Spring has sprung!
Ok, not really. Only sort of, as Mother Nature can’t seem to make up her mind, at least in the Mid-Atlantic.
Thank goodness no one told Macy’s!
I love me some Macy’s.
Now, first of all, I have to make a differentiation: There is Macy’s, like the one you go to at your local mall, and then there is Macy’s. The flagship stores. These are a big deal and are modeled after the original Macy’s in New York City. Let me tell you, you will know it if you are in a flagship store. It’s not your every-day Macy’s; often they are housed in historical buildings that boast incredible architecture. Nothing says, “That Betsy Johnson bright purple sheath dress with beaded pearl collar looks FABULOUS on you, dahhhling,” like marbled pillars holding up the dressing room mirror.
Flagship stores also boast the best events.
Case in point, the annual Macy’s Flower Show.
A long time ago, when my great-grandmother was still alive, we used to pile into our car for every major holiday outside of Christmas and New Year’s to go visit her in Brooklyn, New York. One year out of pure chance, we happened to go into Manhattan around Easter time, and I witnessed my first Macy’s Flower Show. It was so beautiful. First, nothing beats the main floor of the Macy’s on 34th St. It’s all glass counters and perfume spritzer-girls, everything a Manhattan department store should be. But then you fill it with flowers? Ugh, break my heart why don’t you, Macy’s?
These aren’t just prim bouquets on countertops. No, these flower arrangements are works of art, so, so beautiful. Don’t get me started on the smell- so delicate (perfume spritzer-girls notwithstanding), so fresh, so odd in the middle of the crowded chaos that is a department store in the city.
I get all googly-eyed just thinking of it.
Anyway, the point is that it is a wonderful, happy, blossoming (see what I did there?) announcement that the Spring season is finally here.
I didn’t know that this floral statement occurred anywhere outside the Tri-State area.
Oh, but it does!
Thanks to the Today Show, a few weeks ago I learned that the Flower Show actually takes place in Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Chicago, and San Francisco, in addition to Manhattan.
And hey, wouldn’t you know that Philadelphia happens to be a hop-skip-and-a-2-hour-drive from me?
Not to bury the lead, but can you guess what I did Sunday?
I have only ever just passed through Philadelphia before, so it was a fun little adventure to go in general. I will say that it is crowded-though oddly not in people, but in buildings. It seems as if tall modern buildings are squished into every available square inch, in odd contrast to the numerous historically-protected, short-in-stature buildings that are also everywhere.
For example, this is the historic City Hall:
Macy’s itself is squeezed in there, and from the outside, it doesn’t look like much:
But once you go inside…
Housed in the historic Wanamaker Building, Macy’s is such a lovely and unexpected surprise on the inside. The building happens to house one of the largest working organs (as in the musical instrument) in the US, and it is a sight:
Macy’s flagship stores tend to lean toward housing mostly designer items, and amidst all that luxury, the first floor was all done up in flower arrangements.
The tagline of the show is “Art in Bloom” and they mean it. There were displays I wanted to take home and hang on the wall in my living room:
It’s such a fun thing. I’m a sucker for making everyday things imaginative and special in some way, and Macy’s really does that- not just for this show, but for whatever event they are a part of.
I loved that on the brochure for the event, they have a list of flowers and what they symbolize culturally. Did you know that flowers have meanings? Tell that to your significant other the next time they bring you a slightly wilted bunch of striped carnations from the grocery store (they may be interesting to look at, but they mean “refusal” which I wouldn’t want in any part of in a romance). Better to go with a bright bunch of daffodils instead (they mean chivalry and new beginnings-a good combination!). My favorite flowers are oriental Poppies, which I was pleased to find mean beauty, fertility, and everlasting life.
All that flower gazing (and sticker shock on that Betsy Johnson sheath dress #FullPrice) might make you a bit hungry, so head on over to Zio’s, an Italian pizzeria around the corner (take the Chesnut street exit) for some really, really good (so I was told) rice balls and cheesesteaks. This place was not celiac friendly, but I chanced it on a plain burger (nothing breaded goes on their grills, ask for no bun) and was so glad I did, because sometimes some burgers just taste so.much.better than the ones you make at home on your George Forman grill.
Altogether, spending a few hours at the Flower Show was a fun and relaxing way to spend my Sunday. If you live near Philly, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Fran, or Manhattan, I definitely suggest a trip- and I’d love to see pictures from the other stores if you have them! Post them to my facebook page: www.facebook.com/iamchronicallywell. Each city has its own unique set-up, which makes it just a little bit more fun and special. Maybe someday I will spend the 2 weeks prior to Easter going traveling to each one- or maybe not. But a girl can have her rose-colored dreams, can’t she?