This weekend, Bwog ventured into the heart of Brooklyn to find the best and the bushiest of the pinus genus. If you know of any noteworthy XMAS tree purveyors around town, please let us know in the comment section below.
Last week, Bwog posted a list of “Things We’re Looking Forward To,”, which at the time seemed like a romanticized montage of normal life. But this week, Bwog hopes to find you fulfilling fantasy by sitting in front of a fire, standing “in-line,” eating free home-cooked food, hanging out with high school friends and enjoying many, any or all of the other activities on the list.
Fortunately the aforementioned activities are relatively self-explanatory, but one of the more popular activities on the list, trimming the Christmas tree, is decidedly more difficult for those of us in the city and away from home for the holidays for the first time.
Despite the logistical difficulties that fifth-floor walk-ups, studio apartments and dorm rooms pose on the whole Christmas tree orchestration thing, New Yorkers, even the young, cynical, tight-fisted Columbia types, go to extremes to make their homes festive for the holidays. Here Bwog offers a rough guide on how to purchase a high quality tree in the city.
If you’ve got a car or can get your hands on a zip-car (which you can,) Bwog recommends taking a mini-road trip to the Brooklyn Terminal Market, where holiday kitcsh meets Carnarsie, Brooklyn. On a recent visit to the Terminal Market, Bwog arboriculture experts purchased a robust nine foot Balsam Fir for $45, a four foot diameter wreath for $20, six feet of pine swag for $15, two spools of gold ribbon for $1.89 each and a cup of much needed hot chocolate for $1.50 – ideal for sharing and hand warming.
Although Green in Vermont, a rather right-on organic tree farm that boasts of its award-winning maple syrup and its high-tech blog, monopolizes many a street corner in upscale residential neighborhoods like Morningside Heights, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope and the like, they charge over three times as much for a tree of equal size and quality to one found at the Brooklyn Terminal Market.
The yuletide accoutrements decorating Green in Vermont’s wreaths are arguably in better taste than the rather garish designs of the A. Visconti and Sons at the Terminal Market, but again the price is far greater and the size selection is far smaller. You’ll be hard pressed to find a wreath exceeding a foot and a half in diameter at Green in VT.
By making a trip to Carnarsie, you’re basically cutting out the middle man. That said, it’s anything but your typical twee tree retailer. If you’re looking for organic, authentic maple syrup and rosy-cheeked tree-farmer boys, the Terminal Market is not for you. The guys who work at the Market are more efficient than they are bright-eyed and cheery, but when it comes to getting a 6-foot tree on a small sedan, it’s competence, not comaraderie you want.
If the expedition into the heart of Brooklyn seems a bit ambitious sans GPS (navigating Carnarsie can be a bit of a horror,) the ultimate savings prove worthwhile – despite of the extreme distance and weather.
Lawrence J. Lapide strictly sells pines.
Other vendors, like Batampte Produces, carry seasonal regalia in all colors and combinations.
The wreath selection at A. Visconti and Son.
Note the five foot diameter wreath in the upper right hand corner. Over-sized wreaths are the Brooklyn Terminal Market’s specialty.
Things can look bleak at the Terminal Market…
But they also can look bright!