The sad news is not that the Strand Diner on 96th has closed — I can still smell the morning I stopped in years ago when something had definitely died on the premises and I only hoped it was not a forgotten busboy. What’s depressing is that the place is being torn down. And that undoubtedly means another obscene tower is going to be wedged into a low-rise block, after construction forces us to walk well around it for months for fear of falling cranes (and crane operators). One diner/mortuary has to be worth more than another high-rise in a neighborhood where it seems half the buildings are festooned with “for rent” signs. And I have to admit I’ll miss walking past and wondering yet again where the “top rated” rating it boasted in a big sign in the window came from. The place knew its audience, idiots not worthy of even Maroon deception.