|Northwest corner, Union Square|
Macy's Flower Show opened Sunday, offering a chance for those of us who simply cannot wait for spring blossoms to go someplace where they are already in full bloom. The day was chilly but brilliant, one with translucent blue skies. It was one of those days where the wind had blown away any stagnate air, so that the skies seemed to confer perfect vision. The sun was strong enough to draw people outside to dine on the sidewalk or to take their time with window-shopping.
|Approaching Madison Square Park|
The old stretch of Ladies Mile between Union Square and Madison Square, once the most fashionable shopping district in the city a hundred years ago, still attracts many customers, although the businesses these days are less about what to wear than how to decorate the apartment. ABC Carpet, a vast interior decorating palace, is always worth visiting, even if a pillow is the only thing some of us can find affordable. Style and affordability lures many of us to Fish Eddys, hoping that our smart dinnerware patterns will be enough to satisfy visitors. Pressing on north of Madison Square, it's hard to skip the vast attractions of Eataly, the popular Italian food emporium, or two blocks later, the chicken and biscuit fortification at Hill Country Chicken (and don't forget the pies). Nor are we stopping in a wholesale store or a wig shop today, or even more alluring, the bars of the Ace Hotel. Not today. The Flatiron area is full of distractions. That's why it works.
|Eataly, 200 Fifth Avenue|
|on Broadway, near W. 29th St.|
Walking through Greeley Square just south of Macy's brings some signs of spring in the form of potted yellow daffodils. But, beyond, who are these mice?
|Greeley Square, near W. 33rd St.|
|Bystanders in Herald Square representing another corporate franchise|
Macy's Herald Square succeeds as an enterprise like few others in its ability to channel the seasonal spirit. Their fall extravaganza, the parade, is more well known, but the Flower Show, now through April 10, taps into our basic need for the return of spring colors. On opening day yesterday, throngs of visitors crowded around extravagant themed gardens, especially abundant on the main floor, creating traffic jams of people pulling out their cameras to snap pictures of loved ones with the greenery. Some people managed to even shop. Adding to the festivities were pet owners with dogs festooned in spring outfits, the little canines having taken part in Macy's Petacular competition. The many perfume samples intermingled with the flowers, so that the hydrangeas and azaleas began to smell like Chanel No. 5. In the real world of New York City, it's cold outside and the cherry trees have yet to bloom, but inside Macy's, the master illusionists have done their work.
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from Sunday, March 27, 2011.
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