A Magical Afternoon

If you could spend an afternoon with two of your most favorite people on the planet (daughter Wendy and granddaughter Rian to be more specific) learning to make a gorgeous spring flower arrangement who would you choose to be your private instructor? If you were lucky enough to choose Bella Meyer you would be learning at the feet (or hands) of a true master! As my birthday gift Wendy arranged an afternoon session for the three of us with Bella in her magical flower shop, fleursBELLA located in Greenwich Village. She is a very warm, relatable & charming alchemist with an impressive pedigree. She earned a Ph.D. in Medieval Art History in Paris where she was born and raised, then after moving to NYC she opened her flower shop in 2005 to create “enchanted garden-like arrangements that evoke fantasy and pleasure” which it does, and then some! Imagine our surprise when we saw what looked like an original painting of a lilac garden signed by Marc Chagall, casually sitting on an easel on what we soon discovered was our work table. The painting was surrounded by huge pots of lilacs and various other spring flowers of every size and color ready for us to select from for our arrangements. An original Marc Chagall you might ask, how is that possible? It is totally possible when you are Bella Meyer, his granddaughter!

Hoping to try and impart a small sense of the magic of the afternoon I chose a few of our photos to share, I do so with love and gratitude to Wendy for the unique and wonderful gift which will always remain a treasured memory, and with gratitude to Bella for so generously sharing her magic.

Entrance to fleursBella, notice the little chair with an entreaty to “Please Take a Flower”
Bella at our worktable with her Grandfather’s painting as our inspiration
A closer look at our inspiration
Rian with her beautiful arrangement
Wendy hard at work
My finished arrangement, carefully transported home

The Misadventures Of A Brooklyn Tortoise And A Flock Of Sheep End On A Happy Note

This article from The Gothamist, an online newsletter about New York City news, arts and events, and food, published by New York Public Radio, appeared in today’s edition. I thought it was too good not to share with my many loyal followers (!). Now you can see why my oft stated comment “only in New York” never gets old.

A flock of young sheep huddled in the rear yard of a Brooklyn home. Meantime, Doris the tortoise is back home in Brooklyn.

BY DAVID CRUZMAY 1, 2021 11:07 A.M. • 

The separate misadventures of a pet tortoise and flock of lambs came to an end on Friday, with authorities corralling the animals and bringing them to sanctuary safe and sound.

The case of “Doris” the tortoise began ten days ago after the four-legged African Leopard Tortoise split from her Bay Ridge home after the gate had been left open. The owner, Laura Torres, organized neighborhood search groups and posted a reward for the return of the animal. A Facebook page dubbed “Tortoise Lost in Brooklyn” was also created. The hard-shell animal somehow lumbered her way to Staten Island (by swimming or crossing the Verrazano Bridge is anyone’s guess), surviving all those days on who knows what.

The Brooklyn Paper reported that Doris was found on Staten Island by a Staten Island resident who called the local zoo thinking it had escaped from there. Zoo workers were then able to reunite Doris with Torres.

“After 10 days, Doris is finally home,” the family wrote on their Facebook page. “We’re so grateful for all the love and support in helping us find her, and we are so glad to finally have her back.”

On the same day Doris was back home safe and sound, elsewhere in Brooklyn, eight young sheep were discovered in a backyard in Marine Park. The homeowner called the 63rd Precinct, which covers south Brooklyn near the Gateway National Recreation Area, who then brought in the NYPD’s Special Operations

Pictures posted on the special ops Twitter page shows officers corralling the fluffy younglings in a narrow alleyway and putting them in a small trailer with an assist from Animal Care Centers and the NYPD Mounted Unit.

The ACC posted a tweet saying the lambs are “safe” and on their way to Skylands Sanctuary & Animal Rescue in Wantage, NJ, about an hour’s drive from New York City. Authorities still don’t know exactly where the sheep originated

The tortoise and little lambs could not be reached for comment.