Sunday, March 11, 2012

Put a Barn Board On It

This is a little story about how Emma and I traveled to New York for a few days of wonder and fun and eating and visiting and meeting and playing with flowers.
But, in order to tell the story properly, it is important for me to illustrate the origin of my sarcasm. Back in December, Emma, her best friend Maddie, my friend Jones and I went to the Picnic holiday sale in Portland...Maine. On our walk there, we were joking about how everything was going to have birds as the meem. Emma and Maddie mentioned this funny skit from the show Portlandia, and ever since, we have been hooked on the phrase Put a _______ on it. We insert whatever is appropriate for the moment. For example, when discovering the mouse situation under our stove this winter one might exclalim... "Put a cat on it".

The impetus for the trip to NYC was to take a flower design class from Sarah and Nicolette at the Little Flower School. 
Indeed, it was amazing. Hellebores and forced blooms of woody perennials....especially the magnolia, took my breath away.
 I absolutely loved watching Emma work on her arrangement and eagerly take feedback from our gracious instructors. It was a superb afternoon and the highlight of our trip.
We did explore Brooklyn and parts of Manhattan. Emma was on a mad hunt for vintage clothing stores. We managed to find an Urban Outfitters on every 3rd block, as ubiquitous as Starbucks. Emma told me on our way home that the only thing she would change about the trip was the size of her stomach. She wished for it to be larger so we could have had a few more meals. Ahhh, I love this girl!
One little trend we kept noticing, in restaurants, dressings rooms and even in the Chelsea Market was the prevalence of reclaimed  wood. 
Often, we felt like we were eating or trying on clothes inside our barn, minus the cobwebs. My sweet cynic of a daughter would exclaim: "Put a barn board on it" or "would you like reclaimed with that?"
But in all seriousness, it was evident all throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn that an aesthetic of authenticity is sought after. In fact, in the Chelsea Market, as we were searching for a place for lunch, we passed all in a row, a butcher shop, Dickinson's Farmstand Meats, that focuses on locally raised meats and sells a fine lunch. Next door to the butcher shop lunch counter, all in a row, a dairy bar, a farm-to-table restaurant, and then a lobster market. Emma looked at me, with a big smile as we both realized we had come all the way to New York and the restaurant selections reflect our life in Maine. My head for business kept wondering how do we capture a little of this enthusiasm? And, the prices blew my mind. New Yorkers are willing to play a premium for locally produced farm products and their enthusiasm appears unquenchable. Our host, my dear friend Pete, and I had a long conversation about this trend. He explained that New Yorkers are no longer paying for art and music. They are spending their money on food and technology. Food is the new art and technology is a viable medium for exchange. Mind blowing indeed.

Second to our class at the Little Flower School, we both loved the morning we spent in the wholesale floral district. Flowers, plants, moss, vases, the smell of 1000's of sweet peas in bloom 
and color galore. It was a fantastic reminder of why we love flowers.
 It also gave me such hope for a season of blooms so beautiful I would have to catch my breath every morning I set my hands to work cutting stems in the field.

The other thing that always amazes me about a trip to New York, is I never knew I was in need of something until I see it:

Some superhero supplies....Really?

Blessings on the meal- (and the barn boards)


  1. That Portlandia clip ("we're going to birds on everything!") is hysterical. Thank you for the beautiful dose of humor and flowers today!

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  3. Put a Barn Board On It...hilarious! Looks like a lovely little trip!