I cannot believe that Florent is closing; a restaurant that I've visited at least once during every hour around the clock, the one I've been to more than any other, the first to welcome me as a regular.
I turned 35 there, I turned many corners there, I became me on those stools, sitting in on the banquette surrounded by everyone I loved. Oh, the hours in that room . . . Eating apple pie after buying two Danish-modern lounge chairs at Phoof (long closed, alas) at three in the afternoon with Abbe . . . Steak Frites and Bourgogne at 2:00 a.m. with Matt . . . my first brunch in New York City with Alan & Hassan almost 20 years ago. (I'll never forget that hair-raising taxi ride down Ninth Avenue, I thought we'd die, and some of us did, but not by the hand of a careless cabbie.) . . . or the 11:00 p.m. dinner after a Helicon recording session in SUNY Purchase with Albert and Pedja, the rental car fresh from the West Side Highway, parked nearby, as we gorged on French Fries, wondering at our good fortune . . . Or the Wednesdays and Saturdays between matinée and evening performances, chatting with the staff, chomping something yummy, wishing not to leave.
Oh, the look of the light streaming in those windows. And all of us streaming in and out and in and out, truckers and trannies and scared little boys from Michigan, all being made to feel chic and cared-for and right at home, wishing wishing wishing wishing not to ever leave.