Monday, June 9, 2008

Closing of Florent in New York

What's happening to New York City, man?
I read in today's China Post (here in Taiwan), an AFP story about the closing of the unique restaurant Florent.
Why would a blog about art discuss a restaurant closing? To have a truly creative environment conducive to art making, you also need cool hang-outs for people to meet and be influenced by each other.
Here's a NY Times story discussing the importance of the restaurant. The owner Florent Morellet is the son of conceptual artist Francois Morellet. Florent will close the end of this month.
When I lived in NY as a struggling painter I worked there as a waitress. On various occasions I dressed as a French sailor, a tripping hippy (love child) for Valentine's Day, a suffragette for a feminist political rally plus I got to chat with the people I served such as Elizabeth Murray, Susan Sontag, Leigh Bowery, Roy Lichtenstein, Spike Lee.
The news reported that the rent went from US$6000 a month to US$30,000 a month. This truly sounds criminal. With similar things happening to the Chelsea Hotel and CBGBs, I really wonder about the cultural life of New York.
From the NY Times article it seems like a lot of 'Sex and the City' wannabees are dominating New York's cultural life - so a lotta young yuppies demanding macaroni and cheese to consume in their shallow lifetimes sound quite revolting to me.
C'est la vie.


ec said...

I too bemoan the closing of Florent. Between 1995 and 1997 I lived on 14th St. between 9th and Washington Aves. Florent was just 2 blocks away, and so I got to know it well. It was magical, even then. It went through all kinds of phases during the day: morning brunch on weekends, 2 am low lights great club music week nights, fancy and show-off clientele for dinners - by fancy I mean crazy makeup, costumes - what Susan talks about when she mentions working there.
It is awful news.
Meatpacking district has become club and cobblestone hell!!! Course when the Anvil and other clubs like that started to go - you could see it coming.

Susan said...

Thanks ec. It seems like the edgy and exciting cultural life is just being squeezed out of the city.