Le Liberté

October 14, 2002 - 7:00 p.m.

A blue and white close-up of the Statue of Liberty graces the front of the menu. The ceiling is covered with large-scale advertisements in the style of stained-glass windows: Grimberger, Wel Scotch, and a couple more alcoholic drinks I can't see very well. Outside, someone in a yellow windbreaker sat on a white bench in front of the window and had a stranger take a picture of him. I'm sure I was in that picture.

I was thirsty for some water but neglected to ask for it, and the waiter brought a glass of cold water anyway. It wasn't enough, however, so I ordered a small bottle of water, but it didn't taste as good as the tap water. Maybe the rather high price gave it an aftertaste. Granted, it was in a glass bottle, but 25 centiliters of water should not cost anywhere near 3 dollars. Call me old-fashioned. On top of that, I got a tube of powdered sugar with my espresso.

There is a pleasant atmosphere here, though three men started having a shouting match at the next table a little while ago. They left soon after that, luckily. Now there are just a couple of quiet conversations taking place, two men here, three men over there. No women in sight.

Behind me, at the end of a small, empty dining section is a television that no one is watching. There's another television tuned to the same station in this room; it looks like the news. It keeps flipping back to an image of a map showing a line curving around Africa for some reason.

There are two pinball machines: Monopoly and, I think, Monster Bash (I'm getting new glasses soon). A couple of guys got a double match on the Monopoly game earlier, which I'm sure made their day. Their free games didn't last very long, though. Monopoly is not one of the better pinball machines, I have to say. Too much clutter in the middle. Too many goofy gadgets obstructing the ball's path -- it's quite claustrophobic. Give me the wide open spaces any day. Some room to move around, a chance to go in one direction for a while without bouncing off of something.

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Le Liberté
Metro: Porte d'Italie

Price of an espresso: 2.00 euros
Sugar: tube of powdered sugar
Bonus: small glass of cold water
Price of a 25 cl bottle of Vittel: 3.00 euros

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Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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