Editor’s Letter: How Romance Was Born At Petal Drop LA (01)

Today’s quote of the month aligns perfectly with my initial intention of what the post should be about: romance. Two weeks ago I shared one of my favorite moments of 2016: a first visit to The Last Bookstore on Valentine’s Day that rekindled my deepest desire to extract introspection at its finest and produce creativity to move masses. My second favorite moment of 2016 actually happened PRIOR Valentine’s Day, just days before.

A friend and I took a spontaneous trip to downtown Los Angeles where we were eager to “see” Petal Drop LA (01). We soon realized that everybody else wanted to see the installation and we were met with a line that wrapped around the block. The exhibit lasted for 15 minutes per group session. Because the artists wanted to honor the spontaneity and shortness of the installation, there was no guarantee that anybody standing in line would make it to the door, and no promise that something like this would ever be reproduced to its magnitude ever again.

Determined as we were, my friend and I stuck around. As we treaded slowly, but surely along the line, strangers having just seen the installation would walk by us and shower us in flowers. The shared excitement amongst the crowd prolonged our anticipation as we drew nearer to the entrance. As fate would have it, we were part of the last group granted permission to enter. Part of why the event needed to be timed per group session was because, one, there were only so many rose petals they were able to collect to produce the event, and two, daylight, to some extent, was needed as part of the event. Unfortunately, due to the diminishing supply of the rose petals and the sunset, our session was deduced to a shorter period of time compared to its original design.

We entered what would normally be a dirty alleyway no onlooker would dare venture into while exploring downtown. But it wasn’t that same alleyway. Instead, it was transformed into a hallway made of magic. There were origami pieces hanging on the walls, a table that featured pieces of paper visitors could use to write down their shared experiences. There was a violinist standing on top of an iron wrought staircase from above and you could hear the most beautiful melody playing. There were rose petals seamlessly falling from the sky. It was like witnessing the first snowfall of your life, except with roses, one of our society’s most treasured emblems of love.

Everything we experienced at that art installation, what we saw, heard and felt-those are the elements I wish to produce in my life. We had a taste of a miracle that day. It wouldn’t have happened had my friend not suggested it. What I lack in spontaneity, my friends proudly make up for! That particular day won’t just be a moment in 2016 that I won’t forget. It will be a once in a lifetime experience that I’ll always remember. Because I imagine that this is the closest resemblance artists can create to stimulate how it feels to fall in love. I imagine that this was how romance was born.

Rosie Chuong

Featured Instagram Photo: @jasminekaurmann, All Other Photos by Rosie Chuong

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