Christmas tree sellers pop up on the Upper West Side in late November and stay until the holiday, bringing a rustic vibe and a pine-y smell to our urban jungle. One of them, Jamie Johnson, sat down with Christopher Ming Ryan to explain what he likes about it.

What Is Your NYC Christmas Tree Guy Is Thinking… from Wheelhouse Communications on Vimeo.

This is a popular subject. Two locals made a movie about UWS tree sellers last year.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 20 comments | permalink
    1. dannyboy says:

      No hook-ups!

      The apple farmer at the Farmers Market is so popular with the women that he had an article written about him.

    2. Bah Humbug says:

      He’s form PA. I thought they were all from Quebec? He sleeps in his van, where does he take care of his persoanl needs, showers, etc?

    3. Louise says:

      I absolutely LOVE this. What a great guy. Thank you!

    4. Regina Barba says:

      Si cool!

    5. jezbel says:

      The scent of fresh pine brings that holiday spirit to the air of the Upper West Side. I love it. Look forward to it every year. Many years ago, when I first moved up here after college, I wanted my to buy first tree as an adult, but couldn’t afford it. So I asked one of these guys (back in the day they took over abandoned corner lots) if I could work off the price of the tree.He said yes. I worked bundling trees, cutting off the stumps and helping on the lot for 3 days. He let me take my pick of the remaining trees. I dragged it home (3 blocks) myself. Best memory ever.

    6. Liz says:

      How cool to actually get to know more about the people who sell Christmas trees in the city.
      I too thought all of these folks were from Canada. Glad to hear this guy is from PA. So … there is no danger that Pres. Elect Trump will try to deport this guy and be the Grinch who stole Christmas.

      Looking for a new NYC apt. Think I can rent this guy’s little hut after the Holiday season is over? Judging from the closet sized apts. in NYC, this hut would be a yuge apt. LOL.

    7. Todd says:

      This is great. Check out the folks between 97th/98th too, delightful to talk with.

    8. Wondering says:

      Off topic, but didnt know where else to ask — does anyone know who the amazing (homeless?) man with the keyboard is? He’s currently singing on 104 and Amsterdam and I see him around the block sometimes performing. He’s pretty awesome.

      • Nadine says:

        I don’t know who the keyboard guy is, but would REALLY like to know as well. Him, and the guy who screams about Jesus. I know where the Jesus guy lives, on 106th, but who ARE these characters? WSR, how about doing a piece?

      • Helen says:

        Just wondering if it’s the same person who used to play in my old neighborhood. Is the keyboard player a tall white man, longish brown hair, approx 50 years old? Haven’t seen him for quite awhile. I didn’t think he was homeless, but definitely living on some kind of assistance.

      • josh says:

        Are you talking about the guy who usually plays his keyboard or guitar on Broadway between 104th and 105th? If so, his name is Jeffrey. He told me that went to the Manhattan School of Music, and loves writing/playing Broadway-style music. He lives somewhere in the neighborhood. I think he has family he communicates with; he is often on his cellphone.

        • Wondering says:

          Yes! The man I’m talking about sounds like Jeffrey. He was playing Elton John the other day. I really enjoy listening to him. Thanks for this, and thanks to the other commenters too for replying.

          • josh says:

            He also smokes rolled cigarettes nonstop. But he’s great — he played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for my daughter one day..

    9. Carol says:

      This is awesome. Really brought a smile to my face and reminded me of why I love living on the UWS. Thanks!

    10. Fran says:

      Thanks for this way upbeat interview. It’s the simple things……soooo upper west side-ish!!! (Smile icon here!)

    11. Bill says:

      Thx WSR. Really no place better than UWS. Yes, a bit cold in winter, but still great.

    12. Jamie Johnson says:

      Thanks everyone. To answer a few questions. My hygiene needs are provided by some supportive businesses here. I do have a house, and honestly, this is so fun for me. I do a lot of neat things. River guide, ski instructor, seaside renovations, musician, even work a crab boat sometimes. People are an adventure for me. This is my first year on the west side. It’s great. Feel free to look me up on Facebook, Jamie Johnson, Freeland, PA, Whitewater Challengers, Mr Lumberjack. Thanks west side for the great experience.

    13. Mark Moore says:

      The tree guys at Columbus and 94th were there two days before Thanksgiving (I guess to reserve a good spot?) and are now living in a van parked across the street by Duane Reade that has no license plate on the rear.