The big talk in the New York newspapers over the last couple of days has been the opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Ever since that horrible Tuesday so many years ago, the entire event has been mired in controversy. No one is debating that what happened on that crisp September morning wasn’t one of the most awful things to befell our country. It was terrible for everyone, even for those of us who didn’t lose anyone personally. The country as a whole lost something that day that we will never get back, namely the feeling that we are completely safe in our own cities. The latest controversy is that of an 80-seat café that is to be opened at the museum this summer by famed restaurateur Danny Meyer. The families of survivors find it to be in poor taste that not even someplace so hallowed as the 9/11 Memorial Museum can escape the pure commercialization that runs rampant in our society. I agree. A restaurant at the 9/11 Memorial Museum? How fucking crass can it be?
Customer: Hi, I just relived the horror that was September 11th and after being forced to walk through that tacky gift shop I just want to say that I think having a restaurant here is so disrespectful. How dare you!
Waiter: I’m sorry ma’am. I can certainly understand your hesitation to dine here seeing that my section is directly above the final resting place of over a thousand people, but I would suggest you look at our menu. It was created by Danny Meyer and he came up with the Shake Shack, so he really knows what he’s doing.
Customer: I’m not hungry, I’m disgusted. I just spent the last hour and a half crying my eyes out.
Waiter: I am sorry to hear that, ma’am. Maybe you’d like a quick bite to take your mind off the most catastrophic event ever to have happened on our soil. Can I start you off with some Al-Queda Quesadillas or an order of our Twin Towers of Freedom Fries, which are hand-cut by box cutters and served to you in a take home souvenir replica of the first tower. Buy one tower of fries and the next tower is half off.
Customer: That is awful, you should be ashamed of yourself. You make me sick.
Waiter: If that’s not to your liking, might I suggest something to drink? We do have American Airlines Flight 11 different beers on tap. Cold and frosty! Or maybe an Eternal Fountain Soda which gives you unlimited free refills!
Customer: Are you fucking kidding me?
Waiter: If you’re looking for a light bite, we do have Osama Bin Laden Bagels and Bialys. We do ask, though, that you order those at least four months in advance because they are very difficult to find. We also have a bacon, egg and cheese on a Let’s Roll. The hot wings are also quite delicious and served with a sauce so spicy that it can melt steel. And if you like spicy, you will absolutely love our Jumpin’ Jihad Jambalaya.
Customer: I want to talk to a manger right this very minute. These menu items are completely offensive to me.
Waiter: Yes, ma’am, right away, but please allow me to tell you about our Five-Alarm Chili Nachos and our house salad, which is watercress, tomato and cucumber. It’s called the WTC Salad and it’s quite popular with the locals.
Customer: Oh my God, you cannot be serious.
Waiter: Finally, we do have two house-made desserts. The first is a Talibanana Cream Pie and our Cherries Giuliani Jubilee which is, of course, served flambé.
Customer: I am leaving right now. I have never been so offended by a restaurant in my entire life and whoever thought it was a good idea to have a café in this most sacred of places was sadly mistaken. You people are horrid horrid excuses for human beings.
Waiter: I am sorry that you feel that way. Have a nice day and never forget.
Customer: Fuck you.
Of course no actual menu items have been announced and it’s only been described as “comfort food” and “New York-made draft beers and American wines on tap,” but the whole thing seems a little bit disrespectful. It’s a bad idea, it just is. Sorry, Danny Meyer, I love some of your other restaurants, but this one might be too soon.