Garland of Divinity's Love flower store celebrated its 38th anniversy by relocated to the 84th Drive adjacent to the Newness-Brightness-Happiness-Fulness Laundromat in Jamaica, Queens. The former decades-old location on Parsons Boulevard is undergoing long-term reconstruction and Kanan Roberts was lucky to find a nearby store just up from our favourite Greek Deli. Equally fortunate for Kanan, the trendy neighborhood cafe, The Panorama of My Silence-Heart is just around the corner, and keeps similar late hours, most convenient for endless lates.
Redecorated in light blue with turn-of the century charm, the Garland of Divinity's Love new locale was showered with customers on re-opening night, exactly thirty-eight years after the original opening date of June 25th, 1971. As Sri Chinmoy would have said, "Can you imagine?!"
A steady stream of visitors gathered as members of the Sri Chinmoy International Choir sang songs written by Sri Chinmoy and dedicated to Kanan and Garland of Divinity's Love into the summer twilight.
Forty years on the block
When he first opened his original store on nearby Parsons Boulevard, Kanan had little experience but loads of enthusiasm, and has been serving the neighborhood with his gentle, self-giving presence ever since. The Garland of Divinity's Love, according to Sri Chinmoy who named the enterprise all those many years ago, embodies simplicity, sincerity, humilty and purity, qualities that Kanan equally shares. At the first opening, Sri Chinmoy handed out flowers to all the customers in Kanan's honour. This year's opening, no less significant without Sri Chinmoy's presence, Kanan gave out flowers in Sri Chinmoy's honour.
For many of us climbing up the hill from Parsons Boulevard subway stop after a long day's journey in and out of Manhattan, entering the flower shop has been like entering an alternate reality, a must 'go-to' spot on the way home to re-balance and inhale that other world.
Kanan's wife Hashi was also there at the beginning way back when, and was immersed in the frenzy of re-opening day. Combined, they have been a steady constant for 80 years in the space of four blocks! Congratulations and gratitude from around the world.
Photos and storyline courtesy of Utpal
Garland of Divinity's Love, Newness-Brightness-Happiness-Fulness, The Panorama of My Silence-Heart
Is made of