Animal lovers and socially-conscious foodies assembled in powerHouse Arena's DUMBO amphitheater last night to celebrate the release of Moby's latest tome "Gristle," a book about -- what else? -- food safety and the shocking effects of factory farming.
Though this project saw the Grammy-winning musician turned good-willed gadabout swap the usual DJ duties for editorial ones, the task remained similar: select and compile work (essays not records, duh) that would resonate with a larger audience.
"[The idea] isn't to turn people into vegetarians," the venerable vegan said of the collection of 15 hard-hitting food essays while sipping bottled water (there was an open bar to toast the festivities, but Moby has eschewed the booze since a wild South by Southwest a few years ago).
"It's more about how we can reduce animal suffering. We put out this book not to indoctrinate people and not to be didactic and tell people they should live a certain way and agree with us. It's just presenting the facts about factory farming, the consequences of factory farming. You put it out there and let people make up their own minds."
One could imagine, judging by all the chill beards, doll-like dresses, and canvas bags populating the twee party, that attendees' minds had already been made.
Indeed it was a precious crew who sipped wine and local craft beers and perused art books downstairs, while a bolder sect shuffled to Moby's lofted perch in hope of catching a glimpse of the author.
Outside the space's panoramic windows, it was a typical Tuesday night in DUMBO -- teeming with professionals hoofing it home to their multi-million dollar apartments, picking up odds and ends at food emporiums and loitering in front of design stores.
But for a New York nightlife veteran like Moby -- a guy who used to attend drug-fueled raves "at a parking lot for dump trucks and backhoes somewhere in East New York" -- the almost suburban scene was just a little too surreal, if not the slightest bit sad.
"I first came to DUMBO when some artist friends of mine moved out here in the late 80s, and it was such an amazing wasteland then. There was nothing out here. And every time I come out here now, I'm reminded of the huge difference from what it was 25 years ago," the techno artist turned author recalled with a pang or two of regret.