Daily Office: Wednesday


¶ Matins: A look at this week’s Book Review, which is just about as disappointing as last week’s was inspiring.

¶ Tierce: Is there anything as compulsively readable as oral history? Florent, the pioneering restaurant in the meatpacking district that has finally, some might say, reaped what it sowed, will be closing late next month, and a number of habitués, including Calvin Klein and Roy Lichtenstein’s widow, join Florent Morellet and members of his staff at Frank Bruni’s microphone.

¶ Sext: How about a $150 burger? (Price subject to market fluctuations.) Where but at the Wall Street Burger Shoppe would you expect to find ground Kobe-style beef?


§ Matins. When Ms NOLA told me that Netherland was going to get an enthusiastic review this weekend, I ordered a copy without thinking twice. Unwilling to wait for shipment, however, I bought a copy yesterday afternoon, running all over town, quite unnecessarily, in the rain. 

§ Tierce. I went to Florent once; it must have been in the late Eighties. I remember feeling very deaf and very crowded (and nothing about the food); in so many ways, Florent was not the restaurant for me, and I was never tempted to return. Florent got along fine without me.

Much as I love living in New York, I remain a child of the tidier precincts of Westchester. Grungy people, places and things repel me at ten paces, and I break out at the sight of poorly-maintained fingernails. It was principally my allergy to Mess that convinced me, as a teenager, that I would never grow up to be an Intellectual. Happily, I was not discouraged enough to give up reading altogether.

Curiously, I’m no more drawn to the new meatpacking district than I was to the old; my idea of what’s cool has nothing to do with What’s Hot. The very idea of Hot is that too many people are interested in something, and probably not for the right reasons.

I look forward, though, to see what Mr Morellet will do next. His heart is certainly in the right place.

§ Sext. Megan suggested this (ha-ha) for her bon voyage dinner — she and Ryan are about to take off on their honeymoon.