Friday, June 19, 2009

An Atheist Sees Orchids in Union Square

14th Street Union Square is a famous shopping area in NYC. There is a park, a bookstore (the Strand), a place to buy comic books and figurines (Forbidden planet), many eating locations, and places to shop for clothes. There are not many places to sit and use the internet for free in NY, but Union Square has free internet in the park! I have often gone to 14th street to hang out with my girlfriend, Donna. It is one of my favorite places to hang out in the city, but when I saw Orchids on 14th street, I was shocked! There weren't just one or two, there were many!

The park is a popular place for the farmers market. Every once in a while I will go down and see vendors selling cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, many plants, and even clothing! I have often looked in envy at all the plants I could not afford, and thought how wonderful it would be to grow orchids professionally. Of course I would need a greenhouse (or to work for someone who grows orchids, and already has a greenhouse). If this is you, please contact me, here is my resume.

14th street also had a Virgin Record store which went out of business on June 14th, 2009. The last week Virgin was open I traveled there a lot. The prices were slashed down to 80 percent off everything in the store during the last days it was open (and 90 percent off for the last day). I wonder what will replace it? Virgin was a huge store, and any company would be happy to claim that prime real estate area on 14th street.

However when I left Virgin last week, I noticed there was a farmers market, and one vendor was selling orchids. I could not help but stop by and take pictures. Here they are:

Now I know there is mostly Phalaenopsis, but I assure you, there were other orchids too. And this was only one vendor! There was another vendor selling nothing but orchids.

I fully support people growing and selling orchids in the tri-state area! Many older people sometimes complain to me that young people are only interested in looking good, and on image. I think that notion is incorrect. Many times young people have nothing else to focus on. No passion for anything, so they use their energy on themselves, and on exploding at older people who don't understand them. If there were programs which taught young people about growing plants like orchids in the city, then I think young people might gravitate towards it.

As a matter of fact, I was drawn towards carnivorous plants in high school, and during college I actually did research on Sarracenia purpurea. And yes, I was born and raised in the city. Of course I was always an odd ball, but shouldn't there be programs for oddball students? In truth, I believe such a program would keep kids out of trouble. However, I don't think political figures would be very adamant about starting horticulture, or gardening programs for kids in the city. This is a shame. Because people have lost faith in these students, it seems like many of these students are also losing faith in themselves. Many do not make it past high school, and even less make it to college. In this sense, I understand why some young people complain about older folks. We should all spread the love of nature, no matter what our age is!

Orchids in Union Square may sound weird, but it shouldn't! Orchids in Union Square should be a common occurrence. And educational programs about these plants should also be a common occurrence. The current Biology curriculum is fine, but if you teach a biology class without any plants or animals in the classroom, it is like teaching a fish about air. They will just not be interested in something they cannot relate to.

So, people who read my blog, what to do about the lack of knowledge on various plants in NYC? Well if your reading this, the only thing you can really do is start your own program, or educate yourself. I will take the first step. Everyone who reads this blog should read The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean. I believe reading this book might give people (including young people) a reason to care about orchids. Who knows, maybe I may even start a trend (carnivorous plants will also be included, when I obtain some).

There will be updates on the plants I have at home, and on my mother, who recently has taken away my right to walk the way I please (stay tuned for more on this)!

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