Our relationship got off to a few false starts. Pei reminds us that we had really met for the first time at a post-Christmas party sometime in late 2002.
However, we really attribute our official “hook-up” to a brunch at downtown Ibero-Judeo restaurant Essex. This is one place you can get both Eggs Benedict and blintzes, and they also have an excellent lobster special on Wednesday.
Anyway, we kept “bumping” into each other, Pei as an extreme film lover and volunteer at several film festivals, including the New York Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF), and Fran, who left to his own devices would see maybe two movies a year, except for the AAIFF, where he would do crazy things like go to Asian banquets to bid on Gold passes and see 10 movies in a row.
Pei and Fran, after much dilly-dalleying (AAIFF was in July), “officially” became an item on the early hours of October 11, 2003, appropriately at the opening of Kill Bill, Vol. I., Quentin Tarantino’s marriage of Eastern martial arts and Western revenge flick sensibilities.