Isabella came to the backyard of 84 Clinton with her mother. It was a very special day – they were preparing for a birthday party in Isabella’s honor, to be held the following weekend in our 900 square foot backyard. Her mother had seen the pictures and fell in love with the space she said looked identical to her backyard growing up. While Isabella’s mother was looking around at the yard, discussing table configurations and seating options – Isabella was rolling around in the artificial grass, ostensibly oblivious to anything but the sweet air and the sunshine. We asked Isabella how she felt about turning 5 and she responded by showing us her wand; Slyly changing the conversation away from something of fictive importance – to something of a pressing concern. Her glittery wand tied with ribbon and a found air freshener pod she held delicately in her hands, telling us it came from a mermaid. She told me this with such matter of fact importance it was impossible for me to doubt the story (*ehhem please note I did say the words: “do not put that in your mouth – wash your hands if it bursts etc.) But mostly, we didn’t doubt that this girl, would be just fine.
When we renovated the cement backyard we had no way of imagining Isabella running excitedly back and forth, Stoli close at her heels. But, moments like this take place before each of our events. Our clients come in and look around the yard and ask us questions about what they can expect on the day of the event. We put their minds at ease, telling them about our offerings and when we told Isabella’s mother about our event photography she lit up. As if by echolocation – Isabella, who had been playing noisily on the other side of the fence, popped her head around the edge – smile huge – camera ready. Without being asked she plopped down on our of our couches and struck a pose. And then she struck another pose, and another one. It was a week before the party, but Isabella was ready for pictures now. And so, of course, we obliged.
We are are looking forward to this event! Pictures of the space, and information about how to host your own event at 84 Clinton can be found here.
There is a lot of work to do. In a flower shop. Buying flowers, Cleaning flowers, Delivering flowers, Arranging Flowers. Interacting with customers. Fielding phone calls from solicitors, cheerfully transcribing orders from customers. Taking out the Garbage, sweeping up the stems, rearranging the store after the busy mess of the day. Taking pictures of flowers, uploading pictures of flowers, writing captions of flowers. Telling customers to subscribe to our newsletter – suddenly remembering we have a newsletter. These are the chaotic constants but there is another constant – something called “A Lowell”. Named after one of our hotel Clients, we denote either: Small, Medium, or Large.
A spread of white roses in intervals of 12, 25, or 75. Their stems spiraled perfectly to create a dome on top of a low square glass ribboned with a single Aspidistrus. This elegant arrangement delights hotel guests, and gives us a therapeutic moment to think. A muscle memory task of cutting, cleaning, and lovingly nestling the heads of each rose against one another. A peaceful moment to rewind the day. Our minds, are clear. In this moment we sit together and talk: Mostly nonsense, about the day, about each other. Repacking the events of the week and maybe subconsciously our Life (is that dramatic?) These are the moments that reset us. With each other, with ourselves, and with the flowers we are surrounded by.
The consistency forcing stillness upon us, we are grateful. For our clients, our tasks, and for the flowers.
In the flower business we experience change in a very unique way. It comes and goes in the form of Seasons. (Okay, so that’s how we all experience change I guess) We see the colors change, the business slow down, and then pick up, and then taper, then skyrocket, and then – it all repeats itself. Change happens in cycles. The notion of change is spurred, (within us as within all people) – by the changing weather. The weather is, of course, the most readily available stimulus to give us humans a pervasive sense that something is different. That there has been a change. I can imagine the first leaf falling, as the integral moment the human psyche woke up and said “what….is…happening..” Out with the old, in with the new. “The winds are a-changing” (said in the most witchy voice you can muster plz). There are countless adages that affirm what we are feeling now: The necessity of Change.
We have been a Flower Shop for over 50 years. That’s a long time. In this time, we’ve experienced lots of seasons, and have experienced them in multiple locations. The Upper West Side, Upper East Side, and for the last 20ish years, the Lower East Side. Now with this new location, we are feeling the winds of change with a heightened sense of clarity. It is true, the only constant in this crazy life (and crazy industry) is change.