Flowerbox Award: Horticulture & Hospitality at 104 W. 121st

Flowerbox Award: Horticulture & Hospitality at 104 W. 121st

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Maxwell Ryan
Aug 12, 2005

(Earlier this week we received a flowerbox award nomination (we love these!) via text message. Sadly, there was no photo, and only a small description. On Tuesday, we appealed to you all, our readers, for help. And boy did we get it. Last night we received forty photographs and the following story (edited down a bit for the sake of space) from our reader/writer, Matt. skgr) On a walk across 121st street from the east side. I enjoyed seeing some of my favorite summer sights, including a 'free car wash' that everyone was slowing down for and enjoying. I snapped a few shots of other flowerboxes along the way and couldn't help but notice how much green there was to see. Flowers and plants peek out of alleyways, on fire escapes, and are cascading down so many brownstone facades in Harlem. When I reached 104 W. 121st street, it was obvious to see why someone nominated it for its beautiful flower display. The owner of the building is Donald Marquez - I know this because his son, Dard, greeted me from the front stairs as if he had been expecting me to drop by. He immediately let me know that his father is responsible for the family's flowerboxes. Suddenly, I found myself being brought on a whirlwind house tour. Dard took me through every floor of their beautiful brownstone. Although the facade is what brought me to 104 W. 121st street, the inhabitants and the inside of the house spoke volumes. And although this was to have been for the flowerboxes, which cascade down the outside and beautify this neighborhood beyond words, the Marquez family deserves an award for their graciousness. Not only do they preserve a historic home, they also preserve a hospitality that I hope never dies away from close neighborhoods. Thank you for sharing your space with us, Marquez family! MN (And thank you Matt for sharing your experience on the Flowerbox Award beat with us! As promised, Matt will be receiving one very handsome Apartment Therapy Hat in the mail from us. As will the Marquez family.)
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