Saturday, December 1, 2012

Manhattan's Sidewalk Christmas Tree Vendors

After Thanksgiving and the shopping weekend, Christmas tree vendors, mostly Canadians or out-of-state Americans, begin to set up shop in the sidewalks of the city. These sidewalk Christmas tree  vendors are ubiquitous  at this time of year. They sell fresh, late-cut Christmas trees in many distinct varieties, wreaths, garlands, stands and even decorations and ornaments. Selling Christmas trees between Thanksgiving and Christmas eve is a 24-hour job for the vendors. It doesn't take a license to set up a tree stand in the sidewalk, just permission from the adjacent building's occupants. Some tree stands are operated by companies that offer services including delivery, professional installation and decoration. Others are small, family-owned operations. Coveted sites like parks and playgrounds are auctioned off by the city to generate revenue.

According to the New York Times, selling Christmas trees on the sidewalks of Manhattan started in 1851. A Catskills woodsman named Mark Carr, recognizing the demand for holiday greenery, rented a corner at Greenwich and Vesey Streets from which to sell his "mountain novelties." 

1 comment:

Andres David Lopez said...

Nice photos.

I spent the night with Christmas tree vendors in Northern Manhattan. They camp out at their spot 24 hours a day for a month, guarding and selling hundreds of trees and dealing with the homeless and the drunk.

Check out the story: