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Winter Reminiscences

The Gardens of Marine Park and the Power of a Flower


You know, one of my earliest and most powerful impressions of Marine Park was triggered by the incredible plethora of various trees and beautiful flowers which adorned the homes of so many of the denizens of this fine community.

Well, since now we find ourselves in the month of December, it might be prudent to bask in the colors which once festooned Marine Park—especially this year, when we experienced the warmest October on record, allowing us even more time than usual to enjoy the gardens of Marine Park.

Such being the case, I thought I’d provide for my nostalgic readers a small but vibrant photo gallery of pictures I snapped while visiting my Marine Park children and grandchildren at the end of September. And with Chanukah just around the corner, I just couldn’t resist the thought of illuminating your lives with the astonishing beauty which, to my mind at least, defines the very essence of Marine Park.

Truth to tell, the various shades and hues of the plants which you see in my accompanying photos do not tell the whole story. Yes, walking down Kimball Street or Quentin Road in early autumn is made so much more pleasurable by the riot of colors that practically cry out to be seen by the fortunate passersby who observe them. But as for me, I also see a ray of hope emanating from the gardens of Marine Park. And I don’t mean to limit myself just to flowers planted by our Jewish coreligionists either—especially since Marine Park is in and of itself a sort of melting pot, somewhat along the lines of what the Lower East Side used to be over 100 years ago: a community of different nationalities and backgrounds which was verily enhanced by the diversity which defined it.

Moreover, I am speaking here of a hope-filled appreciation and realization of what truly constitutes the “finer things in life.”

You see, the flowers of Marine Park remind us that you do not have to own the newest car, possess the finest house, ascribe to the richest lifestyle, or involve yourself to the hilt in the seemingly endless varieties of technological wonders—and chachkas—which have unfortunately become the cynosure of our jaded civilization. The power of a flower—a precious Marine Park bloom—is all it takes to remind us of the artistry of the Basheffer—and that with all our technological wonders, we cannot even begin to compare our technological achievements with the handiwork of the Supreme Artist. Why, just notice how each brilliant flower seems to be making its own statement while concomitantly blending together with its neighbors to wow us with a most admirable diversity: so much so that now that we have been beset by freezing temperatures and frost, the thoughts of the gardens of Marine Park reflect the hope that we shall soon once again experience the power of a flower—be it crocus, daffodil, or tulip! Surely, this is a message of optimistic cheerfulness in the midst of an otherwise frigid, icy Brooklyn winter.

The gardens of Marine Park. They are in their own way a metaphor for the different groups of people who live here and who contribute so much to the quilted patchwork of our everyday existence.

The gardens of Marine Park. They tell us that although December is the month of the advent of winter, very soon spring will be upon us. And then the plethora of colors of our native blooms will once more infuse us with a rebounding, energetic hope for a vibrantly bright summer.

Ah yes, the gardens of Marine Park: How great is the power of a flower!


Questions or comments? I may be reached at hillyarm@yeshivanet.com. A freilichen, lichtigen Chanukah, dear readers!


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