Halfway to Heaven

by

10/16/2001

1 dey st ny 10007

Neighborhood: World Trade Center

On the first day of October, the Windows on the World community held a memorial service for those lost in the WTC tragedy. Held at the breathtaking and enormous Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the simple and touching service managed to make everyone feel as one in love, loss and sorrow. The renowned restaurant also had many fans who attended the service, among them Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Charles Schumer.

Senator Schumer, who was married there in 1980, spoke about his personal fondness for the restaurant and how it held so many memories of people’s anniversaries, celebrations, engagements, and vacations. What made the restaurant unique and alive was not only the view, but the people who ran it so smoothly and elegantly. I was at the service to remember my friend, Doris Eng, who was a Club Manager at the World Trade Center Club at Windows on the World.

We grew up across the street from each other. I’d known her since I was eight years old. Almost twenty years later, our sisterly bond still held strong.

Doris was at work bright and early that Tuesday morning. As Club Manager, Doris oversaw the breakfast and lunch clientele. She was always professional and in control, but when Doris flashed her great smile, you knew she was having fun too. I ate lunch there twice. Doris wanted me to see where she worked. And boy, was I impressed. The setting and view was unparalleled. Enjoying jumbo shrimp and sumptuous desserts, I ate like a queen. After lunch, Doris showed me around the dining area, pointing out the views from each side of the tower. I had been to the observation deck a few times but hearing Doris’s descriptions was special.

She was the one who taught me the trick of how to remember the order of the lower Manhattan bridges –– from south to north (B)rooklyn, (M)anhattan and (W)illiamsburg. BMW, which is the car Doris owned. Correction, the car Doris loved. The pampering she bestowed on that car was hilarious and touching. It was her first big purchase, one she was very proud of. And she had every right to be. Soon after she bought her BMW, she got her own apartment. And all the while, her career was thriving. Doris was beautiful, smart, loving and kind. And a bright future lay ahead of her until that cruel, cruel day stole her away.

I remember something we talked about during one of my lunches at Windows. Doris got to work early every day, before 6am, to prepare for the breakfast customers. I told her the sunrise view must have been magnificent. And she said yes. It was one of the things she loved about working there. I envied her, to be able to go to work and have that view everyday. When you were at Windows on the World, you were halfway to heaven. Now, Doris is all the way there.

And I miss her so much. The thought of not being able to call her just to chat or her not being here for milestone events is almost too much to bear. At the St. John’s service last night, someone said we are feeling such great sorrow and grief because of the great love and joy those missing brought to us. That is just too heartbreakingly true.

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Halfway to Heaven

by

10/15/2001

150 liberty st ny ny 10006

Neighborhood: World Trade Center

On the first day of October, the Windows on the World community held a memorial service for those lost in the WTC tragedy. Held at the breathtaking and enormous Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the simple and touching service managed to make everyone feel as one in love, loss and sorrow. The renowned restaurant also had many fans who attended the service, among them Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Charles Schumer.

Senator Schumer, who was married there in 1980, spoke about his personal fondness for the restaurant and how it held so many memories of people’s anniversaries, celebrations, engagements, and vacations. What made the restaurant unique and alive was not only the view, but the people who ran it so smoothly and elegantly. I was at the service to remember my friend, Doris Eng, who was a Club Manager at the World Trade Center Club at Windows on the World.

We grew up across the street from each other. I’d known her since I was eight years old. Almost twenty years later, our sisterly bond still held strong.

Doris was at work bright and early that Tuesday morning. As Club Manager, Doris oversaw the breakfast and lunch clientele. She was always professional and in control, but when Doris flashed her great smile, you knew she was having fun too. I ate lunch there twice. Doris wanted me to see where she worked. And boy, was I impressed. The setting and view was unparalleled. Enjoying jumbo shrimp and sumptuous desserts, I ate like a queen. After lunch, Doris showed me around the dining area, pointing out the views from each side of the tower. I had been to the observation deck a few times but hearing Doris’s descriptions was special.

She was the one who taught me the trick of how to remember the order of the lower Manhattan bridges –– from south to north (B)rooklyn, (M)anhattan and (W)illiamsburg. BMW, which is the car Doris owned. Correction, the car Doris loved. The pampering she bestowed on that car was hilarious and touching. It was her first big purchase, one she was very proud of. And she had every right to be. Soon after she bought her BMW, she got her own apartment. And all the while, her career was thriving. Doris was beautiful, smart, loving and kind. And a bright future lay ahead of her until that cruel, cruel day stole her away.

I remember something we talked about during one of my lunches at Windows. Doris got to work early every day, before 6am, to prepare for the breakfast customers. I told her the sunrise view must have been magnificent. And she said yes. It was one of the things she loved about working there. I envied her, to be able to go to work and have that view everyday. When you were at Windows on the World, you were halfway to heaven. Now, Doris is all the way there.

And I miss her so much. The thought of not being able to call her just to chat or her not being here for milestone events is almost too much to bear. At the St. John’s service last night, someone said we are feeling such great sorrow and grief because of the great love and joy those missing brought to us. That is just too heartbreakingly true.

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