Turns out Staten Islanders can't bear to lose their Victory Diner. That was the consensus of the Parks Department, a bank foundation, the Staten Island Advance and borough leaders who've come up with cash and a plan for buying and moving the classic chrome-and-neon restaurant from Dongan Hills to the Ocean Breeze waterfront.
Molinaro has set aside $6 million for the future construction of a "kiddie" amusement park in that area. When Paulo approached him about relocating the diner there, he said it made perfect sense.
Hey, Helen Marshall, how about $6 million towards the purchase of St. Saviour's?
The Richmond County Savings Foundation had the same enthusiastic response.
Hey, Maspeth Federal Savings, how about the same enthusiastic support for a landmark in your own backyard ... oh, wait, you sold the mortgage to St. Saviour's owners because your president thinks the "decrepit" buildings on the site are "not worthy of landmarking".
"The Parks Department has long been a repository for historic structures," said [Commissioner Adrian] Benepe. "We thought we could combine historic preservation with an opportunity to provide amenities to the park."
Oh, fantastic, Adrian! How about pushing to get more parks funding so you can do the same for St. Saviour's?
A vintage diner, saved
This was just a week before:
Borough President Molinaro has built a well-deserved reputation for "thinking outside the box" to improve our quality of life. Here's an extraordinary chance to demonstrate that talent at a relatively small cost to the city.
We urge him and Staten Island's City Council members to get in touch with Parks Department officials and his friends in the mayor's office to seize this fleeting opportunity before it's too late.
Save the Victory
These same officeholders and institutions in Queens can't come together to save a piece of our history the way the SI guys are coming together to save a greasy spoon. All they do here is say how much they would like historical sites in Queens to be saved while they make excuses as to why what is being asked for can't be done. Speaks volumes about who is in control here and whose bidding they are doing, doesn't it? Inaction speaks louder than words.
Photo from Forgotten-NY