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Unusual Restaurants: Dinner In the Sky

Patty collects recipes and gadgets from the past and is interested in early American history, the Civil War, and the 19th century.

This stunt by the early Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City became a real dining experience in the 2010s. Notice the ironworkers in the lower lefthand corner of the photo.

This stunt by the early Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City became a real dining experience in the 2010s. Notice the ironworkers in the lower lefthand corner of the photo.

Waldorf Astoria and the First Dinner in the Sky

Ironworkers have often eaten lunch while sitting on top of their work in skyscapers in New York and New Jersey. We see scenes of such lunches in films and TV shows and even commercials advertising better lunch food products and thermos bottles.

Today, a Belgian company sponsors fancy dinners in the sky at long formal tables held about 150 feet or 50 meters in the air by a crane. The experience is a bit like fine dining on a Ferris wheel or roller coaster.

The high rise Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City was built in part by such ironworkers and as a publicity stunt, the hotel featured a couple eating a gourmet dinner while hoisted up into the sky with their table, chairs, waiter, and Matre 'D.

It is true that flagpole sitting was a popular "sport" among male college students in the 1920s - along with gold fish swallowing and telephone boot stuffing (with people). However, thus far, no reports have come in about any of the pole sitters eating while perched atop a flag pole. The Waldorf Astoria is the first to sponsor a meal where Superman would fly by if he wished to do so.

Ironworkers Tribute as a 9/11 Monument

The intriguing historical sculpture above is an image of 11 ironworkers from the 1030s and The Great Depression Era. The men are eating lunch as the models were doing in a 1932 photograph that is now in the Betman Archives (see photos above).

The work was sculpted by artist Sergio Furnari and finished just weeks after the 9/11 tragedy in New York City at the World Trade Center Towers. The sculpture stood at Ground Zero for 5 months and inspired the workers their with thoughts of the iron workers and their daily hard work. The iron workers are still a part of America and they form a long tradition and string of memories that will not be erased by bombings or anything else.

The ironworkers built the original WTO and new ironworkers helped to build the triute replacement buildings after 9/11.

As with much history, controversy surrounds the ironworkers at lunch. John Anderson of the New York Times stated ion 11/11/2012 that the image was taking during construction of Rockefeller Center, the well-known portrait of 11 immigrant laborers, legs dangling 850 feet above Midtown, ran in the Oct. 2 Sunday supplement of The New York Herald-Tribune, with the caption “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper.” Mr Anderson feels that no one knows who the p photo and other sources state that the image was a publicity stunt; however, the image of the Waldorf Astoria dinner features ironwrokers at a year earlier than the 1932 photo.

Note: Rock Center is the old RCA and then the GE Building.

The famous black and white photograph named Lunch atop a Skyscraper was taken by Charles C Ebbets on September 20 1932 for a New York City newspaper. The men in the portrait are construction workers at lunch while sitting on an iron girder on the 69th floor of the RCA Building.

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel is not far from the site of the RCA Building and also close to Grand Central Station and Rockefeller Center.

Ironworkers helped to build all of these historic buildings in America. These men have largely been Irish and Native Americans, especially Mohawk Nation.

I wonder what their reaction would be today to a formal dining room hanging on the end of a crane line?

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Reference Buildings

Dinner and More In the Sky Around the World

Dinner In The Sky is a company I first encountered while writing about the attractions in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The company sponsored a meal via crane in that city as a gala event.

Since that time, the dining table and its guests have been see in the sky of major cities worldwide, including Dubai, Montreal, Las Vegas, and dozens of others.

The Las Vegas installation has become popular and stimulated the owners to convert space on the ground into a related tapas bar so that people may eat and enjoy watching the dinner and music occurring overhead.

More Than Just Dinner

Dinner in the Sky has elevated experiences available in 40+ nations total, including even Lithuania and Romania, in which it helps to boost the tourist trade. In addition, A specialized Christmas theme, weddings, and other special occasion celebrations in the sky are offered.

In Las Vegas, the cost of a high-flying dinner is about $300 per person. Marriage In the Sky with multiple cranes and platforms, a bar/lounge with smaller individual tables on a hoisted platform and other amenities varies in cost. Theatre in the Sky, and a related version of dinner offers professional musicians on a separate hoisted platform to accompany dining.

The newest offering to date is Golf In the Sky which provides a chance to drive golf balls off the platform. For corporate types, Meeting In the Sky is available as well.

It is a short leap of the imagination to have a birthday party in the sky and soon, nearly any type of event will be held in the sky.

Dinner with Bach and Beethoven

Sources

  • Wallace, V. The Mohawk Ironworkers: Rebuilding the Iconic Skyline of New York; Time Magazine. September 11, 2012. time.com/52360/the-mohawk-ironworkers-rebuilding-the-iconic-skyline-of-new-york/#1 Retrieved April 18, 2014.

© 2014 Patty Inglish MS

Comments

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 26, 2014:

I'll try one of those overhead rest stop the next time I see one. Sounds like fun!

dearabbysmom from Indiana on February 26, 2014:

Very interesting! I remember eating in a 'rest stop' over a freeway in Chicago and thinking that was just the coolest thing. Not as cool as these, tho!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 20, 2014:

Thanks for your comment, tirelesstraveler! I like the fact that in Las Vegas, a separate restaurant is furnished on the ground for diners to watch the table in the sky. That could be a lot of fun.

Judy Specht from California on January 19, 2014:

No head for heights, but am always fascinated by people who do. Interesting story.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 17, 2014:

I'll let you know when I do and you can take pictures. :) What fun!

breakfastpop on January 17, 2014:

Okay, Patty... You go first!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 17, 2014:

I don't know if I'm ready to go up on a platform to eat yet, myself! And, thre may be no floor underneath that table. Could be fun, tho.

breakfastpop on January 17, 2014:

What an interesting hub! As far as I'm concerned, I prefer to keep my feet firmly planted beneath a table in a restaurant on the ground!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 16, 2014:

Thanks for the vote. Even strapped in, many people will never be persuaded to eat 150 feet in the air. A mountain top would be nice, tho.

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on January 16, 2014:

I have always loved the photo of the ironworkers eating lunch in the sky. But it's a no way, no how for me!! Very interesting hub. Voted up.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 16, 2014:

Well, will the sky still be the limit, seeing that it is so accessible now? Really interesting! Thank you for these facts which I had never heard of. Hooray to Dinner in the Sky! Voted Up.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on January 16, 2014:

Very interesting.