New York City is strange. Parts of it are downright seedy, others incredibly beautiful. In some instances, both at the same time. Such is the case with the flower market. Not the quaint Green Market you find in a park on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The one with the hipster growers who sell their wares wrapped in colored cellophane. I’m talking West 28th street, where the morning starts at 3:30am and the business of floral beauty starts its day.
There are a lot of attractive streets in Manhattan but West 28th (between 5th and 7th Avenues) would not be one of them. It’s congested, cramped, smelly, and filled with barren, dirty-floored, florescent-lit storefronts. Its only redeeming quality are the thousands of exotic flowers that line the ugly walls and tattered shelves, so much so that they flow onto the sidewalk.
Florists from all over the City shop the market to choose the perfect stems from a myriad of flora. They whisk them away to their posh boutiques where they’re arranged in glass vases and sold for three times what they cost.
What I love about the flower market is that you don’t have to be a professional to grab your share of the orchids, tulips and peonies at prices that are usually better than what you’ll pay anywhere else.
Just leave your credit cards behind.
They only deal and cash, and be prepared to wake up early because by 10am, all the good stuff is gone.