Tuesday, October 10, 2006

So French!


I took this photo in one of my favorite Brasseries (restaurant where they serve typical French food). It's called Le General Lafayette and it is located in the rue Lafayette. I must say that when I took this photo at the end of the meal, I really thought of you dear visitors. This could not be any more French... The shape of the coffee cup, the sugar (apparently we're the only country in the world where sugar is sold in solid cubes and not in powder!) the table cloth, the empty glasses of wine and the Badoit water in the background!

65 comments:

  1. Eric, I really wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed your Paris Daily Photo blog. In fact, I used some of the information from your blog in my recent
    Geography course!

    Just to let you know that we really are Francophiles, my husband Mike Markaverich just recorded I Love Paris
    on his latest album Leftovers - A Gourmet Listening Experience. Food for the soul and now a coffee in the photo to go with it!

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  2. Eric, with one only shot, you captured so much of the parisian way of life! Well done, and very kind of you: it's so good for us all, little froggies far away from home...

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  3. What a lovely cup of coffee! I tried and tried to get one of these in Paris. But I had absolutely no luck. I ordered "cafe noir," as I was told, but kept getting espresso in a demi-tasse cup. What do I say to get a big cup of black coffee?
    Not a coffe with cream, but just a nice, big, hot, steaming cup of black coffee.

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  4. A very tasty way to begin the week. I love coffee and wine (specially if it's chilean, LOL).
    I think the picture of a French (woman) with a coffee and a cigarette is a stereotype we all have in our subconscientious! (no offense)

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  5. :)
    Um...a style of life means some attitude of life.
    Thats what I like, sometimes you cant tell people whats the difference between the cities, I think just a kind of different life attitude!!
    nice cup~~ but empty~~
    :D
    ...Jing

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  6. Merci pour le cafe, j'amenerais les croissants

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  7. Oh mon Dieu...You have made me so homesick.

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  8. Looks like a nice way to start the day. I'm truly looking forward to my 4:30 am cup of coffee!

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  9. Eric, this made me think of the movie Le Divorce… Leslie Carons character is having tea with her American daughter-in-law and when she is served sugar grains instead of cubes she comments that it’s “original”….meaning a proper French girl would serve cubes! :)

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  10. Eric...Merci..C'est parfait!! What a perfect photo for today...I just retrieved a batch of photos from the shop that I took in Paris last fall that I forgot about and I have been missing Paris all day! If I wasn't off to Philly tomorrow perhaps I would run away to Paris!! The "Cafes Richard" sugar really did it for me!! How many times I have picked up that sugar..unused...and put it in my pocket, only to find it later and have it bring back all those memories in a rush! Thanks again..lovely!!

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  11. Oh how I wish I was there with yoU! :)
    It sounds so good!

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  12. Mmmmmmm.....I looooovvvee coffee! It is my weakness, my addiction, my achilles heel. I echo the request....how does one ask for a big steaming, hot, fragrant, mug of liquid life in Paris? Is this cafe hard to find? I just want to reach into the picture and lift the cup to my lips. Lick the sugar crystals that must be there off the rim. Clink the spoon on the saucer.

    Mmmmmmmm........

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  13. Hi Eric!

    Great blog! I love it :)
    J'ai ajouté ton rss feed dans mon moteur de blogs...et écrit une note sur weloveshirts.com :) another blog for men crazy about classy shirts...

    I will definitely read you again!!!

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  14. Iranians use cubed sugar also!!!

    We could have borrowed it from the French though....

    i love this photo. i have yet to find a DECENT coffee place here...i love rich flavor of the coffee there.

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  15. Vicky,
    When you ask for "un café" in France, in general the waiter understands it is a small cup.
    If you want a large cup of "café noir", you have to ask for "un double café noir".

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  16. Great photo of an everyday pleasure Eric. These particular cups are special, though I don't know if they have a special name. Haxo?

    I love the music you posted metaphysicalmama. A great way to enjoy this blog with I Love Paris playing in the background.

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  17. haha, Eric...so French, this prompts me to revisit my own Paris photos :-)

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  18. Hi, I just wanted to say that you can find sugar cubes in Spain too, they're called "azucarillos". But, however, you find it more and more often in powder (maybe it's cheaper?)

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  19. Yeah, that picture got an emotinal reaction out of me, too. It could definitely make me homesick if I kept looking at it. No ashtray in the background, though.

    Things are-a changin'!!

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  20. These coffee cups have always made me consider the idea of giving up tea for coffee. Once again Eric, tu pinces là où ça fait mal ! Bravo !

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  21. most impressive for me is the fact that its individually wrapped!!

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  22. haxo 'un double' usually means un espress but twice the size (still extremely strong) - I find I have to ask for un americano. Which is nothing like American coffee since American coffee is usually weak.
    But Eric I love your choice of water - Badoit - much nicer than Perrier etc. and we do have sugar cubes here (Northern Ireland) but it is considered more polite to put out the powdered sugar in bowls. Probably etiquette learned from our English invaders (c: Cubes tend to be used in the smaller cheaper cafes working on a budget - no disrespect meant to French cafes (which are great). AND you did not show the small chocolate or chocolate covered nut that you usually get with a coffee!
    Do Paris cafes give customers small glasses of water with un espress?

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  23. Ah! The sugar cubes! I had completely forgotten about those. In addition to all the great architecture, I enjoyed the little differences....like the sugar cubes. Those things make you realize that you are somewhere completely different!

    Eric, I just discovered that you are the founder of the daily photo idea! It must feel good that people from all over the world have embraced your idea by following in your footsteps!

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  24. Gypsy and Dr.A:

    You can always go to Starbucks! I always get lattes but I'm sure the coffee americano has to be much better than the normal, bitter American style coffee.

    I've read lots of raves in Paris (from Parisians) that love Starbucks...something about taste, smoke-free, and politeness of the staff. No offense to anyone but I like theirs better than anything else!

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  25. Susan in Atlanta, you've no doubt started something now. I'm not quite sure how the French have taken to Starbucks. It will be interesting to hear.

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  26. Me? Started something?!?

    A lot ARE liking it...I read a bunch of commentaries from the French (most I had to translate...google comes in handy).

    A little competition is good for every industry! It helps to bring the standards up all around (if people want to keep customers, they'll serve good products with a smile)!

    And Starbuck's in NO McDonald's so please....no one make that comparison.

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  27. All that above is said with a smile and a wink!

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  28. I love that something as simple as a good cup of coffee can spark such conversation! We certainly love each other around here. Alas, 5:20 am! Time to head out to work. Hope there's no construction, or I'll be late. Oh well, at least I have my coffee!!!

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  29. Come on...America needs all the exports we can get! ha! We're hurting for them. Although I'm not sure this would qualify as an export.

    I don't see why anyone would have a problem with an American product (expecially if it's a good one). I mean, you buy Japanese electronics, foreign cars, use BLOGS (invented by Americans) ha! We're not ALL BAD! Only the ones in the government are!

    And remember, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." French culture will not erode because of Starbuck's. Now, McDonald's....that's another story. And for that, I am truly sorry (although they do have good french fries)! ha!

    I'm being silly here..... ;)

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  30. The French do it the right way. I've yet to have bad coffee in a French cafe. I frequent Starbucks but I destest those cardboard cups. For me, the paper cups take the fun and glamour from the whole sipping coffee experience. I collect the sugars in France just for the fun of it. They are tres jolie in their various wrappers.

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  31. Oops! Forgot to ask Eric in which arrondisment will I find "Le General Lafayette" and by which famous landmark? We live in Fayette county here in Kentucky. You would be amazed at the abundance of French names, etc. exist here. Our sister city is Deauville. We are near Louisville where the city insignia is Fleur de Lys.

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  32. Eric, great image, you're right, this is so Paris :)
    même sur place, ça m'émeut, merci

    If you order 'un cafe' or 'un express', this is what you get ;o)
    if you want a bigger one, say 'un double', you'll get two doses in one larger cup
    if you want more liquid but no extra cafein, ask for 'un café allongé' (means diluted with water) and you'll get a regular coffee with extra hot water together in a large cup
    you can also get separate hot water, ask for 'un cafe et un pot d'eau chaude'

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  33. I love getting a wee look into the culture from this simple photo. And the sugar cubes are great... we had them at church coffee hours when I was a kid.

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  34. Belgium too has sugar cubes. Wrapped in paper, just like that, and delicious coffee. Love the picture.

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  36. Yep, that's French alright. Its funny, this photo is almost identical to the watercolor painting done by Carol Gillot over at http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com on her October 9 entry. Same sugar cube even! Amazing

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  37. I like coffee, I like tea.
    I like you, baby, next to me.
    You're as cool as red hot lava.
    Jumpin' east of Java.

    Now that I've got that Brian Setzer tune out of my brain...

    With my coffee, seems to me,
    loose sugar in a paper tube,
    not a wrapped up as a paper cube.
    Either way, the choco nut
    Was like dessert, I loved it, but
    The main enjoyment was, I say,
    Just being in a French cafe.

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  38. "What do I say to get a big cup of black coffee? Not a coffe with cream, but just a nice, big, hot, steaming cup of black coffee."

    Lili is right, unless Starbucks has it, you have to ask for "un cafe et un pot d'eau chaude." It's not the same, though. Diluted expresso is definitely not the same as a lighter brew such as the one we drink in the US, and the taste is going to be much different, too.

    I miss American coffee, too, when I'm in France. The next best thing, then, is "grand chocolat."

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  39. We have cubes in Norway as| weel for our coffee. It is becoming more and more rare though, unfortunately.

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  40. Hey metaphysicalmama, I went back and listened to the music you posted and found this sultry cup of black coffee in the same place! Really goes down smooth... Thanks!

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  41. Try K.D.Lang's version of the song "Black Coffee" to really feel the blues. She can really belt out a song.

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  42. No one has mentioned the elbows on the table yet?

    My French uncle came to the U.S. for a visit and, noticing that everyone had their free hand on their laps while eating, whispered to me, "what are they doing under there?"

    I won't share my silly answer.

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  43. Susan in Atlanta - please, please no! Starbucks is fine in America - it's the only place I could get drinkable coffee while I was there but in France - non merci. I love French coffee but I just don't like being able to stand on it (c:
    (i.e. coffee so strong you can stand on it).
    We do have Starbucks here and yes I do frequent them but I am afraid they are not up to the same standards as their American counterparts.

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  44. Add me to the list of Parisian expat' who gets homesick by looking at that photo.. and others of course.
    Merci Eric, tes photos nous évoque aussi le bruit et les odeurs de la ville.

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  45. Oh I love that song! Makes me wanna turn on my favorite jazz station! Groove town, here I come!

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  46. i was recently at a wedding in france and the friends of the bride and groom had all the guests write a message on a small piece of paper to insert inside each individually wrapped sugar cube so that the couple could read a message from guests even after the wedding. just thought of that since you talked about the individually wrapped sugar cubes.

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  47. By the way, I truly hope people have heard the many versions of "Black Coffee" recorded long before most of us are in the records, including kd laing. It's an old blues standard that most of the big names have covered.

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  48. I was preparing myself for a big spanking for mentioning the dreaded word: "Starbucks!" Michael, you had me worried! Thank goodness it didn't happen!

    I had some wonderful French camembert cheese the other day! Yum! Actually, not SOME, I ate the entire package! Maybe you can take a picture of that with some nice wine....that's what I order more often at cafe's...that says "France" to me!

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  49. "Black Coffee" :music was written by Sonny Burke, the lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. The song was published in 1948.

    I've found covers by Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee. The list goes on. I think Billie Holiday covered it as well. It's Billie's voice I hear when I think of the song.

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  50. Well Eric, it COULD be a little more French if Gerard Depardieu were sitting there in the frame. . .with you of course! ;^)

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  51. For me a big difference between a Paris cafe and Starbucks, is that EVERYONE in the cafe will be drinking real coffee: un express, un double, un cafe-creme or un chocolat or even un the. In Starbucks almost NO ONE will be having those simple beverages. No, I will have to wait while all the caramel machiatos and other coffee-flavored ice-cream concoctions are prepared before I can get my double espresso. BTW, I think Starbucks makes a decent espresso, $1.89 USD for a double servered in a porcelain cup (if you ask nicely). Not a bad deal. But I'd rather pay 3 euros and BE IN PARIS! Eric, a great blog and an invaluable daily fix for francophiles everywhere (j'habite Boston)! Greg

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  52. It's not "either or."

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  53. Ooooh...I didn't know there was a Starbucks in Paris! I have a mission to have my picture taken outside of a Starbucks in every place I visit. I am a true junkie.

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  54. Bonjour! Haven't been on your blog for a few days so was nice to some so many lovely new photos. Love this one. Sugar cubes are great much better than spilling the spoon full of sugar everywhere! Greg R its so true about French Starbucks. God Yesterday I tried a white cafe Mocca. Blimey I fely ill afterwards. that'll teach me to stick to a latte or cappacino!

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  55. Oh, if anybody is interested - I have a few photos of Belfast here: http://wind-sand-and-stars.blogspot.com/ Not a daily photo yet but who knows?

    Also if you want to know if god exists I have The Answer

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  56. Eric, I was so fortunate to share a dessert and a coffee with my cousin at Le General Lafayette. She came on the train to spend a afternoon with my family while we were visiting Paris. This lovely Brasserie is quite near the Cadet metro.

    Thank you for sharing this photo.


    (Still waiting for the minature bananas)

    *giggle*

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  57. Great photo, Eric (among many). I don't recall many cafés in Paris with such pretty cups. Elle me donne tout de même la nostalgie de Paris--je ne manquerai pas de passer chez le Général Lafayette lors de mon prochain passage à Paris au mois de janvier.

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  58. Just saw "Le Divorce" in which Leslie Caron, playing a French mother-in-law, comments on the use of the sugar granules instead of the proper French cubes. The movie had many French actors and starred Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn's daughter, as the lead. Funny and mysterious...good combo.

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  59. This photo heightens the pangs that come from not being in Paris. The "cafe", yes and, of course, the "vin". But for me, I most miss "le bouteille de Badoit". In fact, when we last returned from Paris, we brought back 3-4 bottles (Badoit only, no wine) because there is no substitute, at least in the U.S. I'm sad to say we drank our last bottle on Bastille Day, so we are stuck until our next visit, which we hope will be soon. I expect the only solution is to move to Paris permanently.

    Actually, once you've fallen in love with her, there can be no doubt that this is the only solution.

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