Denise Porcaro is the founder and owner of the Lower East Side’s dreamy Flower Girl NYC, which means that she’s responsible for some of the most beautiful yet deliciously edgy arrangements we’ve ever seen. Her emphasis on monochromatic palettes and interesting greenery have worked their magic for the likes of Band of Outsiders, the Smile and Everlane. The New York native — who studied film and broadcasting and worked in prop styling and production design before transitioning to blooms — grew up in Queens and is still inspired by her city on the regular.
How does food fit into your day?
We eat all together, depending on the day, or sometimes I’m running. We order from El Rey or stop by Russ & Daughters Cafe. We’re big snackers at Flower Girl. We have Kind bars and trail mix, but one of my favorite snacks is, once in a while, we’ll pop a bag of popcorn. It’s just fun. I love popcorn, it smells good, and you don’t want to eat a whole bag yourself, so it’s a communal thing. We have a chocolate hour: We also have our own chocolate bar and an espresso machine. So we’ll have coffee and chocolate if there’s a sluggish moment.
What’s for dinner?
My fiancé and I are home as much as possible. We stay seasonal and healthy: Josh likes chicken in every shape and form, so we do a lot of chicken a lot of fresh vegetables. One of our favorite things to do at our house upstate is grill a whole fish. Once in a while we’ll do something crazy that has 10 ingredients, but I grew up Italian, so I like to keep it simple as possible.
One of our favorite places to go is Estela — it’s just so yummy. Bar Goto just opened right next door to Flower Girl, and I could not be happier about it. The owner is from the classic cocktail bar Pegu Club, so he’s known for amazing cocktails. I feel like I could go back there all the time, and the food is really lovely.
Describe your personal style.
I tend to be a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl. I wear a lot of different hats at Flower Girl so when I am setting up an event it is usually jeans and a T-shirt and some comfy shoes, like sneakers or boots. I tend to be relaxed but I like to be polished and well-put together. Maybe there’s a pop, just like with flowers, a red lip or something. For dinner, my favorite look is the one that goes from the work day to dinner: so maybe the jeans I was wearing but with fancier shoes or bright lipstick.
Where do you look for style inspiration?
I never thought I’d say this, but I like to see what’s happening online. I end up down a rabbit hole, whether it’s via Instagram or in my mailbox. A lot of my beauty and fashion has turned that way — it’s just easier when you’re super busy. For fun, eclectic stuff, I like to check out parts of Brooklyn. It’s fun to see other entrepreneurs and local people doing cool things.
What are some spots you like around town?
I happen to love Queens: If you’re not going to stay in the city, eat a meal in Jackson Heights, where there’s everything under the sun. I love a walk on the High Line. The best walk I had was late night in the rain; all the tourists were gone and it was just the two of us. There’s something so beautiful about what they did up there, and we have a west side location as well, so you can get a moment of nature. For cocktails, Russ & Daughters Cafe has amazing cocktails, and The Ludlow has a fireplace; that’s a great place to tuck away. A couple shops I like are Love Adorned and Warm.
Any other creative ladies you’d like to shout out?
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