In this time of national tragedy, particularly for those of us in the New York City area, NYC C.L.A.S.H. extends its sympathy and concern for all of those affected by this catastrophic event.

This page has been slow in coming due to the fact that our organization has been personally affected by the loss of the great men and women of the uniformed services of this great city.  It's taken a while to compose ourselves enough to collect our thoughts and dedicate a page to our heroes and to what it means to be an American and a New Yorker.

If the terms The Bravest and The Finest never meant anything to you before we can all be sure that you understand them now.  These dedicated firefighters and police officers paid the ultimate sacrifice while willingly and selflessly performing their sworn duties to protect the city they love and its people. Those that are left behind are as much the heroes as they dig day after day, hour after hour, with little relief, refusing to give up or give in.  Their pride, courage and resolve is, and has always been, boundless.

Forgive us, and this is not meant to be directed at the general population, but as a smokers' rights advocacy group to begin with we must ask....

Who dares to fault any of them for wanting a cigarette now?


431 Canal St.
New York, NY 10013
(212) 966-5110

A donation alternative

Many people are understandably concerned about the controversy that now surrounds many of the agencies who have set up funds and collected donations for the victims and their families.  You're not quite sure where your money is going and if it will be dispersed to the beneficiaries of your choice or when. Hundreds of millions of dollars have already been collected by these agencies.

If you've wanted to make a donation to help in the relief effort but weren't sure yet who to write your check to, please consider assisting Nino's.  You know where your money is going and exactly who is benefitting from it.  It's certainly a worthwhile cause to help out in feeding the men and women who are working tirelessly and with unabandoned hope to bring peace to the families and friends of the victims by recovering their loved ones. CHECKS CAN BE SENT TO THE ADDRESS NOTED IN THE FOLLOWING STORY.  Consider mentioning that NYC C.L.A.S.H. sent you.

Antonio (Nino) Vendome, owner of Nino's Restaurant, is proving the adage that the way to the heart is through the stomach.

Since the World Trade Center attacks, he has thanked rescue workers and civil servants by offering free hot meals such as lasagna or eggplant in tomato sauce 24 hours a day at his family's Canal St. restaurant.

"It is not a birthright to have people risk their lives and their families endure that risk with them and us not address and appreciate it," said Vendome, whose family immigrated from Italy
in 1955 with four suitcases and $40.

Vendome, a 49-year-old, square-shouldered man with spiky,
steel-gray hair, said he also wanted to
provide the workers with a friendly
place where they can recharge.

"Nino's has been fabulous," said Ken
Brown, 48, a state trooper from upstate

 Waterloo. "The togetherness and love is overwhelming."

"Everything is somber down there, but here it's okay to joke around," said Alfred Faustini, a 37-year-old traffic officer.  "[Nino's] the hero. He's doing it for us."

Amid the thousands of cards, photographs and statements such as
"We LUV You" decorating Nino's walls and the poster-size installations outside, a sea of blue and gray uniforms flows in and out of the restaurant steadily.

For some, Nino's also has offered an opportunity to reconnect. 

"You feel at home and you get to meet old friends because everyone comes here," said Sgt. Graig Foster, 30, a Bronx police officer. "It's like a reunion."

Since Sept. 13 the restaurant, which 

typically served 150 meals a day, has dished out 5,000 to 7,000 meals daily. To pull it off, Nino's relies on its old staff of 10 to 15 people plus 50 new hires and 100 volunteers, and uses outdoor trailers and smokers for
additional cooking space.

Vendome, whose primary business is real estate, estimated the restaurant has spent close to $2 million on the effort, half of which has come out of his pocket. Nino's also has received donations from such companies as Scaturro Supermarkets and Coca-Cola.

To keep the free meals rolling for a year, Vendome established the
Nino's Restaurant 9/11 Fund (45 E. 57th St., Eighth Floor, New York, N.Y. 10022). Since Sept. 24 the charity has received $45,000 and many food donations, including 1 million paper plates and 3,500 pounds of chicken. 

For more information or to volunteer, call (212) 966-5110.

Cigarettes were also being supplied but that seems to have stopped.  If you are over 18 years of age please take a moment to send a note to the tobacco companies and ask if they'd help by donating cartons of cigarettes to Nino's.  The boys (and girls) are asking for them.  The rescue workers that smoke report that there are no stores near the WTC site at which to purchase cigarettes.  Cigarette breaks are a momentary relief for many of them.

Email RJ Reynolds        Call Philip Morris:  917-663-2144       Email Brown & Williamson

We'd like to take a moment to deliver this postcard to everyone:

Date: 09/18/2001
To: The World 
From: New York City

To erase it from images would be to pretend it never existed. It WAS there, it was OURS, and it will ALWAYS be a part of us.


NYC C.L.A.S.H. is of the mind that human nature plays dirty tricks on us.
We believe that actions to remove all visual reminders of the World Trade Center, whether it be 
depicted in movies as a backdrop, commercial logos, etc., is a well meaning mistake.
The nasty side effect of such an act would be to dim our memories, thereby dulling the collective grief that propels and empowers us to seek justice and the anger which carries us when we think we cannot go on.  If nothing else, it is a tool which enables us to keep focused on our mission to preserve our American way of life. If everything else, it will serve as a reminder that we were strong, can remain strong, and will come back even stronger in the end. 

And should we be reminded now and then, by video replays, about the horrific act of terrorism that stole over 5000 people and brought our "New York-ness" to its knees, then better still.  It will keep the fire burning in our spirit long after the fire at "ground zero" has been extinguished.  It will not allow us to start questioning our goal as that day fades into a blur in our mind's eye. We never intend for that to happen but our personal lives become unwilling catalysts for such cloudiness.

NYC CLASH views these two giants that stood in our sky for almost 30 years as a symbol of NYC that took on almost a human quality.  It became a part of who we are.  It was a beacon for all, acting as a compass and as a north star for those who were finding their way or were lost.  It was a comfort in it's own way. We believe that these should be two more "victims" added to the final tally. 

It now takes on new meaning while adhering to it's old. According to a NY Post article, Sept. 19, 2001, Mr. Mark Gobe, president and CEO of the Desgrippes Gobe Group, remarks, "The question is if the towers, because of events, have transcended being just office buildings to being an icon meaning 'freedom.' The Twin Towers qualify as a symbol of pride for people, and should be kept."

We couldn't agree more. Let the towers' image grace our landscape in every way but the way it no longer can as a memorial to those we have lost and so that we might not go "blind."

Anyone who believes it would be insensitive to the families and friends of the victims...  let us go out on a limb and say, we don't think that would be true. Images of the towers will also forever keep these innocent victims, but yet strangers to many, in our thoughts daily for years to come.

Cutting the World Trade Center, Tower 1 and Tower 2, out of scenes or pictures would be like cutting it out of our hearts.  It's already been taken away from us once. Don't take it away from us again. 



PART II - "...With Liberty and Justice for ALL"

PART III - Behind the Scenes of the Anti-Freedom Campaign