Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


The tables in the cafe in which we ended our day were topped with actual green laminex, not the modern reproduction kind, but the genuine 60's real McCoy with aluminium trim screwed on with screws that had a single slot across their faces. The rest of the decor, matching or not matching its surroundings with complete impartiality, looked exactly as a mad aunt's place would look at Christmas time.

Barely a city block from the Moulin Rouge, but just a few tens of metres too far from the theatre district to be fashionable or even able to be discovered by anyone who is not already lost, it's menu was as eclectic as its decor, as were its customers this evening, everything somehow matching perfectly the manner in which our day had unfolded before accidentally wandering through its doors.

Celine and Dume had been attending to some business in the outer suburbs, and surprising themselves as much as us, arrived on our transom steps at about the time we were trying to decide whether we should make ourselves known to the world, or simply have lunch.

Four relaxed and rather satisfying lunches later, followed by snoozes all round, we were still no closer to deciding what we should do with the rapidly depleting rest of the day.  It was Celine who declared that it was time we were shown where to find the best bread in Paris just a few kilometres in one direction, and the best pastry a few kilometres in the other, perhaps we should visit an avant-garde sculpture exhibition at the top end of town, (where we found ourselves standing with chins in hands, contemplating the inner meaning of a line of fresh fruit, invisibly suspended a few inches above the floor), before tearing off in the yet another direction one more time, to find the theatre where she and Dume were due to attend some sort of obscure and what turned out to be a not terribly satisfying theatrical performance.

We sort of happened on the little dishevelled cafe while leaning against its window in the act of contemplating how we would fill in the thirty minutes that were all that remained of time together.   Drinks inside seemed like a good idea, and the conviviality ensured that the two of us who weren't being driven by fate to waste the next ninety minutes of our lives being tortured by a plot that wasn't resolved, could well benefit from remaining to sample so of the fare on offer among the specialties from the northern regions.

And that's exactly what we did.

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