Ready for his documentary to open this week, Florent Morellet is telling people like me to get over the new, New York.  In a fun Daily News read, he says, it’s time for nightlifers to get over the “terrible disease known as nostalgia” and embrace the new New York.

Morellet, who’s currently in Prato, Italy, attending an exhibition of his artwork, calls complaints about the city’s 21st century vibe, ‘the whine of middle-class, white people” who romanticize 1970s and early ’80s New York, when the city’s financial crisis made it cheap for creative people to live and thrive here. “Maybe you could get a 10,000-square-foot loft for $500 a month, but the outer boroughs were burning,” Morellet tells Gatecrasher. And to those who groan about tourists and the disappearance of the “down and dirty Times Square,” the former restaurateur says, “Stop! I didn’t move here from bum-f— France to live in a city that has to be frozen at the bottom of its depression.”

His clear-eyed view of once-and-future New York is the result of years of “therapy over my struggles to accept change,” the former restaurateur explains, referring to his realization shortly after 9/11 that his restaurant had been priced out of the very neighborhood it had made fashionable. When his breakthrough finally came, he says, “I realized that the rest of the world did not accept the change of the restaurant closing.


I still say: It’s not that easy to brunch in the West Village/Meatpacking these days, and that mac and cheese was really good.  In fact, hard to forget.