Serge Gainsbourg is the man of the hour here, every hour -- his picture is on every wall and his silhouette, complete with cigarette, is stenciled onto the windows above the name of the place. A big painting of him hangs over the hallway to another part of the café where no doubt his image is found multiple times as well.
When I first arrived, the TV here was broadcasting the end of the South Korea - Italy game of the World Cup (Italy lost, which seemed to make everyone else in the café very happy -- I was rather indifferent to the outcome). Since then, then TV has been showing music videos: Celine Dion's "Power Of Love", Sting's "Russians," Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder's "Ebony And Ivory" (no doubt shown in celebration of Paul's birthday today). Right now Madonna, in short bleach blonde hair, is singing "True Blue."
I got a chocolate covered almond with my espresso. A blue container of dozens of sugar tubes sits on my large square black table. There is a red plastic Amstel ashtray here as well. The Human League is performing "Fascination" on the TV, always a good thing. There is a blue plastic napkin holder on my table, something I don't remember seeing before in a Parisien café. Most everything seems to have been supplied by Lavazza: the napkins and holder, the sugar tubes, cup and saucer, even the chocolate covered almond.
The street outside isn't too noisy. There is a friendly neighborhood atmosphere; the man working here regularly greets people he knows walking by on the street. And who can fault a place where you can sit and watch Boy George singing "Karma Chameleon"? Serge would have liked this place, I think.
Metro: Richelieu - Drouot
Sugar: endless tubes of powdered sugar
Bonus: chocolate covered almond
Copyright © 2003 David Sadegh.
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