It was almost a year ago that I skipped off to New York for a little flowering adventure. The revival of poppies and citrus colors in my world has reminded me of my trip. The weekend was a reunion of my first flowering workshop with Team Flower and it was inspirational, I cannot believe I waited this long to share my journey with you.
I am not a city girl. This weekend last January reconfirmed that. I once had a fantasy of living in an old brownstone and donning city fashions, it would be fabulous, but it’s just not home. Upon arrival into the city, I nervously connected with Uber for a ride and was transported to a hotel that was way too trendy for my own good and very hipster, city esc. The room was small, with slate colored walls, the most adorable retro fridge and gold faucets with the perfect amount of patina. And if I remember correctly, there was a tiger – or maybe it was a lion – either way, there was a jungle cat mural that took up an entire wall. The beast’s eyes were nearly the size of my head and I was intimidated.
And you remember winter storm Jonas last year? Probably not. I certainly wouldn’t remember it either if it hadn’t shut down the streets of New York City during my travels. Others voiced their concerns about my travel arrangements prior to my departure, but I brushed it off. I’m from Michigan, I can handle a little winter weather.
The snow started late Friday evening. We spent the night sharing flower tales and enjoying the city. We made a trip to MJ Trimmings which is a ribbon lover’s paradise. I still have a bag of precious silks and crushed velvet streamers that I have yet to find the perfect use for, although I finally have an idea brewing.
On Saturday morning’s itinerary was a trip to the New York flower market. We woke up to about a foot of snow, maybe a little less. Not everyone in the group was up to venturing out in the storm, but we were a mere two blocks away and I wasn’t going to let a few flurries ruin my trip, even it several of the suppliers had decided not to open.
It was completely worth the trip. The Michigan markets can’t even begin to compare. The products, colors and varieties were unbelievable. I cannot imagine how my work might evolve if I had access to a scene like that more regularly.
The snow continued to rain down, impairing visibility and diminishing the paths of the sidewalks. The streets officially closed at 2:00pm and traffic ceased with in the city. And that’s when the adventure really began.
There were few places that remained open that afternoon. And walking was required to make it to any of them due to the travel ban. Snowshoes would have been most helpful. We spent the afternoon in a bridal shop, surrounded by luxurious textures and draping fabric. The owner was the designer I cannot think of a more personal shopping experience than this. One of my new flower friends was engaged and she was gracious enough to invite us all along for this once in a lifetime experience. We watched her model-like form try on the most romantic gowns and transform into a graceful bride.
It’s hard to express how eerie the streets of New York are without the hustle and bustle of a crowd. On our return journey, the snow was still pouring down and street lights were our only guides home. The shops were dimmed and the restaurants had closed their doors. We abandoned the sidewalks in favor of the roads which were much more passable. I’m sure I’ll never again be able to dance in the middle of Park Avenue without a chorus of horns shoeing me on. It was truly unforgettable. It reminded me of a scene from The Day After Tomorrow, although I was hoping I wouldn’t fall throw a glass roof.
Sunday morning we found skies of blue and blankets of white. The city began to dig out and we had a floral class to attend. We headed to Brooklyn. It was my first time and I was surprised and how cheery and charming it really was, it had such a different feel than Manhattan which may be old news to many of you but I’m not much of a world traveler.
Little Flower School was hosting a citrus class. January transforms our world into a monochromatic palette of brown, grey and white. Gloom can start to set in and I, for one, start yearning for spring. A burst of citrus was just what the doctor ordered. Translucent poppies, joyful shades of apricot and salmon and the cutest little kumquats greeted us as we opened the doors to the crisp white venue. Sometimes I think we forget home much color affects our world and pay too little attention to the choices that we surround ourselves with.
Listening to Nicolette (of Nicolette Camille Floral) and Sarah (of Saipua) talk about flowers was so inspiring. It so amazing to think that there are so many concepts, ideas and different approaches to floral design that will all lead to breathtaking results. It’s just a reminder that there’s no one right answer to each flowering question. It’s okay to find your own voice and define your own style. I think that’s one of the things I’ve taken away most from this last year of learning. It’s a gut feeling and while I love the principles and learning about the underlying “whys” of how design works – movements, lines, color theories, blank space, etc. Ultimately we need to make each arrangement and piece of art our own.
And from that explosion of color, I created this…
The rest of the trip was spend exploring fashionable flower boutiques, fancy little French bistros and nearly missing my flight home. This trip however reminded me that by getting out of your element and comfort zones, sometimes we give ourselves new perspectives and liberties. New York is fascinating, but at the end of 4 days, I yearned for the quietness of my own street. I saw and coveted how others create with these big fancy floral markets but they don’t have access to the glorious weeds that grow in my back yard. And this is what makes us all unique and why I think it’s important to travel and stay continually inspired.
Photos are a mix of cell phone shots and pretty flower captures from my new flower friend, Nikelle of Wylde Flowers.