If you have even the slightest love of plants and flowers, you can’t miss the world-famous Los Angeles Flower District (766 Wall St., 213/622-1966, www.laflowerdistrict.com, Mon.–Sat. mornings). Sometimes called “America’s Flower Market,” this vast sea of color and beauty is a triumph of American multicultural entrepreneurial spirit. The first flower cultivators in Los Angeles were Japanese Americans, and today many growers are of Hispanic descent—perhaps especially fitting for an industry that creates products in all colors of the rainbow.
When you visit this vast sea of beauty, you’ll find a fun cacophony of different languages being spoken as floral retailers vie for the best products available on any given day. But never fear: Anyone can come and stroll the narrow aisles of the various markets, and you’ll find plenty of pre-made bouquets with which to impress your sweetie.
Or better yet, find someone who can create a custom arrangement for you, since just about every kind of cut flower, potted plant, and exotic species can be purchased here. You can take away a bouquet filled with flowers you’ve never even seen before!
Among other major events, the Flower District supplies the unbelievable needs of the Rose Parade each New Year’s. Literally millions of flowers go into the creation of the stunning floats (which must incorporate flowers to qualify for most of the awards in the parade). It’s hard to image the work necessary to fill the orders for the floats, but the denizens of the flower market do it every year.
One caution: while the flower market itself is safe for visitors, the area to the south is not. Get good directions before you come, and don’t plan to wander the neighborhood on foot.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition