It’s lunchtime at a busy neighbourhood bistro in Paris’ 11th arrondissement. A pair of young male servers are gliding through the restaurant, juggling plates groaning with roast chicken and frites, duck confit and beef tartare, and sliding them across the tables to their customers in swift but graceful movements.Sitting in the corner of the bar, a lone man has ordered a cheese plate, a green salad and a glass of red wine, and is consumed by his newspaper. It’s not long before a tall, middle-aged man enters the restaurant, calls out ‘Georges’, shakes his hand with a hearty one-two pump and takes the seat next to him. It’s immediately apparent that Georges’ friend is the kind of bar fixture who has the gift of banter.
The bistro bar is a place of exchange, of conversation, a way of life
“When are you going to take my order?” he teases the bartender in an accusatory tone.
“Huh la la la la,” she replies, her four “las” uttered in quick succession. “Always the same. You haven’t changed.”
She would know. Marie-Claude Lainey has been serving Serge Jovanovic his lunch for the last 15 years.
Jovanovic and Georges Cano have also been eating their lunches together over the last 15 years. In the same bistro. At the same time. Nearly every day.
The wheel isn’t part of France’s history.The mayor of Paris wants the city’s tourist attractions to reflect its heritage.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has announced a host of changes in the French capital this year, including a plan to ban gas-fueled cars. While that won’t happen until 2030, City Hall’s most recent project will have a more immediate effect. Paris will no longer host its annual Christmas Market on the Champs-Elysées, and the mayor wants to pull down the big ferris wheel that stands nearby at the Place de la Concorde.[ . . . ] More: Paris Already Canceled Its Christmas Market This Year—Its Ferris Wheel Might Be Next
As I pen this week’s column, the result of the French election has just come over the wire. Emmanuel Macron’s victory, for the moment, has stemmed the tide of the populist party. But the influence of Marine Le Pen’s party in French politics has yet to unfold. What does the future hold for France as a nation and as an influential member of the European Union?
Of course, as a wine writer, my thoughts have now shifted beyond the political turmoil in France to the social changes that have been transforming the nation in recent years – especially the eating and drinking habits amongst the populace.It seems that the once enviable French lifestyle is beginning to unravel [ . . . ]