A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from October 12, 2004
Flower Market/District & FloMa
The Flower Market has decreased considerably from the 1930s, when New Yorkers bought flowers for every holiday (especially Easter). The District is Sixth Avenue from about 26th-28th Streets.

Developers now want to claim the area. "Flower tower" has been used for such developments.

23 March 1902, New York Times, pg. SM12:
The City's Cut Flower Markets.
GOING - another landmark. After nearly a half century of existence the mart of cut flowers is to go away from its site at the foot of East Thirty-fourth Street. It is spending its last Easter there, and on the first of May will establish itself anew in a loft in the old Racquet Club Building, at the corner of Twenty-sixth Street and Sixth Avenue, ona floor above its rival and offshoot that in five or six years has won very nearly half of the old market's trade.

This cut flower market must not be confused with what people generally think of as the flower market of New York - that located at the foot of Canal Street, on West Street, now no more an open-air market, but snugly ensconced in the stalls of the old Clinton Market Building. That market, which was for a Summer or two located at Union Square, is the market of flowers and plants in pots. It does but a fraction of the total trade of New York in horticulture, less than one-half. It is the cut-flower market that does the great and spectacular trade. This is now in two camps, the offshoot or older Sixth Avenue movement having in it the richer growers and larger operators; the original market is still hidden at the foot of Thirty0fourth Street, and there the poorer farmers and the smaller men of the trade, both buyers and sellers, meet daily.

Hidden is the word that applies as truly to the Thirty-fourth Street Market as to that in the big loft building on Sixth Avenue. Few are even aware of their pictureque, pictorial existence. THose that have heard dimly of them do not seem to know that there have long been two.

4 April 1909, New York Times, pg. SM12:
The flower heart of New York trade, from where a great part of the $50,000 investment is distributed, lies close to the shopping district and just on the edge of the hotel and theatre region. It runs along Sixth Avenue from Thirtieth to Twenty-fourth Street, covering, east and west, a large part of those blocks between Broadway and Seventh Avenue. The cut flower business has as its visible axis the northeast corner of Twenty-sixth Street and Sixth Avenue. There is New York's "flower market," although it is not a show place and is hardly known to the public. To the top floor of this "Exchange" 200 growers bring their fragrant wares every week day from greenhouses within a radius of seventy-five miles of the city.

The WPA Guide to New York City
New York: Random House
New York: Pantheon Books
Pg. 164: Flower Market
Millions of flowers - some of rare species - are sold annually in the wholesale flower market in the vicinity of Sixth Avenue between Twenty-sixth and Twenty-eighth Streets.

24 March 1940, New York Times, pg. 94:
By train, truck, ship and plane the river is drawn into the wholesale flower district of Manhattan, concentrated between Twenty-sixth and Twenty-eighth Streets, on and off Sixth Avenue.

10 December 1995, New York Times, pg. RCW1:
In Flower District, Ground Is Sown For Housing
(...)(Pg. RCW8 - ed.)
By the 1930's. millions of flowers were being sold around SIxth Avenue and 28th Street, including 500,000 Easter lilies from Bermuda and 30,000 tulips from Holland.

In FloMa, Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On
Tuesday, January 31, 2006, by Matt Lobron

Why live in Chelsea when there are new buildings sprouting up in FloMa (the Flower Market District, to initiates) just a few blocks to the north. Excavation work has recently begun for Remy, a new tower at 101 West 28th Street.

FloMa's Slow Decay to 'Sterile Swath'

Friday, March 03, 2006, by Lockhart
MUG tosses a bouquet to Manhattan's Flower Market today, noting the district's passing:

Eviction notices have just gone out to merchants along 28th Street, marking the final chapter in the long demise of the flower district... Some merchants have the deed to those walls and they may continue to operate out of buildings they own for a period of time. But with new high-rises such as the Remy underway, and a new luxury hotel to come, it's seems unlikely at this late date that a flower district will remain in that location — or any location in Manhattan.

With the flea market relocated to Hell's Kitchen and the flower district's disintegration, it appears inevitable that this stretch of 6th Avenue will become a bedroom community mirror to upper Sixth Avenue's business towers, a sterile swath where there was once something vibrant and unpredictable, something essentially New York.

January 31, 2006

- The Flower Market District is nicknamed FloMa, which reminds us of "Aunt Flo" and the MoMA - discuss!

Posted by Barry Popik
Neighborhoods • Tuesday, October 12, 2004 • Permalink

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