By Jill Brooke
Whether it was celebrating romance, friendship or self-love, New Yorkers got in the mood for love under a lush romantic rose arch that florist Lewis Miller generously created at Rockefeller Plaza.
Miller, who flowerpowerdaily.com dubbed the Pied Piper of Petals, has become famous for his spontaneous “Flower Flashes” where his team creates installations in surprising places to delight New Yorkers. “It’s my gift to New York since the city has been so good to me,” explains Miller, whose clients include Aerin Lauder, designer Kit Kemp, Serena Williams and even Meghan Markle. (Yes. It was Miller who created the Duchess or Sussex’s flower-themed bridal shower).
The four-columned floral arch, which was filled with thousands of magenta, pink, lilac, and peach roses, as well as pastel-colored statice and wax flowers, became a backdrop for “proposals, marriage vow renewals” and holiday highlights for those visiting New York.
Michael Cruz and Giselle Acevedo delighted cheering onlookers by renewing their vows, which was easy to do since Rockefeller Center was one of the sponsors and hired an officiant for this possibility.
One man spontaneously grabbed the hand of his girlfriend and decided to propose on the spot.
Also on site was Leena, who was also hired by Rockefeller Center to be the unofficial picture taker. She encouraged participants to get in the mood and the spirit of love while snapping a variety of pictures on each person’s phone.
“This will definitely be a memory,” said Julia Hoefer who was visiting from Germany, with her husband and two kids. While her children said their favorite memory may be visiting F.A.O. Schwarz which was conveniently next door to the arch location, for Hoefer, this floral opportunity helped revive her love of family as well as New York.
Although Miley Cyrus’ hit song “Flowers” about being able to buy herself her own blooms wasn’t piped into any loudspeaker – its message resonated with many who wanted to surround themselves with beauty and “that flower feeling.”
“Self-love should be your first love,” explained Helenice Valentin, who had Leena snapping away as she vamped for the photo. This certainly echoes a theme that was recently reported in the New York Times where larger percentages of people are happier being single. Actress Emma Watson calls it “self-partnered.” Its popularity was certainly on display with the many people – both men and women- just taking a carpe diem approach to enjoying the day and finding fun.
As was to be expected, a family tried to get their crying child to cooperate. Luckily, the child became intrigued by all the blooms cascading over her and soon enough their family got the picture they wanted. Others took pictures with their pets.
Friendship was also embraced by many people who waited in line to have their picture-perfect moment and experience a Lewis Miller creation. Megan Ouderkirk, Stef Spina, and Vanessa Brown had just visited Christie’s to see former Vogue editor Andrew Leon Talley’s exhibit before making their way to the floral arch.
For them, it was the cherry on the ice cream sundae to cap off a fun-filled day.
Aside from Rockefeller Center’s real estate group sponsoring the Lewis Miller arch, which can run as much as $10,000, Ultimate Weddings was also a sponsor.
After all the picture-taking, people were told that at 4 p.m, anyone on the street could take flowers off the installation to take home.
“Only one rose people,” declared C.J., the popular doorman at Rockefeller Plaza for the past 21 years who also served as M.C. and crowd controller.
Maybe because it was a day to celebrate love, no one disobeyed and politely and gratefully peeled the roses off the installation and happily walked the streets of New York with truly special blooms.
Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD, floral editor for Aspire Design and Home magazine and contributor to Florists Review magazine.
Photos: Jill Brooke/Flowerpowerdaily