La Terrasse

November 22, 2002 - 2:00 p.m.

The radio plays French pop songs softly, but that didn't stop a customer at the bar from singing a song of his own for what seemed like quite a long while. Everyone who comes in is greeted by the young man behind the bar, and after I sat down he came over and shook my hand. Friendly, but I was a little distressed by the dampness of his hand and the bandages on his fingers.

In the back part of the place, out of my line of sight, people are eating lunch. In the part of the café I'm in, two men lean against the bar, a couple of meters apart, both facing towards the right, both balanced on their right leg with the left foot crossed in front. Then the man who has his back to the other stands straight up and leaves the café. A couple of seconds later the other man leaves as well, the waiter calling out in French after them, "Good afternoon!"

The place looks nice; the chairs are olive green metal frames with darker green cushions. The tabletops are square with light-colored fake wood above real wood with green edges. The Heineken ashtray is green as well, because all Heineken ashtrays are green. However, my sugar cube packet is blue.

Outside, the market stalls have been emptied and only trash remains. Closer to the café stands an odd structure, sixteen tall metal poles holding up a square metal grill, with what looks like a bench and four light poles underneath in the center. I guess I should come back by at night to see what the lighting effect is, but I think I'll leave it hypothetical. A separate light pole has a sign affixed to it portraying the silhouette of a man with a little shovel stooped behind his dog: "I love my neighborhood. I pick up."

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La Terrasse
8 rue Augustin Thierry
75019 Paris
Metro: Place des Fêtes
Phone: 01 42 08 27 88

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

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Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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