If you are in the New York area and want to change your head space I have a suggestion for you. Wake up around 7:30, grab a coffee, hop on the 1 line and go down to 28th street.
Once you get off the train, you'll be met with the smell of fresh flowers and a beautiful and calming scenery which is the New York City Flower Market. The brisk morning air accompanied with the atmosphere was enough to release serotonin in my brain and for a brief moment change my whole perspective of New York City.
My day to day experience of the city is: thousands of people- all on their cell phones. Fast trains, fast food, concrete, cigarette smoke ....all equaling anxiety. But when I walk down 28th street I forget all about that and somehow I am brought backwards in time. To a time where nature and humans co existed more, a simpler time where humans were human and not addicted to technology.
Although New York's wholesale flower market is just another row of shops on a crowded New York street, there is something special about "Flower Row" as I like to call it. It's something about the people shopping, the shopkeepers and everybody in between which make the place vibrant yet peaceful. On 28th street's Flower Row, there are no blaring televisions, loud music, huge digital advertisements or any of that modern day non-sense. You look around far and wide and all you see is people.....and flowers.
The New York City Flower Market is the main hub for the city's flower supply, serving everyone from wholesalers, mom and pop flower shops, wedding planners and everyone in between. It may not look like it, but hundreds of thousands of dollars are transacted in the form of flowers on a daily basis.
You would think this sort of commerce makes for a competitive, cut-throat environment. Before arriving, I expected the shopkeepers and sales people to be aggressive much like other retail stores. But on the contrary, the shopkeepers work with their competitors, sending business across the street or next door when they don't have what customers are looking for. While I was there, looking for Olive branches, I was refereed to several different shops where I happily found what I was looking for. It seems as if they work together, which is a practice completely foreign to most sales practices especially in the cut throat Big Apple.
Now nothing is perfect, and like any other business the flower business can be extremely competitive, I just think there is something about working with nature that calms you and puts perspective on things. It makes you remember the value in living things opposed to the plastic centered society we have come to accept as normal.
For the longest time, I told myself I needed to stop and smell the roses and for once I actually stopped and did it. There's something to be said for changing up your environment, and Flower Row was the perfect place for me to do so. It gave me a whole new perspective on how business can be done and how humans can interact.
Maybe its the feeling of being around nature which evokes our human qualities, something which has rapidly been deteriorating in our modern world. It's something that you have to experience to know what I mean. So if you're looking for a change of scenery go check out the New York City Flower Market and stop to smell the roses!