Less than 48 hours after we arrived in New York, I headed to the Union Square Outdoor Market at Union Square (14th Street and Broadway in Manhattan). I used to frequent this market every Saturday when I lived in the city in the late 1980â€™s. It was just a few years old then but already a very welcome addition to cityâ€™s rapidly expanding food scene. In mid-May there isnâ€™t much locally grown produce yet so the market seemed a bit sparse but there were several items of interest. First, the tail end of Springâ€™s first flowersâ€¦
There was an impressive selection of apple, cherry and dogwood tree branches on offer from one of the flower vendors. Lined up in large buckets, these branches make terrific arrangements just by themselves places in large glass vases. They also last many days if you prep them right and change their water often. Make sure you make a fresh cut in the branches and plunge into clean water. Other flowers at the market included these bright yellow daffodils. A very common flower in the Northeast, they are always amongst the first to peek out after a long winter and I used to savor the day that the first daffodils used to bloom up in Boston after long dark winters. This vendor had tray upon tray of daffodils that people were scooping up to plant in their window boxes or small home gardens. They keep for several days indoors if you just put them in a cachepot and water carefully.
Finally, another harbinger of Spring at the market were these spectacular hyacinths, here stunning purple specimens that were already cut and being sold in wrapped bunches for folks to take home and display in short vases. It was extremely cold the morning I hit the market but these phenomenal flowers reminded the bundled up shoppers that warm weather was indeed just around the corner!