Le Guillaume Tell

July 1, 2002 - 5:00 p.m.

Right next to the metro, to better facillitate the watching of people rising and descending, up and down the steps of the entrance to the station, which is flanked by Art Nouveau eyestalks with glassy red eyes that stare with me at everyone and everything.

To my right is the pinball game "Wipeout," and a skier and snowboarder frolick along the side of the machine. My table is square, fake wood in the middle and real wood with rounded corners on the edges. The chairs are wicker with faded yellow plastic caning on the backs and seats. Metal columns divide the window seats from the main aisle that connects the front door to the pinball machine. Stuck on the columns are globe lights sporting metal mohawks, larger globes illuminate the main walkway, and fastened above the bar are sunflower shaped lights with flattened glass centers and petal edges curving down around the sides.

My sugar came as a packet of cubes. The black plastic ashtray says "Since 1912 / U.S.A.," but I don't recognize the logo, which is a yellow-edged crest containing a white "C" on a red field. No idea, but my guess is it's a brand of beer or cigarettes. Camel? Hoping for an answer on the bottom, I pick the ashtray up and find the following embossed in the center of the underneath: "Praesidium / England."

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Le Guillaume Tell
14 rue Turbigo
75001 Paris
Metro: Etienne Marcel
Phone: 01.42.36.79.46
Price of an espresso: 1.70 euros
Sugar: packet of sugar cubes

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