Thursday, October 1, 2009

Paradise in a Parking Lot

The City of Stamford continues to wage war against the owners of Curley's Diner, having lost a court battle against them several years ago. A while back, city officials claimed the right to close off access to the parking lot at the diner, surrounding them with a 5' tall chain link fence. Not only did the diner lose access to the ten or so parking spaces to the rear of the establishment, it was unable to remove garbage without a team of strong men
lifting the 100 pound garbage pails over the fence.

Several months ago, a hole appeared in the fence next to the kitchen steps.... Culprits unknown.... Now, the kitchen help could walk the garbage pails to the dump truck. The penetrated fence was not to be tolerated by the powers that be, a
nd within a few weeks, a new, double-thickness chain link fence appeared. Shortly afterward, the hole reappeared - again, culprits unknown. Recently, a concrete block, ostensibly the base for a piece of city-owned sculpture, was dropped in place near the opening in the fence. Curley watchers are eagerly awaiting the "object d'art" to be artistically placed between a dumpster and a chain line fence. While the war continues unresolved, diner owners and staff have made good use of their land-locked backyard by planting a kitchen garden. Cucumbers climb the chain link fence, corn grows happily along with jalapeno peppers. Flowers add a note of brightness to what otherwise is a rather dreary parking lot

About a week ago, I received a call from the diner's owners telling me that the situation at Curley's had worsened. Instead of one large concrete block, there were now two concrete blocks and the second one was twice the size of the first. The purpose, of course, was to keep the kitchen staff from taking out the garbage and we can only presume, putting them out of business once and for all. According to the owners, the block was brought in by hoist at 5 a.m. (triple overtime?) Within a few days, the hole in the chain link fence was widened. What was the purpose of spending scarce city money to put the blocks there in the first place? Sheer meanness? To teach those uppity Greek women a lesson? I think the city officials who thought this scheme up were the ones who learned a lesson.

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