A freelance writer, and amateur photographer Dora also teaches creative writing classes. Check out her website at www.creativejuicy.com
Published April 16th 2011
To the locals, it's "the flower market" or just "the market". For more than a century, clustered mainly along twenty eighth street, is a luxuriant oasis of fresh cut and dried flowers, branches and a myriad tangle of every type of fragrant foliage you could imagine. Mini jungles of palms, ficus and other leafy trees huddle together, advertising their respective vendors. Sadly though, The Flower District is one of the last specialty commercial districts left in Manhattan.
Apartment buildings and other developments are slowly but surely swallowing up a once thriving organization.
Still a bustling business district however, the area is frequented by designers, retailers buying stock for their stores, hotels, wedding and function planners. Some of the flora is sourced locally, but most is imported from countries like The Netherlands, South America, Israel and New Zealand.
Despite the current troubles in the flower district, in true loyal New York fashion, many Manhattan-ites still prefer the old-fashioned, sociable way in which business unfolds there. To them, buying quality flowers is still a matter of touch, smell and trust. One such loyalist is Seth Cohen, a designer for Atlas Floral Decorators in Manhattan. He is the in-house florist at the Pierre Hotel, each month buying 30,000 stems as they're known in the business.
One of the great things about the Flower District is that you know when you've found it. When you stumble upon the Flower District, you feel like a kid in a candy store. A quick tour of the market, will have you sailing past a perky, fresh purplish-blue sea of hydrangeas. The fragrance of the fat, butter-colored narcissus is intoxicating. There is a steady traffic of trucks loading and unloading merchandise even before dawn.
Banks of pussy willows line the street and the sweet, wet smell of commingled flowers permeates everything. Splashes of color arrest your senses - yellow tulips, bales of pink magnolias, velvety ruby red roses and huge bunches of multi colored dahlias spill from the storefronts. If you're lucky enough, you'll get to see some exquisite orchids, the rare diamonds of the flower world. As well as the flora, vendors supply pots vases in all shapes and sizes, bamboo, branches and all manner of merchandise to complement your purchases.