Sunday, 5 December 2010

City Snapshots: L'Arcouest

Pont de Sevres, 8am. The sky is slate-black, it's freezing cold and drifts of snow lay across the ground. L'Arcouest, the solitary café in the neighbourhood, pulls people towards it like a magnet, offering warmth, light and a meeting point. The context, like the café and its decor, hasn't changed for decades.

There are days when no-one wants to go to work, when the day ahead promises just difficulties and dark skies. Ten minutes in L'Arcouest and a shot of hot coffee straighten your mind and put you upright again. Some will be back at lunchtime, back every lunchtime, the comfort of familiarity in plastic chairs. Others had just stopped for a moment, passing through to somewhere else.

4 comments:

Christine H. said...

Oh, a snowy Paris picture...please.

Owen said...

People's rites and rituals give structure and rhythm to life... stopping into the same café regularly is one of the best parts of life in France...

Peter (the other) said...

Six months I worked the 19:00-07:00 shift, alone up at Rue Gallieni. Cold rooftop cigarette breaks alone with a cat, and earlier in the evenings, the big searchlight from the Eiffel beaming over occasionally, bouncing off the parc St. Cloud across the river. By 07:00 (often a little earlier from fatigue) I would head home to Issy-L-M, searching out any signs of humanity in cafés just as this, taxis and such double parked outside. But the big breakfast crowd was at the newly opened McDos at Marcel Sembat, go figure? I was heading home to 20sqm, to close the volets overlooking the T2 and Ile Saint-Germain and sleep, everybody else was coming to. No snow that year, to speak of.

Peter said...

Cafés (and bakeries...) have a tendency to change decor much too often, in my mind. What should be saved is the "atmosphere"!

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