Joseph Schommer & Edward Chin-Lyn
Sell trees at: 10th St and 2nd Ave
How long have you been doing this, and how did you get into it?
Joseph: This is our fifth year here. I worked for someone else for one year, and then the two of us went on a bike trip to Philly. I mentioned it to him on our way back.
Edward: It was pouring rain and like 42 degrees. We just had this epic journey on the way back. You know that feeling when you do something super hard, but super gratifying? So we were like, “Wow, that was super gratifying! What are you working on? What do you want to do?” Joe came up with the idea and I was like, “Yeah, I’m on board for this. We can figure that out.”
What do you do on the off-season?
Joseph: We’re all performers. We’re all actors, singers, dancers, drummers.
Do you all live around here?
Joseph: Yeah, we’re all from this area.
How do the trees get here?
Joseph: We go down to Virginia in the summer and personally tag them all. Then we go down and harvest them all ourselves, too, and bring them back. We harvested them a week ago, so they’re super fresh.
Have you had any memorable customers so far?
Joseph: Our night guy got spit in the face recently. It’s not all bad, though. We get a lot of fun people. There are some people who have been coming here all five years and their kids are growing up, we get to watch them grow up and change every year. It’s a nice snapshot every year of the neighborhood.
Edward: We have a lot of memorable deliveries.
Joseph: Up an elevator shaft.
Edward: Like inside an elevator shaft with a 14ft tree.
Joseph: We got on top of the elevator, which is a hand-operated elevator, and he rode it up and we dropped it down and through the doors.
Edward: Opens into the loft, like an old-school Soho loft. So we had to like drop the elevator down and pull it out. [Laughs] But the thing is we couldn’t let go of the tree at all because it would break the cage! You can’t replace those things.
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Kristin Hunt is a freelance writer for Thrillist, and seriously considered one of those Charlie Brown trees. Follow her to holiday indecision at @kristin_hunt.