Le Levant

October 7, 2002 - 3:30 p.m.

I ordered the vegetable soup when I got here, and it wasn't bad. With the accompanying basket of bread it made a nice, relatively cheap meal. Then I ordered an espresso and with it I received a packet of sugar cubes and a little bar of dark chocolate.

I'm sitting in an armchair-type chair without the arms. I guess it's actually a mini couch. The chair across from me is a minimalist metal frame holding together maroon back and seat cushions -- the back cushion has four maroon buttons in the middle arranged in a diamond shape. The tabletop is square multicolored marble with a wood edge and rounded corners.

On the TV monitor we had a tennis match earlier, but now billiards masters are performing tricks for a live audience. Most of the stunts involve using additional pool cues, the triangular rack, and even the ball carrier in ways that are quite creative, though of course they wouldn't be appropriate in an actual game of pool. These guys have way too much time on their hands.

The multitude of yellow glass lamps that illuminate the place are tall and narrow, art nouveau-style with fringe at the bottom. The music playing at the moment sounds African. The place was crowded at lunch, and I was lucky to get a table. It's emptied out somewhat since then.

There is a golden, mirrored column, round and thin with three triangular pieces of metal extending out of it about two thirds of the way up, possibly places for people to hang their coats. Wooden blinds hang down in front of the windows, open to allow the sun to shine in and to give a view of people passing by on the sidewalk. Near me, hanging horizontally in the air, is a giant inflated Bud beer bottle.

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Le Levant
Metro: Place d'Italie

Price of an espresso: 1.70 euros
Sugar: packet of sugar cubes
Bonus: little bar of dark chocolate
Price of a bowl of vegetable soup: 5 euros

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Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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