Dining: Colors, NYC

Here is an example of people taking the terrible acts of September 11th, five years ago, and creating something positive out of the destruction. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, this group of intrepid entrepreneurs have created a unique and truly interesting destination.

However, I think it would be better if we could avoid the ashes, and make positive proactive changes in our societies anyway.

Steaks, not sympathy

When the World Trade Centre in New York was destroyed five years ago, the Windows on the World restaurant on the 106th floor lost over 70 of its staff. Now the survivors have opened Colors, and would rather you enjoyed your meal than offered your condolences.

By Nick Bradshaw
Published: 10 September 2006
It was called Windows on the World, and it was one of America's most prestigious restaurants. Located on the 106th floor of Tower One of New York's World Trade Centre, it offered high-quality dining at high altitude. The restaurant's name may have slightly overstated the extent of the view, but on a clear day it was possible to see across much of New York, a city that is home to people of just about every nation and every ethnic variation.

On the wall of Colors, a new and decidedly more modest restaurant a few blocks away from what is now known as Ground Zero, a simple black plaque serves as a permanent memorial to the Windows staff who were on duty the morning of 11 September 2001. Every person who was working that morning - more than 70 in total - died alongside their customers. A quick scan of the plaque gives little away: there are no ages, no job titles, no indication of where they stood in the restaurant hierarchy. On closer inspection, the names do, however, reveal one thing - that the restaurant was not only a window on the world but also a microcosm of it. There are Anglo Saxon-sounding names such as Stephen Adams and John E Puckett, and also those of Sophia Buruwa Addo Ameyaw and Antonio J Alvarez. Alongside these, Yang-Der Lee, Orasri Liangthanasarn and Mohammed Jawara.

Significantly, the plaque is positioned beyond those areas normally frequented by customers. But then, it is not meant for them. Colors is both owned and staffed by 27 people who worked alongside those who perished in Windows on the World but were not on duty when the towers were hit, together with 23 others who worked in the other food and drink outlets on the now-notorious site.

When Colors opened in January, it became America's first restaurant co-operative. Every member of staff - from the person who welcomes you to the person who washes your plates - has a financial interest in ensuring your visit is enjoyable.

Link: http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/

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Aldo Leopold: "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

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