Journey to Paradisios
Sunday, March 31, 2019
By Austin Rese
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                As soon as the Christmas holidays are in the rear view mirror, most of us begin dreaming about spring. Whether it is a way to endure the short gray days of winter or it is simply a means of planning ahead for the annual “Spring Break”, it is definitely something that all of us think about.


While the dreams of most spring breaks may include warm sunny beaches in exotic places, what if you had the opportunity to leave this earth and journey to a place untouched by humans?-- A place full of extraterrestrial beings and fantastic flora? Sound crazy? Well, at the 2019 Macy’s Flower Show, one can do just that. Your ticket is available for two weeks only.


  Just standing in front of New York City’s Herald Square icon, you know you are about to enter a different world. The infamous windows are amass of exotic plants, flowers, and intergalactic fauna. Details are rich. This IS NOT a collection of polyester posies! ---Everything is fresh.


Upon entering the department store, you are greeted by the Starflower I liftoff. This is a spaceship blazing a trail of fresh flowers as it heads for galaxies beyond. There is excitement in the air. Cell phones and cameras are snapping so fast that it is difficult to navigate with one’s own feet. Your eyes are filled with excitement. The sheer beauty of it all is simply "out of this world"!


Costumed “astronauts” share a narrative of the experience. There is a story here: This is the cosmic tale of Flight Director Lucy Ryder and her discovery of the planet Paradisios.  Not only is this planet a cache of fresh flowers, but it is also inhabited by Paradigms (the mischievous characters are hidden among the displays). Every turn reveals another avenue of blooming trees and sculpted displays of flourishing plants. It is truly a near-overload of one’s senses.



In addition, Macy’s paired efforts with New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. Over 300 students submitted their concepts based upon a collection of challenging themes from “Lunar Landing-to-Big Bang”. The winning results were displayed in a milky way of 7 “Fashion Pods”. The talent was simply amazing. Although this was a tale of a “futuristic” journey into space, it was also a glimpse into the rising stars of the fashion scene.          


Every excursion has a bit of history, and this is no exception. This was the 45th Macy’s Flower Show in the New York flagship store. Prior to its NYC premier during the mid-‘70’s, it began (1946) in the California stores as a way to promote a cosmetic department fragrance. Its success led to the creation of an English-garden theme where one would enter through wrought iron gates. This 25-year tradition was soon followed by the high-concept theatrical themes experienced today. Each year having its own tale of intrigue. The stage for this annual event is threefold: New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.


Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group are the talents behind this amazing fete. Needless-to-say, their sketchbook sees little rest as they also envision the annual Fourth of July and Thanksgiving Day Parade events. This is a most talented lot, indeed!


Among the many challenges they must face is assuring that the plants and flowers are all simultaneously in bloom. Then, there is the maintenance of it all… The set for this event is meticulously woven among the merchandise and traffic routes of the store. The possibility of an irrigation system is void. This means a nightly watering must take place. ----By the end of week one, over 50% of the plants must be replaced.


Although a trip to the beach may not be possible for everyone, a visit to Macy’s Flower Show is guaranteed to delight all of the senses and offer an exquisite reprieve from winter’s dowdiness.


I certainly enjoyed my intergalactic adventure!



This was A Moment in America.

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