Windows Broke on Sept. 11

The new Windows restaurants and banquet rooms occupied two acres of space but bore virtually no resemblance to the original. When asbestos was discovered, the space had to be stripped to the steel girders. Every inch of the floors and walls and ceilings were torn down. You could walk on the 107th floor and stare down clear to the empty chasm beneath your feet.

CEO Joe Baum demanded that everything, everything, be reconsidered. I was summoned to write an essay on the very meaning of the word “restaurant.”Another day I was assigned the task of explaining the term “menu.” He insisted on knowing what people were wearing on the street, in the entrance to the tower, and on various floors of the twin towers.

To make sure we were striking the right balance I was instructed by Joe to spend some time loitering on the five floors occupied by Cantor Fitzgerald, so that I could report on the way the employees were dressed on Monday through Thursday — as well as on dress-down Fridays. We identified these hard-driving bond traders as being among our prime drinkers for The Greatest Bar on Earth.

On September 11th, 25 percent of all deaths came from this single company. Five floors of the North Tower were demolished. 858 perished. Many more drowned in an ocean of grief and despair.