Le Parisien

June 1, 2002

I have a round, real wood table, and a wooden chair with a forest green seat cushion lined with brass tacks and a matching thin strip of a cushion on top of the back. It's not a big place, and the ceiling is held up by four thin, circular columns covered in small rectangular mirrors as if they were the trunks of delicate disco ball trees. I had a little paper Lipton Ice Tea advertisement stand-up on my table initially but I set it on a neighboring chair to make room when I read my newspaper, which coincidentally has the same name as this place. My cup and saucer have silver rims and two sugar cubes came in a sky-blue "Galaxi" packet.

There's an Acapulco bumper machine here, and next to it is a generic video game that says "Palm Spring" on it. Someone was playing the Palm Spring game earlier. There is a TV mounted high in the far corner of the café, with some World Cup programming going on. The walls here are a nice green, a rough mix of two shades of green actually. The awning is green as well, an emerald green, and the floor is a checkerboard of off -white and pastel green. There are two framed black and white posters on the wall -- one is a photo of a man leaning out of a train kissing a woman who is standing on the ground. Or maybe he's leaning out of a bus or trolley, I'm not sure. These glasses aren't very good. The other poster photo seems to be a Parisien street, but it's even farther away.

The weather is nice today and subsequently, the whole side of the café is open. It's Boulevard du Magenta again, but Senegal didn't win a soccer match today, so it's a little quieter than it was yesterday. Except that four police vans just drove by, sirens wailing.

Above me are two lights, turned off, each one is a set of five bulbs surrounded by a metal ring with metal arches over each bulb connecting them to a central stem. Three old-fashined lamp-style lights, turned on, hang above the bar counter with 4 electric candle-shaped bulbs inside each one. The front of the bar counter is a mosaic of half-inch square tiles, forming a white surface with a green border, and within the field of white are superimposed black rectangles of wood with mirrored inside edges. Within each black rectangle is a black square turned on its corner with little rectangular mirrors inside.

A woman comes by asking the way to rue Lafayette, and the bar man gives her directions. He also changes a ten euro bill for a man who comes by a little while later.

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Le Parisien
Metro: Gare de l'Est

Price of an expresso: 1.60 euros
Sugar: packet of 2 sugar cubes

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Copyright © 2003 David Sadegh.
Please send your questions or comments to: david@undergroundparis.com