Niurka Davila: Liked Routine, and
was a joyful person, Niurka Davila, an exotic element
dressing up the bureaucracy inside the Port Authority's
data-control division at the World Trade Center's north
tower. She talked and laughed and made herself memorable
to colleagues who became her friends for life.
She loved her routines -- breakfast every day in the
Port Authority's 70th-floor lounge with her friends
Jackie Willins and Myrna Maldonado, followed by lunch and
then another break, at 2:30, for coffee -- and she also
had her eye on changes. She was taking courses at Audrey
Cohen College that she treated very seriously, Ms.
Willins said. When her friend Emma Eng announced that her
daughter would be getting married, Ms. Davila, 47, asked
not to be invited. "I have a lot of studying to do," she
Ms. Davila, who was born in Cuba, criticized her own
English, although everyone told her it was fine. A baby
granddaughter had arrived recently, so she and Ms.
Willins, who had one about the same age, often shopped
together for children's clothes. They also celebrated
their birthdays, both in April, together at the office.
This year, Ms. Willins stayed home.
Her friend had come to the Port Authority in 1985 as
Rosa Davila. After she became a United States citizen,
she told everyone she preferred to be called Niurka. They
obliged, in their own way, Ms. Willins said. "We used to
call her New-yorka."