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With Kate Moss continuing her reign as international style icon, it seems inevitable that her brand of “I just threw on these clothes that, if they weren’t slung so nonchalantly over my hipster frame would look like a pile of crap but on me make me look exactly like who you want to be when you look at me: a drugged-up, sexed-up, gorgeous goddess with a “devil may care” attitude about my fuck-up boyfriend or world politics, without enough energy to extend you a smile, even if you’re paying me $10,000 to get it from me for a billboard” would find its way into New York’s downtown dining scene, by way of a new restaurant aesthetic. Well, I’m heralding the start of this trend by pointing to the arrival of a couple new hotspots below 14th St. (not that there are any “hotspots” above 14th, I know, I know…) whose openings are being covered in all the legit and non-legit (that’s you–bloggers!) food media this week. Now, I haven’t been to Cantina yet, though I’m dying to go—Latin anything gets me hot—or Café Katja—less special feelings between my legs for Austrian beer and bites, but I’m up for trying something spicy with pork and mustard; hell I’ll even go in for a dark beer if the weather ever gets really cold—but one glance at the PR pics that these places have been passing out to Urban Daddy tells me, fellow Downtown diners, that a new “look” is coming with a force: Seedy Chic.
“Williamsburg hipster” is one thing (God knows that aesthetic has been with us for awhile now) and Frank Bruni already put his finger on the blandness that’s taken over a lot of the “rustic elegance” attempts in the past couple of years, but what I’m pointing to is the emergence of a kind of Kate Moss (for Topshop) patina on some new places (inevitably in the E. Village or LES) that turns the “old is new” Look into the “old men with long nose hairs and young communists with B.O. and a deck of cards would be happy to hang here” Look. In other words, a little dirty (Pete Dougherty) mixed with a little Dior. More “bohemian” in its original context than Bo-hemian, as at the gorgeous new BoBo Restaurant (be still, my heart!) in the West Village.
Seedy Chic. I’m telling you.
Anyway, I totally want to go. I think I’ll grunge it up and wear something that says I dig The Libertines more than my Ray Charles collection (but it isn’t true!). God, everybody I know in New York is searching so hard for taste…I just hope we all remember to taste what’s put in front of us at these new joints we’re running out to try.