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The Bruni Thread


Guest Aaron T

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I don't usually get Bruni, but I got this. Especially as someone who lived in the far West Village in the mid-late eighties, saw those trannies every day, hung out a bit in Florent (when we could afford it) and was a very young peforming artist and writer. That energy, those sights and smells, are still very vivid for me. Then we moved to the East Village in order to afford more space and lived on the same block as Richard Hell, David Wojnarowicz, Robert Christgau. Now the WV is all Richard Meier movie star dorms and Palazzo Chupi, and the EV, the part not co-opted by the behemoth that is NYU, is full of junior investment bankers living in million-dollar plus condos and believing their addresses somehow make them edgy.

 

I may have given up the dance game and gone to Wall Street (much to my parents' vast relief) but it was a fabulous time while it lasted and the end of Florent definitely marks its last,very late gasp.

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Thank you, Seth.

 

Marc, I have no experience whatsoever with La Caravelle. Maybe if it had been a part of the fabric of my life I'd have mourned it, and with reason. That Florent was a part of my life (and evidently Bruni's) made this closing personal to me, and I welcomed what he had to say about it. I do think he has the right to look at the impact of a restaurant beyond its food, and this had one - a unique one.

 

I think the meatpacking district then was a phenomenon utterly specific to its time and place. I can't think of its like now anywhere within the city (or elsewhere, for that matter).

 

 

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Marc, I have no experience whatsoever with La Caravelle. Maybe if it had been a part of the fabric of my life I'd have mourned it, and with reason. That Florent was a part of my life (and evidently Bruni's) made this closing personal to me, and I welcomed what he had to say about it. I do think he has the right to look at the impact of a restaurant beyond its food, and this had one - a unique one.

I suspect I've been misunderstood — no doubt due to my inadequate powers of expression. I don't object that the Times gave Bruni the platform to talk about the end of an era that was important to him, and no doubt to many other people. We can only mourn the things we know about. I never visited Florent or La Caravelle, so I had no personal connections to either one. One can only observe that some worthy topics get his attention more than others.

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I mourned the passing of La Caravelle, and the passing of that era. But I didn't feel the NYT didn't notice. Quite the opposite. The closing of La Caravelle was a newsworthy item, and much discussed.

I was more intrigued by what got Bruni's attention, not the Times in general. Yes, the Times covered the closure of La Caravelle sufficiently. It was Bruni who, to the best of my recollection, said nothing.

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I don't think he had a blog then, and frankly, it was more approriate that FloFab write the story - and she did.

The blog was a replacement for his Friday column, which was discontinued at the time the blog was introduced.

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I mourned the passing of La Caravelle, and the passing of that era. But I didn't feel the NYT didn't notice. Quite the opposite. The closing of La Caravelle was a newsworthy item, and much discussed.

I was more intrigued by what got Bruni's attention, not the Times in general. Yes, the Times covered the closure of La Caravelle sufficiently. It was Bruni who, to the best of my recollection, said nothing.

 

 

sure. and if Grimes was still the reviewer...do you think he would have written this piece on Florent?

 

these semi-human-interest pieces are always going to reflect the personality of whomever is the Times critic at the time they occur.

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I mourned the passing of La Caravelle, and the passing of that era. But I didn't feel the NYT didn't notice. Quite the opposite. The closing of La Caravelle was a newsworthy item, and much discussed.

I was more intrigued by what got Bruni's attention, not the Times in general. Yes, the Times covered the closure of La Caravelle sufficiently. It was Bruni who, to the best of my recollection, said nothing.

 

 

sure. and if Grimes was still the reviewer...do you think he would have written this piece on Florent?

 

these semi-human-interest pieces are always going to reflect the personality of whomever is the Times critic at the time they occur.

Grimes very well might have. I mean, if we're assigning 'artsy' cred I think he probably has more than Bruni.

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I don't think Florent would be the same, as a phenomenon, if it were in some part of the Bronx or Brooklyn (actually, there's NO part of Brooklyn that remotely resembles the old Meatpacking District).

Coney Island. And it's going away too.

 

Anyone reading along should get themselves out to the old amusement park this summer. It's the last year for most of the rides. Better yet, visit on the day of the Mermaid Parade.

 

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I don't doubt that Florent was important to the stratum of New York culture that frequented it. But restaurant closings don't normally attract that kind of coverage. I mentioned La Caravelle, which was open twice as long. Its closure also represented the end of an era—though it was a different era. Its closure was also important to a stratum of New York culture—though it was a different stratum. The Times covered it...but not like this.

I think the reason La Caravalle wasn't seen as significant as Florent's closing is because La Caravalle closed because its time had passed -- fewer and fewer people were interested in that type of dining, and La Caravalle was only one of the many of its ilk to shut down. Florent's time hasn't passed. There are still many, many people who want the old MPD experience. It was replaced by people looking to make money off the image of the MPD by erasing it at the same time. The mourners for La Caravalle (and those types of restaurants) were few because that's why it closed. The mourners for Florent and that type of New York are still plenty.

 

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I mourned the passing of La Caravelle, and the passing of that era. But I didn't feel the NYT didn't notice. Quite the opposite. The closing of La Caravelle was a newsworthy item, and much discussed.

I was more intrigued by what got Bruni's attention, not the Times in general. Yes, the Times covered the closure of La Caravelle sufficiently. It was Bruni who, to the best of my recollection, said nothing.

 

 

sure. and if Grimes was still the reviewer...do you think he would have written this piece on Florent?

 

these semi-human-interest pieces are always going to reflect the personality of whomever is the Times critic at the time they occur.

Grimes very well might have. I mean, if we're assigning 'artsy' cred I think he probably has more than Bruni.

Right on. I don't think Bruni has read Joyce. Or at least if he has he hasn't worked him into a review with the same nonchalance as Grimes could and did.

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It would be fun to debate that.

 

But, keeping my eye on the ball, my real point was that, even if Coney Island is analogous to the old MPD, Coney Island is fairly remote, whereas the MPD was a short walk or cab ride away from neighborhoods constituting The Center Of The Universe.

 

I pulled out decades ago, but the homogenization of Manhattan is still a sad thing.

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