On my last trip to New York, I took a subway uptown to the MOMA. While waiting on the subway platform I read a small local newspaper someone had left behind. It had a small advertisement for New York’s greatest tourist destination. Always being fond of such audacity, I decided to venture a visit. Two subway rides and a commuter train trip later, far from Manhattan, just outside of New Rochelle, the tops of the highest skyscrapers from the city barely peeked up on the horizon. A small half empty parking lot held a half-dozen cars. You might expect a bigger area for NYC’s greatest tourist destination.
I paid the six dollar entrance fee and continued though the tall gates. The sign just inside the gates laid out the self-guided tour. A giant sign was emblazoned with the museum name and greeting. Welcome to the Coffee Shop Vats of New York City. I stood before the first sign in the self guided tour as I became knowledgeable to the wonders of Coffee Shops Vats. Giant containers the size of massive water towers stood in multiple rows. Each easily a hundred feet high and fifty feet across, clearly marked with their specific contents. I stood at the beginning of the first row and peered down the aisle. It became evident this place is responsible for the storage and distribution for all the accompanying food products for all New York area diners. A massive task and function to be sure
The behemoth containers went as far as I could see. Each with a large spout similar to an elephant trunk for distribution. The first row seemed to be the most popular and desired. Tank one was labeled Macaroni Salad, tank two, Cole Slaw, tank three, Potato Salad. Personally, I would think they would be reversed by popularity, but that’s just my opinion. Down the rows, I read the signs and information form other vats. Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad, Egg Salad. I was quite impressed with the history of the egg salad vat, it had been donated Mayor Guliani just after the 9-11 tragedy. As it turns out, terrorists also struck the Coffee Shop Vats in an attempt to create massive disruption and upheaval to the New York area coffee shops, but in place of planes they crashed large trucks into the vats. Only the egg salad vat was destroyed, the smell was so putrid, the area was evacuated for months.
Looking down other rows I see, the Rice Pudding, Soup du Jour, Jello, Pickles, Potato Chips. I feel a bit of a shiver run down my spine as I imagine the tragedy if the terrorists have been successful, what if they would have destroyed our precious coffee shop reserves? The terrible thought of eating a roast beef sandwich without the finishing comfort and accompaniment of the trusty cole slaw or pickle brought a tear to my eye. Finally, I understood the true need for homeland security.