A tale of two seasons


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Macy’s Flower Show is, for now, merely make-believe spring


Photos



  • Spring has bloomed ... at Macy’s Herald Square. The store’s 44th annual flower show, “Once Upon a Springtime,” attracts hundreds each day. Photo: Clarrie Feinstein




  • A centerpiece of Macy's Flower Show this year is a dragon breathing fire (orange lilies), and melting the ice and snow. Photo: Clarrie Feinstein




  • The Enchanged Forest, just inside the 34th Street entrance midbloock, has four “bridges” where tulips, juniper, azalea, lilies, even pines and spruces, dress up the Herald Square emporium. Photo: Clarrie Feinstein




Spring has not yet sprung in New York City. Not outdoors, at any rate.

But indoors, particularly within a certain block-long Herald Square emporium, nature is positively blooming.

There, at the Macy’s Flower Show, New Yorkers and visitors to the city alike can take in a grand display of floral opulence. The show’s “Once Upon a Springtime” theme plays on fairy tales, sprinkling magic dust on and around the store’s beauty and cosmetic counters.

Above the mirrors, the lipsticks and the mascara, bundles and wisps of juniper and azalea, anthuriums and tulips, hyacinths and hydrangea flourish on archways overhead. Plaques describe storybook themes and the entire show transports visitors to fantastical places. Simply seeing colors during the grey winter months achieves just that, and brings some much-needed vibrancy to a city ready to burst from its winter somnolence.

“There’s no sign of spring in New York yet,” said Deirdre MacGuire, an assistant gardener with the Central Park Conservancy. “By the end of winter, you are just desperate for some color and life.”

A sculptural dragon hanging from the ceiling dominates the show, with the beast exhaling fire (and melting snow and ice!). Of course, the “fire” is an array of orange lilies darting just below the ceiling. Underneath, a well, all moss and vegetation, adds to the storybook scene.

The show — this is its 44th incarnation — attracts hundreds each day, an important event for the department store hit hard by e-commerce competition. Sales at the chain have fallen for the past 11 years, and more than 60 stores have closed. But Macy’s stock last month surged about 12 percent, sprouting renewed optimism for growth. The trend, if it is one, could counter the argument that the department store model is outdated.

Regardless, the flower show, in bloom until April 8, is a Macy’s tradition, and solidifies the store’s significance.

Brooklyn’s Julia Sanchez has visited to show for the last six years.

“I came on my lunch break and was just awe-struck,” Sanchez said of her initial visit.

It’s been an equally enjoyable experience each year since then, she said. “The flower displays are always so beautiful,” Sanchez said. “It just brings together so many people from so many different places.”






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