Murals in the parking lot of the Neptune Inn on City Island include one of the World Trade Center, which is peeling away, and another for the Virgin of Guadalupe, which is intact. (Photos by Rolando Pujol)

If there's one thing that City Islanders enjoy in great numbers, it's seafood places. The Neptune Inn, on the island's southern tip, has been closed for years because of a fire, but still draws the curious because of the murals in its parking lot.

Two murals in particular attract attention. One is in shabby condition, and shows the World Trade Center. A local restaurant worker who noticed us snapping photos of the murals last weekend told us that the paint began to flick away shortly after 9/11, in a coincidence that some felt poignant, if a touch bizarre. But what raises even more eyebrows is the mural right next to it, which shows the Virgin of Guadalupe. That mural is in excellent shape, with no serious signs of damage.

This juxtaposition, this person said, has inevitably led people to impute some greater meaning to the murals, and, he says, even pay their respects at the murals. (A third mural, right next to the one of the WTC, has some paint damage but not as much.)

We later asked around and found no other such reports, but we can say for sure that the murals are striking. Another sight-seer also noticed the murals and was snapping away while we were there. Other Web sites have found the Neptune Inn's murals worthy of mention.

Soon, these conversation pieces may be a memory.

The restaurant -- its windows smashed open and trash and furniture everywhere -- is poised for demolition, we were told. And that means those murals that attract so much attention may well disappear along with the old Neptune Inn.

The murals are 35 City Island Ave., across from the popular Sammy's and Lobster Box restaurants. And keep an eye on Urbanite for more dispatches from our recent visit to City Island.

 

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-- Rolando Pujol