L'Arche 13

October 16, 2002 - 7:00 p.m.

The walls are made up of mirrors edged in yellow non-blinking Christmas-type lights. In the center of the wall to my right is a large painting that is appealing in a rather geometric way. It's kind of a fantasy depiction of a large Louvre-like pyramid with a baby pyramid in front and blue, green, and red fountains on either side. The foreground is large, multicolored square tiles, and the background is a big blue sky with just the right balance of clouds.

When the waiter served my espresso and complimentary glass of water (tall, but only half-filled), I noticed an ugly scar on his thumb. The cup and saucer are decorated with yellow and red spirograph flower/snowflake designs, and I was given a packet of three sugar cubes. The ashtray is Heineken.

There seem to be a preponderance of Asians here, probably not coincidentally because a lot of Asians live in this part of town. A man who is not Asian has limped by my table at least half a dozen times, and now he's left the premises with a man who uses a metal crutch. Now he's come back and sat down again.

Near my table, a green lit-up button waits to be pushed, probably a trigger to open the trapdoors cut into the tiled floor near my feet. Outside, white and green city buses line up on the street and then depart. Not green exactly, maybe a light green-turquoise?

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L'Arche 13
82 bd Massena
75013 Paris
Metro: Porte de Choisy
01 45 83 83 75

Price of an espresso: 1.90 euros
Sugar: packet of three sugar cubes

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Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
Please send your questions or comments to: david@undergroundparis.com