44th Annual Macy' Flower Show Once Upon a Springtime

Staten Island Chuck, NYC's resident groundhog at the Staten Island Zoo, predicted early spring. Chuck was wrong! The official  groundhog  Phil  declared on February : a slow transition to spring is in store for most of the United States this year.    Mixed rain and snow events for New York City  will take place into April.

If you really want to embrace Spring, then you just might want to head to the Macy's Flower Show. Every March dozens of wonderful blooming flowers declare the arrival of spring.

The show is a two-week long event. It's held on the 1st & mezzanine floor of the east side of Macy's. There are free guided tours every 15 minutes.  Thousands of blooms decorate the Herald Square store, plus Square store, plus seminars on flower arranging, fashion shows, events for kids including breakfast with the Easter Bunny, and more.

This year theme is  "Once Upon a Springtime".  The grand entrance to this year’s show invites you to enter the castle tower.  If you  are tired of an endless winter  and love classic fairytales, princesses, evil queens, fairy godmothers, and noble knights,  my advice is : go To Macys! 

The Orchid Show 2018

The Orchid Show celebrates its 16th year at The New York Botanical Garden. Each year, The Orchid Show transforms The New York Botanical Garden  with thousands of orchids on display. Held in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the display features blooming orchids by the hundreds in lush tropical environments. This year all installations are  crafted by Daniel Ost, Belgian floral artist, floral designer and garden architect.

60-year-old Belgian owns flower shops in both Brussels and his home town of Sint-Niklaas, close to the Dutch border. He provides arrangements for prestigious individuals, events and occasions. Ost   has received numerous awards and accolades in both Europe and in the Far East.
 Ost trained in Belgium and the Netherlands before visiting Japan for the first time in 1983 when he befriended Noboru Kurisaki, one of the most prominent grand masters of ikebana, who became his mentor and teacher. He taught Ost that a single flower used the right way can have more impact than thousands of flowers used en masse.

  The artist said:  “I get lots of e-mails and letters from people saying that my work makes them emotional.   They’re nice, but I’m also afraid of reading them because I always want to keep my feet on the ground, like a child who is playing. The title on my card is bloembinder. It’s an old Flemish word that’s hard to translate. It refers to what you do to bind flowers together, but it’s not like ‘florist’ in English or ‘fleuriste’ in French. It’s much more beautiful than that." 

Orchid Show visitors may select from thousands of top-quality orchids, from exotic, hard-tofind specimens for connoisseurs to elegant yet easy-to-grow varieties for beginners, available for purchase at NYBG Shop.   The Orchid Show is on view from Saturday, March 3 through Sunday, April 22.

The Fearless Girl And Charging Bull

In the early morning hours of Friday, December 15, 1989, Italian artist Arturo Di Modica with his  friends dropped a half ton bronze sculpture of the Charging Bull   on Broad Street right in front of the New York Stock Exchange. The sculpture was removed at the end of the day and found a permanent home  close by at Bowling Green. The bull is a symbol of a strong stock market in which participants are optimistic and confident.

A year ago, 28 years after the bull statue was installed,  between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Tuesday, March  8 2017 a bull got a   neighbor - a 50-inch defiant little girl, cast in bronze.   The statue was installed by  State Street Global Advisors, investment management division of State Street Corporation.
"We got a permit with the city," says Anne McNally, vice president of public relations for State Street, who said the idea for the statue was cooked up jointly by the firm's investment and marketing teams. The permit is for a week, but given the girl's popularity,   permit was  extended to 30 days.

“What this girl represents is the present, but also the future,”  said Mr. Tisdalle,      chief marketing officer at  State Street,  said in an interview,-   “She’s not angry at the bull — she’s confident, she knows what she’s capable of, and she’s wanting the bull to take note". 

  The statue , titled “The Fearless Girl", was  sculpted by  Kristen Visbal,  American sculptor living and working in Lewes, Delaware.
The stunt, timed to International Women’s Day on Wednesday, is meant to symbolize the power of women in leadership. More specifically, it’s part of a campaign by State Street Global Advisors to emphasize that companies with women in top positions perform better financially.

 Sculptor Arturo Di Modica, who created Charging Bull, has argued that the Fearless Girl statue corrupts the original meaning of his creation. 
An attorney for Di Modica, Norman Siegel, said last April:
The placement of the statue of the young girl in opposition to ‘Charging Bull’ has undermined the integrity and modified the ‘Charging Bull. The ‘Charging Bull’ no longer carries a positive, optimistic message. Rather it has been transformed into a negative force and a threat.”
I completely agree with  Siegel : Fearless Girl has transformed the meaning of the bull in a way the artist never intended.

But Mayor de Blasio didn’t care about that. In fact, he pointedly dumped all over Di Modica’s complaints, suggesting they were sexist: last April he tweeted: Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless

 And by the way in October 2017 State Street Corp. ( the sponsor of  he Fearless Girl statue)   had agreed in  to a $5 million settlement over allegations that it underpaid hundreds of female and minority employees.

Originally given a one-month permit, Mayor de Blasio decided to let statue stay in place until March 8, 2018. Time is running out for "Fearless Girl."

Fans started calling for the statue to stay in place forever. More than 38,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to make the statue of the defiant girl, staring up at the towering bull with her hands on her hips, a permanent fixture. 

A spokeswoman for Mayor de Blasio said that the city is still “discussing various approaches to ensure this statue continues to be part of the city’s civic life. The message of the Fearless Girl has resonated with New Yorkers and visitors alike.”

There are rumors  if the girl goes away form Broadway, she'll be taking the iconic Wall Street bull statue she co-opted with her.

 Almost thirty years ago Arthur Piccolo, the current president of the Bowling Green Association,  convinced    Di Modica, the owner ant the author of  the charging Bull,  that the nation’s first public park would be a perfect home for the now iconic statue.

 Piccolo condemned any effort to move Charging Bull away from Bowling Green, while calling for Fearless Girl’s removal from the public park, describing the feminist icon as little more than a commercial for an out-of-state investment firm. “It’s a marketing tool!” he said.

“The mayor of the city has no right to move the bull,” said the Bowling Green advocate. “I would strongly advise him not to put up with that girl being permanently in front of it — it destroys the purpose of the bull to serve a private company.”