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The Untidy Garden Blog

Brooklyn Part 2: One Foot In and One Foot Back, Both Blistered


Last time we left off in a cute, quirky Brookly studio courtesy of Airbnb. The apartment had no air, but it did have a fan. Maybe it was just that I was in a new place, or that I was hot, or that I was excited to be in Brooklyn, but I didn’t sleep very well. I was up at 6:24am. I googled café and coffee shop and nothing was open that early, so I decided to walk the 3 miles to my first destination since I had nothing else to do. It was so nice. I listened to American Dollar and talked to Eric Dodds while walking along the Brooklyn waterway.

I started to get hungry and wanted to get some coffee so I ventured away from the bike path along the water into a more populated area. I went into the New York Muffin because it didn’t look stuffy or  presumptuous and had a sign for green juice on the sandwich board out front. That's the part that sold me: green juice.

I came across a Lexus that was on fire. I stopped walking towards it, but I did pull out my phone to snap a pic. There was a guy who had a big fancy camera who said to me that it was insurance fraud - he seemed to have it under control, so I didn't call 911. He was getting really close to the car. I got nervous that something was going to blow up, so I got out of there. Is this just another day in the life of a Brooklyn-ite?! I walked a few blocks before I heard sirens.

Unfortunately here is where I already started to develop blisters. I wore the only closed toe shoes I had besides my sneaks, and I was getting blistered. I saw a CVS and bought special blister band-aids that promised to not peel off-false advertising, by the way.

I got to my first destination. The lower level was a 35,000 sq ft warehouse of wooden wonders from Indonesia. From The Source was my favorite city find.

What a delightfully spacious workshop Peartree has. It was on the 3rd floor of this warehouse. Liza owns Peartree flowers in Northeast Brooklyn. She used to have a shop out in Portland, OR. She graciously spent time with me offering tidbits of wisdom and advice. She was also working on a wedding that had all sorts of “sci-fi” stuff. We’re talking lots of succulents and thistles and berries. It looked fun, and I wished I could be on-site to see the final product all put together.

I tried to catch a bus to head to Metropolitan Ave. In my ignorance, I hopped on with 2  $1 bills and a quarter. I put the quarter in the coin slot and asked, "Where do I put the bills?" The driver said, no bills, just change. He let me ride anyway-so generous. M next destination was a little garden and flower shop called Red Rose and Lavender. I wandered through the shop looking at the terrarium supplies and the air plants, and chatted with Kimberly about her experience as a retail shop owner.

After all my walking, catching buses etcetera my blisters were screaming at me. I ducked into a dollar store to find some flip-flops. I was in luck except the selection looked very asian/geriatric…..but luckily found some that would do. I got out my debit card. Cash only was the reply I got from the lady behind the counter. Here is where I wish I could have kissed the bus driver who forgave my dollar bill faux pas. I pulled out my two $1 bills and was on my way.

Class was so cool. The flowers, the foliage, the “professors,” my fellow classmates, the cheese tray were all spectacular. We photographed the class’s work. There was a laid-backness about class so I could ask Nicolette and Sarah my questions. I was picturing in my mind that I would be sitting in the back row, hand in the air waiting for them to call on me to ask questions about the business, their experience, general flower questions and so on. Side note: I think all of the florists I interacted with encouraged me to email them if I had any other questions.  I felt they really want me to succeed in this industry even though they don’t know me from Adam. It really meant so much to me. (Scroll to the bottom to see the the flower pics.)

I couldn’t justify throwing my flowers away, but I didn’t know what to do with them….I was flying home the next day and putting flowers through that rigor seemed unfair and way too much trouble.  I decided to take them with me. I didn’t have a plan.

I did want to go to the Dumbo area of Brooklyn to visit one last place. Emily Thompson Flowers. Oh and no big deal, but Emily did the flowers for the White House last year.

Toting my flowers the entire way, I hopped on buses and subways to get to Dumbo. (which means Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass)

Emily’s place was much smaller than I thought it would be. Just like at Saipua the trick is if you have a small space, you use the height of your studio for all your storage.

I walked around some shops in Dumbo and spent some time in a park close by before subbing it back to my apartment, flowers still in tow.

My feet were so tired and blistered but food and the cooler evening air drew me back outside. I walked down Myrtle street to make sure I shopped the area. I felt confident in my decision to eat at Zaytoons which serves inexpensive Middle Eastern fair. It did not disappoint.  I ordered so much food for myself it was kind of embarrassing. I had a dinner plate size pita, a bowl of lentil soup, 4 falafels and a roasted leg of lamb sandwich (in another pita) I was optimistic about finishing most of it, but really could only take 2 bites of my sandwich once it came. I got the rest of my sandwich to go.

I had no trouble sleeping on Saturday night.

Everyone's creations.

Yours truly's.

And another one.

Another student's work.