Monday, March 17, 2008
I have just read that Florent, that venerable eating establishment in the now over-Lindsey-Lohaned neighborhood called the Meatpacking District, is going to close. No! I've had too many adventures in or near Florent to think of life without it. My experiences in that eatery in many ways mirror my relationship with New York.
Florent is where I first learned that it was perfectly acceptable to eat dinner at 1AM with all the club kids and fashion designers, while waiters danced on the Formica counters. I sought refuge at Florent on Superbowl Sunday when the otherwise testosterone driven population was home glued to the television. My friend Marc insisted that celebrity sightings didn't excite him, then nearly fell over in his seat when he saw James C Reilly calmly chewing in a corner. Catherine Zeta Jones eyed my (then) boyfriend as she filmed a move outside. I met and was befriended by Darinke, the most stylish maitre d' in the city--then ran into her at a super secret thrift shop whose location I can't disclose. It was like I'd uncovered the source of one of Venus' beauty secrets. I found out I'd graduated to the status of insider when Darinke began giving me free drinks.
Then I was invited to the home of Florent himself. Imagine! A loft in Soho! Performance art! Catered food! Signed Lichtensteins! Jonathan Franzen grumbling about baseball! I was happily tipsy on red wine and spoke to Florent in French and he was nice about it and gave me a kiss. His partner signed a copy of his book with a personal message. I never wanted to leave.
Are there dark days ahead for my city? Where oh where will I go for affordable, honest, edgy glamor? Where will the party go? That Pastis and Spice Cafe nonsense that now pollutes the streets is just not my style. Let it be true that Brooklyn is the new Manhattan and Queens the new Brooklyn.