Exciting as Staten Island life looks from our coverage, the forgotten borough also has its small-town side, and revels in little things like its ferry terminal fish tanks, which borough president James P. Molinaro insisted upon installing last year. Inspired, Molinaro claimed, by the Sarasota, Florida airport’s fist tank, rather than by a paisan in the business, they cost $750,000. When they opened in February 2008, some locals asked, “Do you think a fish tank will mean anything to people without a job?” but most thought they were swell. It was the pre-2009 era, and big-money fish tanks seemed like a good idea.
But almost immediately the beautiful tropical fish in the tanks began to die. “When you open a fish tank, there’s a period when everything gets acclimated,” said experts and deputy borough president Ed Burke. Nonetheless the death rate only accelerated, and now over 90 percent of the fish are dead, says the Staten Island Advance. A mere 40 fish uneasily roam the giant tanks; the rest have been killed either by their colleagues, “stress,” or insomnia caused by the omnipresent fluorescent lights in the terminal. Insert your own metaphor here. Photo (cc) AJ Tallam.