By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership officially debuted the public art installation “Happy” to kick off the holiday festivities in the neighborhood this past Monday evening.
Architect Benjamin Cadena designed the installation through the fifth annual Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition with the Department of Transportation arts program and the Van Alen Institute.
Cadena said that he wanted to design something that felt warm during the colder months but also that would cheer up passersby suffering from the winter blues.
“With the cold winter, I wanted to make a space that looks and feels warmer but I also wanted to project a positive object that makes you feel good,” he said. “I also wanted to do something a little different from the past installations and define a specific space, embracing the whole plaza.”
Mediterranean spot ilili BOX provided small bites of falafel with various sauces for the debut and Shake Shack offered hot chocolate, although the cocoa was not a necessity unlike in previous years when the weather was toe-numbingly cold.
The “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” that runs through the holiday season will run from Saturday, December 1 through Sunday, December 23 and includes free holiday-themed events throughout the Flatiron District.
Free exercise classes will be available at various fitness studios throughout the neighborhood on Wednesdays through December 19. Performances on Friday and Saturday will be held from noon to 4 p.m. and there will also be activities on the Flatiron North Public Plaza. The prize wheel, which had a long line before the event on Monday even began, will also be available, as well as free beverages.
The Partnership will celebrate the winter months with the National Museum of Mathematics on December 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. with a life-sized kaleidoscope.