Friday, June 25, 2010

A Love Letter to Florent, the Diner and the Man

Michael and I were invited by the organizers of the NYC Food Film Festival to attend the premiere of "Florent: Queen of the Meat Market" last night at the Altman Building in Chelsea, and truthfully I can't remember having such a great time at one of these events. The VIP reception began downstairs with wine and cocktails -- plus some familiar faces, including the hilarious Tim Murphy, whose interview with the men aboard the French naval ship Le Jeanne d'Arc still still makes me laugh just thinking about it. Later I had a quick chat with the great Jonathan Adler -- who was boasting about his purebred status (or was it inbred?) and Simon Doonan, whom I told about a cousin of his in San Francisco that I'm online friendly with. Simon informed me that he only has two cousins and that they're both in England -- although he says he's rather flattered that someone would even pretend to be related to him ("I wish I could have a stalker," Jonathan offered).

David Sigal's film was delightful, shot in the months leading up to the restaurant's closing (the owner wanted to jack up the rent now that the area is so trendy, which is most ironic given that Florent Morellet is principal reason for the Meatpacking District's rise). Old footage and photographs are cleverly edited between various luminaries' remembrances of the famed diner -- including Julianne Moore, Robin Byrd, Michael Musto, Christo, Isaac Mizrahi, Spencer Tunick and Diane von Furstenberg -- which served as a hub for the various LGBT outcasts and the people who loved them since the day it opened back in 1985. Morellet is an endearing character, and his passion for activism and equality is felt throughout, including his decision not to hide his HIV-positive status, which he learned about while the restaurant was new and red hot.

Can't recommend the film enough. The next stop for "Florent: Queen of the Meat Market" is in Los Angeles at Outfest, in July. Photo highlights follow:

Behind every great blogger ...
With Tim Murphy
With Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan
With Tim and some of his friend (hi, Dennis!)
Murray Hill hosted the evening
The man of the hour gives thanks to his director, and two of the guys from the NYC Food Festival

Florent cracks Robin up
With Florent and two of his pals from the film
The after-party featured lots of booze, lots of Florent food, and lots of entertainment

1 comment:

rb said...

You looked spiffy in pink shirt with bowtie! Stylist or osmosis J