Thereâ€™s nothing like getting off a 24 hour door-to-door transpacific journey on flights packed like sardines and fed like anchovies and settling into an apartment just bursting with flowers that scream â€œitâ€™s Springtime in New York!â€ I consider New York to be my second â€œhome,â€ having spent long summers here since the mid-seventies, later attending graduate school and living and working in the city for several years. I have family here too. This trip is primarily to attend the marriage celebration of a nephew with a summer family holiday thrown in. It will hopefully provide several opportunities to post entries on food, provedores, flowers, etc., if I manage to find enough hours in the day to pack in all the desired activities. I apologize to die hard purists who expect only Manila or Philippine based entries but I hope you enjoy the next few weeks of Marketman in New York.
On arrival, the flowers in the apartment were stunningâ€¦ first, a crystal vase filled with parrot tulips. Long-stemmed yellow and red blooms with serrated edges petals, these flowers have been sought after for centuries. It was hybrids like these that caused the tulip bulb bubble way back when, and tulip bulbs shot up to astronomical prices only to later crash and take silly investors down the tubes with them. These tulips figure heavily in 17th and 18th century paintings with food and flowers. They are stunning. Less flamboyant but equally beautiful are my all time favorite, white long-stemmed French tulips. Here seen in a purpose made fluted sterling silver vase, these flowers are elegant and simple. For some strange reason, the French seem to be the only ones who can properly grow these tulips. The bulbs come from Holland but the French raise them with controlled lighting and other conditions to achieve extremely long stemmed (3-4 feet!) specimens. Even when I was a struggling college student that flipped hamburgers to earn some pocket money, I would buy one white French tulip when they were in season and place it on my desk (and it would last up to a week). At USD4.00 each retail, I figured the extravagance was about 50 cents a day or the cost of a Diet Coke.
Finally, in this first installment on flowers, the apartment also had these wonderful cache pots filled with hybrid miniature calla lilies in a deep purple. Calla lilies in bright yellow, orange, purple, red, etc. were the totally â€œitâ€ flower of the past few years if the floral arrangements in magazines such as Architectural Digest are anything to go by. I spied a few growers in Manila last year selling these callas but that didnâ€™t seem to lastâ€¦Enjoy the photos! Enjoy the next few weeks of Marketmanila in New York!