By Claudia Saide | Images via Ovando and Vandal
I love New York. I live here, and I have for pretty much ever, and I’m grateful to say that I’ve never gotten sick of it. Never once, not at all. I love the smells (except for maybe those Halal trucks), the attitude, but most of all, I love that there’s always something going on here. Seriously, there’s something happening at all times—there’s a reason people call it the city that never sleeps.
For those same reasons though, New Yorkers can be a pretty jaded bunch. I mean, believe it or not, being exposed to just so much definitely has its repercussions (there goes my sarcasm). It’s like if a restaurant or bar isn’t new and innovative enough, it won’t survive (to a certain degree anyway—some of us actually do appreciate a good ole’ dive).
I, for one, don’t usually care too much for these brand new, over the top bars and restaurants—I don’t need innovation, just a solid meal and cocktail from time to time—but when I got an email about how Vandal (the Tao group’s newest hotspot) was being fronted by a flower shop (it’s called Ovando) that makes flower crowns (hello Coachella), I was definitely intrigued. I love flowers, I love things that you can wear on your head, and obviously I love food, so I figured, “What the heck? Let’s pretend to be cool for a night.”
So off to Vandal I went and, I gotta say, the Kool-Aid tasted pretty damn good. I mean I’ve definitely seen similar places before, but a flower shop? Now this really made sense. It’s like Vandal and Ovando read the minds of every boyfriend that forgot to get his girlfriend flowers before a special night out, and every girl that dreads wearing a scary penis light-up veil to her bachelorette party (or was that just me?) and would much prefer a crown made from fresh flowers.
I was starting to get why this whole double identity thing took to New Yorkers so well. It’s like getting two cool experiences for the price of one, plus you can take something home with you besides just your average doggie bag. And even if you’re not interested in taking a solarium home, playing fairy princess with flower crowns is kind of way better than pushing your way through a throng at a bar while you wait for your table.
I mean, maybe it’s just the fairy princess living inside of me, but I was totally sold. Let me know if you agree.