West 28th street in Manhattan has been the flower district for 100 years. I have always enjoyed the way NYC retailers and wholesalers have clumped together for the convenience of their customers and for the convenience of the trucks that deliver to them. The Diamond District, the Fulton Fish Market, the Hunts Point vegetable market, and so on. Heck, there is even a Financial District. Who knew?
Such districts have not been created by fiat or by planners, but have grown organically with the relentless logic of market capitalism.
You can find any flower or plant material you want in the Flower District, in almost any reasonable volume. 300 Bell Song tulips? No problem. As the second largest flower market in the world (after Amsterdam), the market serves retailers from MA, NJ, CT, NYS - and further. The vans arrive to load up on their day's purchases at 5 AM.
At 6 AM, you will also see a smattering of garden club ladies hunting out stuff for their next creation, which is what brought me and Mrs. Barrister and her pal down to the district from central CT in snow and sleet at o-dark-thirty this morning. I was chauffeur, but I do get a kick out of looking at all of the strange stuff. Some look like science fiction creations, especially some of the strange Protea which, it seems, have been all the rage in recent years. There is one Proteus that looks like eyeballs on a stem. The Greek sea-god was a shape-changer.
Her friend wanted these and these, and found them. And some other stuff like the winter Buckeye branches Mrs. B was looking for, plus a ton of pussy willows just for home.
As the city changes, the flower district is slowly fading, from over 60 establishments 20 years ago to around 40 right now. But it remains a bustling, thriving place in the early morning.
Now I will get out the old plow and do the driveway and the front of the barn so we can let the horses out. Snow day! I'll "work from home" this afternoon by the fire with a few warming glasses of something nice.
Some of our readers enjoyed my trip to the Flower District a week ago, so I thought I might show some of the outcomes of the big flower show. After many years of helping out, us husbands gradually learn to appreciate the artistry and thought involved. I
Tracked: Mar 04, 07:53