One of the best things about NYC is the abundance of corner bodegas. I still think about the 24/7 grocery store on 9th Street in the East Village near my old apartment that has e v e r y t h i n g you could ever need. I once counted five different types of almond butter. The bodega situation in Gramercy is not as abundant but is still top notch. Hank and I incorporate a stop at the local corner store for fresh flowers at least once a week. I used to detest ‘bodega roses’ and always ponied up for the hydrangeas instead ($15!) but they would only last three days before wilting. For the past several months I’ve been ignoring my initial aversion and opting for the roses (two dozen for $10, uh deal alert). I’ve really perfected the bodega rose arrangement and it lasts for at least five to seven days. Check out my tips below for making your $10 roses look like they came from the local florist instead of the local bodega.
Bodega Roses for Days
- Pick the roses that are tightly closed and brightly colored. They will be sure to open up at home over the next 1-2 days. These roses are always the freshest.
- Make friends with the outdoor flower cutter. He always directs me to the freshest arrangements and I always make sure to tip him twenty percent. Throwing in an extra two dollars really goes a long way. Gracias Jose!
- Cut the roses in the morning. This is when they’re the most hydrated.
- Buy proper floral shears. Do NOT use regular scissors, as these can crush the flowers’ vasculature and do not allow for proper water intake. The ones I use are here.
- Remove all of the lower leaves from the stems. I find that this is aesthetically more pleasing and gives a clean look to the arrangement. It also prevents bacteria buildup from the leaves that are left to dip in the water.
- Cut at a 45-degree angle under running water and place directly into water-filled vase. The angle allows the stems to stand up in the vase and drink up the water. When you cut directly under running water this prevents air from getting into the stems.
- Use flower food! Don’t forget to ask for it. This surely helps your stems last longer.
- Change the water every other day.
- Re-cut the stems on day 3-4. Slightly annoying but worth it.