows for.
“The revenue has varied over the years,” added Brown. “We had a small surplus a couple of years ago.”
But the expenses have also changed. Initially, the BID arranged for plantings twice a year. These days, it’s four times a year. Maintenance of the BID, handled by its own sanitation, public safety and gardening crews, is done throughout the BID district, the borders of which are 21st and 23rd Streets and Third and Sixth Avenues.
The exception is Madison Square Park, since it’s maintained by the Madison Square Park Conservancy. Brown said the BID’s programming also tries to complement and not duplicate that of the conservancy, which is now running a summer concert series as well as events for children in the park. (See Town & Village’s Around & About section for details.)
For more information about the Flatiron Partnership’s events, visit www.discoverflatiron.org.

Perv grabbed butts of two women, one in Stuyvesant Oval, one on E. 14th Street

By Sabina Mollot
Police are looking for a bearded creep who grabbed the buttocks of two women as they were walking in the hallways of their buildings, one in Stuyvesant Oval, the other on East 14th Street.

The first incident was on May 18 at around 3 in the morning, when the unknown man grabbed a 24-year-old in her building on East 14th Street, then took off.
Police think the same man struck again on June 15, this time at around 2 a.m., touching a 22-year-old woman’s buttocks at Stuyvesant Oval, before running away. The exact addresses were not specified.

The suspect has been described as being 25-35, 5 ft. 10 ins. tall and weighing 175-200 lbs. His race isn’t known. He was last seen wearing a black sports jacket black dress pants, a light colored dress shirt, with black dress shoes. A surveillance video shows a man with a beard entering a Stuyvesant Town building.

When asked why police waited until July to make the incidents public, a spokesperson for the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information said it may have taken this long to determine that the two complaints were linked.

State Senator Brad Hoylman, in Stuyvesant Town on Friday, distributes fliers about the groping incidents. (Photo by Laura Morrison/Senator Hoylman)

State Senator Brad Hoylman, in Stuyvesant Town on Friday, distributes fliers about the groping incidents. (Photo by Laura Morrison/Senator Hoylman)

Meanwhile, State Senator Brad Hoylman and a couple of volunteers distributed fliers to residents on First Avenue outside of Stuyvesant Town on Friday.  By the time they were done, about 1,000 fliers were handed out. Though a few residents had heard about the groper, most were surprised when he told them, Hoylman said. So far, no fliers have been put up in ST/PCV buildings, but Hoylman said he was told by police at the 13th Precinct that Stuy Town’s Public Safety department would be putting them up.
“Awareness is really a big part of this,” said Hoylman. “Not just in catching the perpetrator, but alerting residents so they can take appropriate precautions, and also showing solidarity with the victims.”

Brian Moriarty, a spokespeson for CWCapital, said, “Public Safety has worked closely with NYPD since the incidents and has provided its full cooperation.”

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com. All calls are strictly confidential.

Note: The post has been updated to include statements from Senator Hoylman and CWCapital.