March 30, By Christian Murray
Mike Murphy, the owner of Murphy’s Lobster Grill, was only trying to get in the festive spirit when he flew a gay pride flag—alongside the Irish and US flags—for the St. Pat’s for All Parade on March 2.
However, since the day of the parade, Murphy has been receiving some unusual mailings and phone calls at his 48-20 Skillman Avenue restaurant.
The first mailing came on March 10, from a woman called “Amanda.” It was a handwritten message on the back of an official St. Pat’s for All postcard that read: “Thank you for not breaking my virginity last night but your high wire stunt still needs improvement.”
A few days later, a package arrived addressed to Murphy at his bar/restaurant. It included Murphy’s business card as well as a number of newspaper clippings featuring gay groups and gay personalities.
A third package arrived with similar material.
“I wouldn’t call it hate mail but it’s kind of scary,” Murphy said. “The scribbled writing is very creepy.”
The packages did contain return addresses. One was mailed by an Astoria resident that included a phone number. However, Murphy said that when he called the number the person at the other end of the phone had no idea what he was talking about.
Murphy said he has received several anonymous phone calls—from a blocked caller ID—where the caller has just hung up.
Murphy said he has not taken the issue up with authorities. He said if he receives another package he will.
Meanwhile, the gay pride flag is still up. “There is no reason for me to take it down…my restaurant welcomes everyone.”