STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Artist and career waitress Mary-Antonia Lombardi of Port Richmond recently received a grant through Staten Island Arts. The end-product of such an award is a colorful, self-published book about her neighborhood — Welcome to the Neighborhood…10302 (Ingramspark, 2022).
She sums up, “The story is about our dog, Vito, who obtains a new canine sister, Zola. Zola seems nervous in her new surroundings so Vito decides to take her for a walk around Port Richmond to show her her new neighborhood.”
On their way home from their walk, they stop for a “slice and an ice” — at Denino’s and Ralph’s, respectively.
Lombardi includes a few fun facts on the food topics. She notes, “Even though it opened in 1937, Denino’s Pizzeria and Tavern didn’t start serving pizza until 1951.”
Other tidbits point out, “Starting in 1928, Ralph’s Famous Italian ices were originally sold from a truck. In 1949, the first Ralph’s storefront opened in Port Richmond.”
Lombardi said, “So, the book has a storyline and a little history lesson about some of Port Richmond. Recently, I went to The Hungerford School where my daughter attends. I went to her classroom and gave a little history lesson about Port Richmond and read the book to the students in her class. Each student was gifted a book at the end.”
She expressed her thanks to John Fantini, the “10302″ production artist.
On Sunday, the longtime Adobe Blues server will read from the book at her new professional home, The Point at 879 Forest Ave. in West Brighton. It will mark the official launch of her work. She will be available from 5 to 7 p.m. for sales and discussion.
Pamela Silvestri is Advance Food Editor. She can be reached at email@example.com.