On display at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute through May 2017
New York’s Flower District is an unexpected oasis in Manhattan, a stretch of sidewalk on 28th Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue that is lined with trees and flowers. But the Flower District has been wilting over the years. In its heyday in the 1970s, wholesale flower distributors could be found on 6th Avenue between 26th Street and 29th Street. Over time, those distributors have been priced out of the neighborhood and expensive hotels have taken their place.
The wholesalers that remain open their doors well before dawn for the florists and event planners of the city who need flowers and foliage. Deliveries from around the globe start arriving around midnight, and wholesalers start unpacking them around 4 a.m. Workers plunk cut flowers in buckets of water, other plants are laid out in boxes and pots on the sidewalks. Armloads of blooms are wrapped in brown paper before they’re carried off by customers. The bustling district starts to quiet around noon as wholesalers pack unsold plants back into their coolers and storerooms for the next day.