Perhaps you remember the recent controversy regarding a ‘mosque’ being constructed a few blocks from the World Trade Center? Once a coat factory, the site was to be converted to a social center with a Muslim prayer hall. Various loons from across the country referred to it as the “Ground Zero mosque,” or the “Victory Mosque.” Newt Gingrich went further: “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington.” And so all of this inspired the loons to descend, requiring the property have 24-hour security. There was a bar next door – The Dakota Roadhouse – cash only and free spicy nuts. I met a number of intense people there – plenty of frazzled brokers, a guy fresh out of prison, waitresses at the end of 14-hour shifts, a rambunctiously flirtatious couple from Denver – and the televisions, like the music were always too loud, even if there was a free Coors Light with every Yankees home run.
Anyway, that was all torn down. It’s a long and winding and sordid tale – told best here – that seemed on its way to becoming a tres chique Muslim Center and Museum. But that’s history too. Plans now call for a 70-story condominium. Perhaps the sacred and profane Dakota Roadhouse will find a home atop of this.