The other day I was SO excited to finally see something I’ve been wanting to see in NYC for a long time…something that randomly pops up in unknown places and at unknown times with no warning or guidance on how or when to find it…a Lewis Miller Flower Flash!
What is a Lewis Miller Flower Flash? It’s basically like a flash mob but in flower form, and way more charming. Lewis Miller is an insanely talented New York City based floral artist, and what he does for a Flower Flash is create a huge, beautiful floral arrangement and then sneakily place it somewhere around the city, (often in a trash can) in the dead of night for New Yorkers to discover upon waking. Imagine just walking by, minding your own business, and coming across the most incredibly beautiful burst of florals in the most unexpected of places – a New York City trash can? It’s that juxtaposition of grit and beauty, along with the unexpected delight of discovery, that makes the concept so cool and unique.
A Lewis Miller Flower Flash is pretty much the white whale of NYC living. He doesn’t announce them in advance, and basically sneaks off into the night to install them. He usually will post an Instagram in the morning and sometimes gives the location, or the picture will have a clue as to where it is. He’s done them in iconic areas (Rockefeller Center, Central Park) as well as the most random of spots (a garage door on Elizabeth Street, a phone booth on West End Avenue). You can read a fun interview with Lewis Miller here where he describes how disgruntled New York dog owners, impervious to the beauty of a gigantic, stunning floral display, get annoyed at having to cross the street to an alternative trash can to throw away their poo bags when they come across a Flower Flash (that made me laugh).
Since coming across a Lewis Miller Flower Flash is pretty much a random mix of luck and timing, I was super excited the other day to actually have the opportunity to see one! I woke up and checked Instagram first thing (my daily morning routine, not the best I know…but this time it worked out), and saw a post from Lewis Miller showing five new Flower Flashes he’d placed around the city as a tribute to healthcare workers. He said he wasn’t revealing the locations as he wanted the workers to come across them naturally (and because he didn’t want to encourage people to come out of quarantine to go searching for them, which I totally did but I wore a scarf over my face and only went a few blocks, plus I’m a healthcare worker so I felt justified haha), and I left a comment asking somewhat jokingly if he’d tell healthcare workers where they were. He didn’t but luckily a wonderful Insta follower of mine DM’d me to let me know that one of them was right in my neighborhood of Lenox Hill. I happened to have the day off and I thought to myself, when am I EVER going to have this confluence of events happen again – a Flower Flash within blocks AND the day off to go check it out? With this in mind I basically bolted out of bed to go see it, and I’m so glad I did!
I hope a lot of other people saw this Flower Flash and the others scattered around the city and it brought some brightness into their days. Keep an eye on the Lewis Miller instagram – you never know when another Flower Flash might pop up!