Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Goodbye Florent - A Slice Of NYC Life Goes By The Wayside

Goodbye mon ami...
Thanks to Decorno for posting this. I just wanted to have it on my blog, as a reminder of my life in New York. I also thought for the two people in the universe who don't read Decorno, that I would post it HERE so you don't miss this extraordinary homage The New York Times has printed about the closing of the restaurant Florent.
I hope Florent (the man) is moving onto something fabulous in his life. He certainly wrote a page in the restaurant and night life history of New York City, and gave so much to so many.
We waited tables together long ago in a then new bistro called La Gamelle (later it changed its name to Lucky Strike) on Grand Street. Florent would show me photos and postcards of restaurants in Paris, I think he owned one there, and he would make little drawings on cocktail napkins of how his place would look. The owner of La Gamelle was a crazy mother, always screaming at everyone. I was the first woman he ever hired. He was Algerian by way of France, and he treated me like dirt. Florent would defend me, and they would scream at each other in French, while I dried my tears. The owner, Alex was so hated, that a customer (rumored to be, but never proven to be, the poet Max Blagg) once left a dead dog in the restaurant as a poison pen calling card. Florent and I laughed our asses off. Luckily it didn't happen on our shift, so we never saw the poor dead thing laying on the bar.
Anyhoo, Florent wanted to get out of there. When he took over this old diner in the meat packing district, he was happy happy,happy. And now we are sad sad sad to see his bistro close.

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