On any weekday at 4:45 a.m., 28th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues is undoubtedly the busiest, most wide-awake street in Manhattan. This is the flower district, where those in the know purchase the best blossoms to adorn Gotham and beyond. Why so early? Because the flowers are flown in each evening, trucked to the block, and prepared for the daily sale that begins at 3 a.m. Those who want the very finest arrive prepared to do battle with hundreds of other designers also after the botanical best.
I’ve done some shopping in the pre-dawn flower market over the years; it’s an amazing experience in color stimulation and inspiration. But there’s bounty other than blooms to be purchased here, and during a more reasonable hour at that: stores with houseplants, gorgeous orchids, silk flowers, and accessories. By far the best is Jamali Garden Supplies, where one finds row after row of glass vases (I counted 67 different shapes/sizes), urns, pots, planters (the wood examples are among my favorites), plant accessories, stones, sea glass, candles, lanterns, seashells, holiday decor items, and party supplies. You’ll be astonished at the variety in every category, but with such selection comes a warning. This is a fairly small store relative to its offerings; the aisle space has been sacrificed to shelving, so be prepared to feel cramped on your Jamali excursion. You’ll feel better when you’ve checked out, because Jamali’s strategy is to sell in volume so the store is always busy. Cheap is not a dirty word at Jamali—a welcome difference to most Manhattan shopping. More great news: Jamali’s wares are available online (an amazing Web presence for such a small operation) and shipped anywhere.
Jamali Garden Supplies
149 West 28th Street NYC 10001 212-244-4025