A beloved Park Slope diner has plastered its windows with messages of support for the hardworking staff at the adjacent Methodist Hospital, where healthcare professionals have been working day and night to care for victims of the novel coronavirus.
John Kolosakas, the owner of Purity Diner on Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street, partnered with elementary school students at P.S. 10 to fill the corner window of his eatery with colorful drawings and letters, in an effort to boost the spirits of the frontline workers across the street.
“They’re stressed out. They’re working a lot right now, way more than they used to,” Kolosakas said of the healthcare workers who frequent his diner. “It’s for a little morale boost.”
Purity sits right across the road from where Methodist’s ambulances dock, so some of the messages are geared specifically towards the EMS workers, who are responding to a historically high level of calls throughout the city.
Kolosakas says he saw the open spaces on his windows as an opportunity to say thanks.
He first partnered with painter Maria Negulescu, who lent her craft to the window as a base. Kolosakas then contacted music teacher Fred Ellis at P.S. 10, who organized a school-wide email asking for submissions.
Letters started pouring in two days later, Kolosakas said.
And to help feed the hospital workers, the diner is currently participating in a “frontline fund” where community members can donate money to the diner so healthcare heroes can eat on the house, similar to the fund set up at fellow neighboring eatery La Bagel Delight.
More than 20 messages currently sit in the windows, but Kolosakas says he hopes to coat every inch of space available.
“I’m hoping for thousands,” he said. “They just keep coming in.”