Monday, January 16, 2006

Heat in!


Yesterday Mrs B. made this comment: "[Bistrots] often have little outdoor heaters that heat up the outside area so you can sit! And many have a sort of plastic curtain to hold the heat in." That is very true and since I have had this photo for a while I thought it was the perfect time to publish it. The reason why they do that is, of course, economical; they can sit more people and make more revenues. I recently saw that in the Alps too. No plastic shelter but gas heaters at the bottom of the slopes! Do they also do that in your country?

22 comments:

  1. We have lots of tents like this here in Norway. After it became illegal to smoke indoors in public buildings, including all bars, discos, restaurants etc, heaters and tents like this popped up all over the country. It is a must-have if they want to stay in the business and not loose costumers.

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  2. Eric, we may only have five cafe's like that in London, they may be all in one place (London Daily Photo: It may be winter outside....), but at least we don't turn them into a goldfish bowl ;-)

    By the way, did you see if the elderly ex-hippie in Tignes centre, who sweeps the snow from his shop front each morning in shorts and a shirt open to the navel, is still there or has he died of pneumonia?

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  3. They sure do. The plastic cover is not necessary, usually, but yes, we do have little outdoors heaters, thank goodness for that!

    (San Francisco Bay Area)

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  4. Ooo! Eric, thank you! Is this my 15 minutes? ;0)

    I remember these in the US, but my family lives in North Dakota which has the climate the most like Siberia in the lower 48. You didn't see them often, because -40 is really, really cold. Did see some in WI, though.

    Actually, my Dad has a few at his home in Bismarck, ND, because they have 7 decks on the back of their house (I know, I know) and love to sit out on them and entertain. This way, they can, at least until it's below 0. They also have little "chimineas" which are like small, pot-bellied stoves for burning wood on a deck or patio. Very enjoyable!

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  5. I'd rather sit inside the bar for better ambience... xD

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  6. I just love the outdoor cafes in France. When I was in Paris last fall, it was unusually cold and windy. But we could still enjoy the cafes, with the little heaters taking the edge off of the chilly evening.

    The number of outdoor cafes has increased here in probably the past 5 years. A few have a plastic shelter, but it's really not cold enough here to worry about heaters. We have the opposite problem of it being too hot and humid to enjoy sitting outside in the height of summer.

    (Atlanta)

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  7. In my little Western PA town, we have one restaurant that puts tables outside, under an awning, on the sidewalk, but only in the spring, summer, and early fall months. The local coffee shop also puts two tables out when the weather is nice.

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  8. There are rows and rows of these in Tenerife, mostly in the resorts and, not just outside bars and cafes, but also in front of shops to create more revenue generating areas to display goods.

    For the most part, they offer protection against the hot sun, but they also serve an important function as a wind break, because the wind can get very strong here and, otherwise, everything tends to go flying everywhere.

    I am sure these will have become the smoking area in many restaurants and bars, since the introduction of the new anti-smoking law on January 1st.

    But it seldom gets cold enough here in winter to warrant heating though and I have never seen any provided.

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  9. In Alabama there are not many restaurants with outdoor shelters. There are a few with heaters like those in you photo. Usually, the heaters are near the front door and people congregate around them when coming and going. We have the same heat problem as lareveuse in Atlanta.

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  10. Arghhh...I miss Paris !
    I've never seen that in Montréal, but we are not afraid of cold :-).
    When it's shiny and aroud zero degres, sometimes, people act like summer is early. They wear shirts and have their coffee outside at the "terrasse" (quick, before it gets cold !).

    NB : As you've seen, english is not my first language :-(...sorry !

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  11. this is funny. Down here in Texas, more specifically, Houston, lots of the restaurants with the outdoor patios use the heaters, many times, several. One place had around 15 heaters (same types as in the photo)for about 5 tables. It doesn't even get cold down here!!! It's like 68F out today!

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  12. Fantastic short, one of your best Eric ! I display it as my wall paper !

    Great great great short, what a fanstastic city !

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  13. Wow, in Florida where I come from, we always sit outside and only use tents for gassing the house to keep the termites away. ;-)

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  14. I think many bars don't have a terrace in the US because it is illegal to drink alcohol outside (except in New-Orleans, adn maybe few other places). I don't know what are the rules are if the terrace is covered, and heated..

    JM-

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  15. You betcha we have them. The plastic tents aren't all that common but the heaters are. The heaters usually work by radiation (infrared), so the tent would work mostly to cut the wind rather than to hold in heat. (Try an experiment when you're next seated near one of those heaters: hold out your bare palms and you'll feel the heat radiated.)
    -andy

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  16. I saw these in Dallas just yesterday! And it wasn't even THAT cold. But they put big screen TV's outside, and I think they just wanted to make sure there was enough room for all the people to watch football.

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  17. I live in Washington, DC, and we have a lot of outdoor seating in the summer, mostly rooftop, which I love. In the winter, there are a few places that use the outdoor heaters, but I have not seen any with the plastic curtain thing.

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  18. We have those in the 2 LIttle Italy's. They are very popular at most cafes.

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  19. We have the plastic tents in Turkey too. Some cafes have the heaters also. It is even better when you watch rain or snow sipping your tea (which is a much more popular drink in Turkey).

    BTW your pics are beautiful, Eric.

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  20. I think these little tents are common in New York City. I enjoyed an article in the New Yorker a few years ago (perhaps by Adam Gopnik) about how the tents are made, and that they are actually illegal because they take over too much of the sidewalk, which is public property. The restaurants aren't supposed to "convert" the public space to private for commerce. But - they are great in winter so there is rarely prosecution.

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