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Mango Opens on 34th Street, Uniqlo Next Up
It has already been a terrific year for the 34th Street retail lineup, with Timberland and Levi’s opening stores here and Footlocker expanding its presence by opening a House of Hoops. Now here’s more big news from the city’s most exciting retail apparel district: Mango, the Spanish purveyor of fashionable men’s and women’s clothing with an urban flair, has opened a 5,500 sq. ft. flagship store at 7 W. 34th Street, directly across from the Empire State Building.
Tricia Lewis, 34SP’s blogger at Fashion Herald, has looked forward to this ever since she heard that the fashion-forward shop was setting up stakes here. Once inside the new shop, she wasn’t disappointed. “…I was in dress and accessory heaven,” Tricia wrote in her blog post, adding that the selection of bags and shoes is also excellent. She also liked the prices.
The capper to this amazing year of retail upgrades on 34th Street comes later this week with the much-anticipated opening of Uniqlo. The Japan-based retailer of fine ready-to-wear casual clothes for males and females of all ages, will open a 64,000 sq. ft. flagship store at 31 W. 34th Street on Friday, October 21st. Watch for Tricia’s post on that big event.
Heroes of Olympus Author Appears at Greeley Square
On Saturday, October 1, author Rick Riordan appeared at Greeley Square Park for a pre-release party honoring The Son of Neptune, the second of Riordan’s ‘Heroes of Olympus’ series of novels featuring the teen hero Percy Jackson. The series, published by Disney Publishing Worldwide, is one of the most popular in the young-reader/fantasy genre, and Disney has announced it will print a record 3 million copies of The Son of Neptune.
An enthusiastic crowd of fans and their parents showed up to see and listen to Riordan. Some were dressed in fantasy costumes, including togas, wreaths, crowns, and charioteers’ helmets. Performers dressed as Athena, Aphrodite, and other Greek gods took turns reading from the new book, visitors won medals by answering quiz questions, and some had a chance to query Mr. Riordan, and have their copies of his first book signed by him. Many folks walked away with souvenir pens and posters, while a lucky few got to sit in a chariot that was onsite.
This was the second exciting happening at Greeley Square in as many weeks, following Daffy’s 50th Birthday celebration on September 22. We at 34SP love these events: they add drama and glamour to our district, provide interesting diversions for our visitors, and help us to maintain our pristine public spaces at Herald and Greeley Square Parks.
‘Holly Whyte Way’ Honors One of BP’s Guiding Spirits
On October 15, Open House NY honored William H. “Holly” Whyte by dedicating Holly Whyte Way. This urban walkway consists of a series of public passageways through private buildings that allow pedestrians to walk from 51st Street to 57th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, without having to leave midblock. The ceremony included an “Arcade Parade” and children’s scooter race through the passages. We at the Bryant Park Corporation were pleased to learn of this honor to Mr. Whyte.
William H. “Holly” Whyte – urbanist, journalist, organizational analyst, author, and world-class people watcher – was an important figure in the shaping of NYC in the 1970’s and 1980’s. His book, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. is a seminal text about what works, and what doesn’t, in public space design. Whyte served as a consultant for the Bryant Park Corporation in the 1980’s, as we reclaimed Bryant Park for the people of NYC, and was highly influential in many of our decisions. He was an early proponent of movable chairs, and we thank our stars that we followed his advice and not that of the prevailing consensus. Imagine Bryant Park without movable chairs! Whyte also recognized that the park’s previous design, which set it above street grade and enclosed much of it with high hedges, made it inaccessible to pedestrians and encouraged illegal activities within.
To find out more about Whyte’s theories, we suggest you read The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. It’s available through the Bryant Park Shop, along with other books that inspired BPC. We also recommend watching the film of the same name. Narrated by Whyte himself, it’s a succinct and lively look at urban spaces that includes some footage of Bryant Park before BPC was founded. You can order it, or watch a clip from the film, at Direct Cinema. Here’s another tantalizing clip on Vimeo.
Keeping Le Carrousel Running Smoothly
Considering the popularity of Le Carrousel at Bryant Park, keeping it in tip-top shape is a priority for the Bryant Park Corporation. Our little jewel will be open every day through the holidays, and we expect another busy season, but that won’t stop us from performing regular maintenance on the carousel and the ticket booth.
This month, we’ll clean the carousel’s top, replace the counter inside the ticket booth, and refresh the gravel surrounding the amenity. Later this fall, we’ll also re-stain the deck, rewire the rounding boards, polish the brass poles, replace the carousel’s fiberglass finial, paint the ticket booth both inside and out, and repaint the entrance and exit signs. We’ll do all of this with minimum disruption of service.
Le Carrousel is open every day through October 26 from 11:00am-8:00pm. Rides are still only $2, and a Frequent User card gets you 10 rides for $15. Beginning on October 27 (the day Citi Pond, The Holiday Shops, and Celsius open for the season) and continuing through January, the operating hours are 11:00am-9:00pm, Sunday-Thursday; and 11:00am-10:00pm Friday-Sunday. Look also for special hours at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. And remember that the Halloween Party at Le Carrousel is on Saturday, October 29, 1:00-2:00pm.
Work With 34SP to Rid Sidewalks of Gum
Gum on sidewalks is a frustrating problem for urban sanitation workers. It’s difficult to remove a single wad of gum. Multiply that by thousands, and you have a problem that is difficult to solve efficiently and inexpensively. In case you didn’t know, those black spots marring otherwise clean sidewalks are wads of carelessly discarded chewing gum, ground into the pavement by throngs of pedestrians.
The 34th Street Partnership has sought solutions to this problem for years and are now working on a cooperative scheme to assist anyone who wants to remove gum from their sidewalks. We ask all owners and business persons in the District to join us in our effort. If you are interested in participating, or have questions, contact Jacob Bielecki at email@example.com.
The Bottom Line
Last week’s burst of unseasonably warm weather was a boon for attendance at Bryant Park. On Monday, October 10, we counted 3,367 people at the park at 1:00pm. Many were enjoying the last day of the lawn, but an impressive 3,104 were at the park at lunchtime the next day, after the lawn had closed for the season. Those are excellent figures for the park as it makes the transition from summer playground to winter wonderland.
34th Street District
The Southwest Porch
Bryant Park Fall Birding Tours
Wednesdays: 8:00-9:00am, departs from 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue
Bryant Park Games
Chess and Backgammon
Monday-Friday: 11:00am-6:00pm - Free Lessons
Ping Pong at The Tables