Halal food trucks are taking New York City by storm, according to Pakistan’s Dawn.com. Check out this video report on the trend — the intoxicated American customers are especially funny:
For me, this video conjures a memory.
Late in the morning on September 11, 2001, after the twin towers had fallen, I was walking towards Lower Manhattan to report for the West Side Spirit, my employer at the time. Along the way, a few blocks south of Central Park, I stopped at a halal food truck that was close to where I think this video was filmed. It might have even been the same cart — that apple logo is familiar — but of course I can’t say for sure.
I remember the streets were empty. Those who hadn’t quit the city were now trapped in Manhattan because the authorities had blocked car and train access in and out of the island. A bus driver was on his mobile phone yelling at his wife because she (astonishingly) hadn’t heard about the attacks yet and didn’t seem to understand why the driver, who had been forced to abandon his bus downtown, was nervous and upset. A guy in a suit covered in white dust walked by.
At the halal food truck, I asked for a chicken pita. A couple folks — white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant middle-class types — were in line behind me.
Nobody seemed to care about the food truck guy’s religion or ethnicity. Nobody said anything about how our food had been prepared according to Islamic law. I remember someone telling the guy they were really glad he was still open.