Monday, November 24, 2008

Late Night Emergency Editorial Meeting

""What is a village but a cafe, a school, a pharmacy, a bakery and a city hall? "~ Daniel Perry owner of the Cafe du Crucifix in Crimolois

My editorial staff convened a late night emergency meeting after reading this disturbing article in the New York Times yesterday. French Cafe bars are in trouble. The French are drinking in their homes! Pinching euros. And saving time. I am sure some productivity coach is behind this all.

According to Edouard Etchverry, known simply as DouDou, times are tough.

"He pointed to a customer sitting alone at a table drinking a glass of tap water. "That's our new customer!" he shouted. Then he turned to a group of bank employees at another table and said, 'You see, they got 386 billion euros from the government, but they can't spend a cent when they come in here!" "

I am sure he gesticulated along with his words so you should probably shrug gruffly, slap a clean damp bar towel on your counter and let out an exasperated sigh to get the full effect. Furrowing brows could work too.

We have furrowed brows here. Staff and I. The demise of the cafe bar in France is unbelievable to us. Why? The demise of culture and art , literature and general idea generating conversation. Might as well say, we're unplugging the internets, only real. We see the potential crumbling of culture and society as we know it.

In London however, the Sloan Rangers have returned to their center of culture, thanks to new cafes, museums and concert halls. Hm. Business is booming. Maybe there is some British cultural initiative afoot. Or maybe there is a a back plot to all this shift of money and bruhaha ( love that word). Maybe it IS possible to be too productive and frugal in a hurry , hurry world. Hm.

Staff and I are thinking. This week's Zone is Archives and Personal. That means we focus ( while still painting) on the documentation area of the business, content, narration and maintenance of the work. And any personal things that need attending. (Correspondence, personal projects, maintenance, like that, ) We think that somehow we need to do something to show our support for the cafes. Half my ideas come from cafe time. Still Perkin" was my alternative studio/ office / living room back in the hood. I am worried that we are over scheduled, over efficiently working our way right out of everything that actually makes culture, well culture.

I do not know what I can do yet... but I am thinking...Hm, there is a cafe at the Nasher...and it is a holiday weekend..NO way would I go to a mall on Friday, but, I could go to a museum cafe, or even one in an arty center. Yep. Putting it up there as one of my 3 Most Important Tasks this week.

How about you? Spent some cafe time in a cultural center lately? Huge Return On your Investment. For all of us. Take a friend.


Becs said...

Somehow, I don't think Panera counts as a cultural center...although I will be in NYC by week's end.

Janice C. Cartier said...

Becs, Hm, It COULD count if you talk about something arty, or interestin' . You could start a movement...Wave to my nephew in NYC and take in a cafe or two there.
Hm, What IS the main street America"s equiv. of a French cafe Bar? NOT online.

ParisBreakfasts said...

Much better to traipse over to Paris and give life support there.
Sadly I did not dally at any cafes this trip..not even Angelina for a hot chockie. To busy paying calls at Palaces. Life is tough.
But I will make up for it next trip bien sur!
Bonne sujet!!!

Janice C. Cartier said...

Not even Angelina's ? She says, incroyable!
There has to be something wrong if htis kind of cafe non going is epidemic...Must investigate further AND see how that foray to the source could happen.

A Brush with Color said...

Sacre bleu! What is the world coming to? no cafes? Qu'est ce que c'est!? Say it isn't so...This economy is making a serious nut job out of me.

Janice C. Cartier said...

I know. Thing is not to panic. And so here I go painting cakes... there' a story there.....;-)