The Flower Market in New York City was not what I had imagined. For some reason, I was expecting an outdoor market or a warehouse on the water. Not so. Typical of New York, even the Flower Market is an urban thing. It’s a series of stores in Chelsea on 28th Street, between 6th (Avenue of the Americas) and 7th Avenues, a short walk from Penn Station.
A collection of mostly wholesale, but also some retail stores, the market is a mecca of all things floral, including cut flowers, greens, containers, and silk botanicals. At Christmas time, there’s also a collection of Christmas goodies.
The florists vans start showing up around 4:00 a.m. or 5:00 a.m. but you don’t have to get there that early if you just want to look around. Some of the stores close at 10:30 a.m., with select retailers staying open until later in the day, so plan your trip accordingly. Some of those wholesalers want to see a florists licence when you enter their store. Also, the wholesalers are selling bulk flowers, so if you are permitted to purchase flowers, expect to buy in bulk.
The NYC Flower Market has been around for more than 100 years, so it’s an institution with a lot of history. Perhaps because of that, it’s a bit of an intimidating place to negotiate, and as I newbie, I definitely felt like I was missing the secret handshake (or perhaps just a florist’s licence), but it was absolutely worth the trip.
I’m already planning a Spring trip!