As Frank Sinatra famously told us of New York, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
But as an Upstate family recently learned, Ol Blue Eyes' words are no match for Mother Nature.
The Conte family of Yorkville, New York have owned and operated Hippos House of Billiards for 30 years. But this week, the beloved local institution abruptly shuttered for good after an epic Halloween flood filled the facility with mud and water.
And after years spent trying to get local and state government to address the area's flooding issues, proprietor Victor Conte posted a to-the-point message on the business's sign:
"GOODBYE NY FU" on one side and "NY GOVT DRIVES OUT BUSINES [sic]" on the other.
Worst of all? The family had just reopened Hippos this past May after a devastating Spring flood all but destroyed the place in April.
Conte's daughter, Erin, posted about the closure on her Facebook page, saying the recent flooding has left them "beyond repair."
As Erin Conte wrote in her post:
"For MANY YEARS, my father attempted to address the significant flooding issues in that area with local government, to no avail."
Speaking to The
New York Post, Erin Conte elaborated on her Dad's struggles with an astounding 10 floods in 15 years at Hippos:
"He really has tried. He's exhausted all options with local government... He's frustrated."
As for her Dad's pointed sign statements, Conte is right on the same page:
"I absolutely think it makes a statement."
In the wake of Conte's post, Facebook filled with commenters sharing their memories and laments at the closing of the beloved local spot.
And when it comes to anger towards the local government, the Contes are certainly not alone.
Oneida County, where Yorkville is located, declared a state of emergency and allocated $1 million to help flooding victims. It's unknown if the Contes qualify for assistance.