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article imageOp-Ed: Macy's Annual Flower Show sparkles with an Asia-India theme Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Apr 4, 2013 in Lifestyle
San Francisco - Each year for as far back as this reporter can remember, Macy's at Union Square in San Francisco has always put together a floral show. This year's theme is entitled "The Painted Garden."
which began on March 24 and continues until April 7. The theme has an Asian style to it, very reminiscent of India. Instead of the usual bunny-rabbit figure as is traditional for this time of year, a majestic painted 10-foot elephant greets people as they enter the floral exhibit downstairs on the first floor. The elephant in Eastern culture is more than a mighty and strong creature, the elephant has helped humankind in that region of the world for centuries, providing transportation, assistance in building and farming. No doubt humans and elephants have struggled to co-exist over the years. And, most will agree, compared to tigers, lions, bears and cobras in the region, elephants have been a helper in Eastern culture. This is why, especially in India the elephant is respected and honored with a garland of flowers. An elephant with a raised trunk, is a sign of blessing. The painted elephant at Macy's greets visitors as they descend to the first floor.
An elephant greets the shoppers and visitors at the first floor level to welcome them to the Macy s ...
An elephant greets the shoppers and visitors at the first floor level to welcome them to the Macy's Flower Show with its theme of "The Painted Garden."
And, as visitors continue past the elephant they will see rows of colorful floral and plant displays set along the walls above the counters and merchandise kiosks on the shopping floor. The floral designs seem to have more than the expected pastel spring-time brightness, these displays have a glow and sparkle which coincide with the Asian-Inida style.
Asian-Indian themed style motifs adorned the walls and pillars of the first and sixth floor levels t...
Asian-Indian themed style motifs adorned the walls and pillars of the first and sixth floor levels to coincide and compliment the floral and plant designs.
Each display is rich, unique and the Macy's store at Union Square has even added an artistic decor motif here and there on the walls and pillars to blend in and enhance the display flowers. More than festive, the display is like something special is happening, a wedding, perhaps, or the arrival of a maharajah or royalty or a special festival celebration.
On the sixth floor of Macy s San Francisco store at Union Square.
On the sixth floor of Macy's San Francisco store at Union Square.
Interestingly, while we Westerners celebrate spring time with our customs of blossoms, flowers, candy and colored eggs, in various parts of India the people celebrate spring with the festival of "Holi" In correlation to the spring cycle of the moon, Holi is celebrated between February and March. Commemorated in different ways for each province of India and Nepal, primarily the celebration is a way to usher in spring time and to chase away winter.
Some of the displays had water fountains  and motifs that presented the impression of a palace or a ...
Some of the displays had water fountains, and motifs that presented the impression of a palace or a maharaja's regal splendor.
It is sometimes referred to as the "Festival of Colors." It is a time when people throw powder of different colors at one another. Usually made from crushed flowers, plants and herbs, the power of various colors, is tossed around like confetti, similar to the way people in the West do when ringing in the New Year.
Deep pink, purple, blue, saffron and green were the palates that caught this reporter's eye on March 25 when I walked into the store. And, I immediately saw the universal elements between a celebration like "Holi" and our traditional Easter/Passover celebrations here in the West. While the celebration of Holi has its roots in various forms of Vedic/Hindu traditions, the sentiments are not that far apart. Holi celebrates the triumph of goodness and an eagerness to embrace spring with its renewal of life.
Five floral designers worked on the displays. The day I was there on March 25  Talin Tascian of Fleu...
Five floral designers worked on the displays. The day I was there on March 25, Talin Tascian of Fleur de Vie was the featured designer.
During the approximately three weeks (displays are up from March 22-April 7) of the floral display, five floral designers lend their talents to the showcase. They are: Laura Little of "Floramor" Studios, Takako Miyashita of Takako Ikebana Studio, Emily Dreblow of Soulflower Floral Designs, Billy Cook of Taste Catering & Event Planning and Talin Tascian. That Monday, when I was there, floral designer Talin Tascian of Fleur de Vie had her creations on display. With a loyal clientele from Carmel to the Napa Valley, Tascian has delighted people with her ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Her works have been regularly featured at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
More festive and regal-like displays were up on the sixth floor of Macy s Flower Show  which seemed ...
More festive and regal-like displays were up on the sixth floor of Macy's Flower Show, which seemed something of a wedding or an event at a palace.
Each week (or about every few days- they are usually up for about 4 days, I was told later,) of the Flower Show at Macy's, San Francisco, one of the five floral designers is featured, through the "bouquet-of-the-day" and other venues. Each designer has the opportunity to express the floral displays "Painted Garden" theme with their own one-of-a-kind talents and skills.
Many of the floral displays on the first floor level were set along the walls and pillars of the sal...
Many of the floral displays on the first floor level were set along the walls and pillars of the sales-floor.
For more than 60 years Macy's Flower Show has delighted shoppers for generations. Part of an annual spring-time celebration, Macy's Floral Show is displayed not only at its San Francisco store but at five of its flagship retail stores nationwide, from New York and Chicago to Philadelphia and Minneapolis. With over 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, Macy's reaches out to the community by helping to support charitable events. This year Macy's Flower Show will feature an art installation of watercolors depicting various plants and flowers that fill the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park. All proceeds from the sale of the paintings will go to support the memorial grove.
Located on the first and sixth floors at Macy's Union Square, "Macy's Flower Show - The Painted Garden" is open to the public during regular store hours. Admission is free and will continue until Sunday April 7. For more information visit the Macy's web site.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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