For shopping, dining, walking or just some good New York-style people-watching, the Gramercy/Flatiron/Union Square area is one of the city's best bets for visitors and natives alike. Start with Union Square
itself, a popular park at the center of a bustling intersection that's home to the city's largest greenmarket (open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 8 am-6 pm). Despite some prominent closings in the recent past (Virgin, Circuit City) big chain stores still dominate the immediate area (Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble) while the presence of a large Whole Foods and the city's first Trader Joe's make it a popular stop for foodies and cooks as well as no-nonsense shoppers.
A little further north and to the east of Union Square is beautiful Gramercy Park
, a green oasis surrounded by wrought-iron gates (only residents of nearby buildings with a key get access). And to the northwest of the park is the Flatiron district, named for that iconic building
on the corner of 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue, just opposite Madison Square Park. Taken as a whole, the Gramercy/Flatiron/Union Square area is home to some of the city's best restaurants, from Craft
to Gramercy Tavern
to A Voce
(and of course the famous Shake Shack