24 May2005

There’s nothing like getting off a 24 hour door-to-door transpacific journey parrottulipson flights packed like sardines and fed like anchovies and settling into an apartment just bursting with flowers that scream “it’s Springtime in New York!” I consider New York to be my second “home,” 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 stunning… first, a crystal vase frenchtulips 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 callahad 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 “it” 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 didn’t seem to last…Enjoy the photos! Enjoy the next few weeks of Marketmanila in New York!



  1. Rina Hubilla says:

    marketman, I do hope Zabars is in your itinerary and that
    a write-up is forthcoming!

    May 24, 2005 | 2:12 pm


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  3. joey says:

    …and Le Pain Quotidien! Great for breakfast or brunch amd totally their wonderful Brunette hazelnut praline spread…

    May 24, 2005 | 3:01 pm

  4. Maricel says:

    Beautiful flowers! How about a picture of some lilies-of-the valley. Its simple beauty always takes my breath away.

    May 24, 2005 | 6:22 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    Egads, didn’t know there were so many New York hands among Marketmanila’s readers! :-) Such pressure… Maricel, I do already have photos of lily of the valley (was at the flower market and saw a box with nearly 1,000 stems!), I do hope to hit Fairway and Zabar’s, and some other favorites. However, I am here primarily for a wedding and will have limited time to gather too much information. I am just glad to be back in NYC for a brief visit…

    May 24, 2005 | 9:04 pm

  6. Karen says:

    Such beautiful flowers, Marketman! How about pressing one or two for a New York Spring 2005 souvenir?

    May 26, 2005 | 8:01 am

  7. ENYA says:


    I hope you’ll have the time to visit the outdoor Green Market in Union Square in Manhattan. Would you be kind enough to take photos of some unusual fresh produce and share them with us?


    Enjoy your vacation!

    May 26, 2005 | 12:31 pm


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