Olivia Rose, landscape architect and founder of the creative studio Bodega Rose, is calling attention to New York City’s disappearing flower market district in a new mini-documentary, New York Flower Stories – Milton, which is exclusively premiering here on Untapped Cities. Shot by filmmakers Travis Libin and Breno Moreira, the video features the story of Milton Candelario, the owner of NY Topiary, one of the last remaining stores in New York City’s Chelsea Flower Market District. You can watch the entire mini-documentary below!

Filmed by Bodega Rose, Travis Libin & Breno Moreira

As is the story with most small businesses in the city, flower shops in the once burgeoning Chelsea flower market are falling prey to increasing rents, real estate development and big business competition, as well as issues with immigration, a fluctuating economy and Manhattan traffic jams. The flower market district, a one block stretch of 28th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues, began to flourish in the late 19th century when immigrants from Germany, Italy, and Eastern Europe sold flowers out of pushcarts and storefronts to supply the demand of department stores, funerals, and nearby steamships. Once home to more than sixty flower merchants, there are only a handful left in the district today.

Screenshot for New York Flower Stories, Filmed by Bodega Rose, Travis Libin & Breno Moreira

Some merchants moved out of Manhattan to continue their business elsewhere. There is talk of the market potentially relocating to a place like Long Island City where it may be easier for wholesalers to find the necessary square footage for their stock and sufficient parking space for loading and unloading large deliveries, but a proposal for such a move has been struck down in the past. While the floral industry is still a booming industry in the country, it has become increasingly difficult to operate out of the once thriving Manhattan district.

Screenshot for New York Flower Stories, Filmed by Bodega Rose, Travis Libin & Breno Moreira

A born and bred New Yorker, Olivia Rose’s works are informed by landscape architecture and natural plant life, introducing horticulture to art, fashion and performance. Her signature Nike plant holders have been featured in the New York Post and Refinery 29 as well as other publications.

Next, check out 8 Disappearing Districts And Neighborhoods of NYC and 

A Look Back at 11 Iconic NYC Restaurants That Have Recently Closed