by charlie.frances

Metro Couronnes

Cozy quarters du jour ? Cannibale Cafe. More generally, from here on out, cozy quarters du moment will be new & different each week as the Sunday blog series takes off. Reasons being, (1) to expand my current knowledge of France’s capital (granted this café is RIGHT next to my apart AND for all anonymous viewers, you now know Charlie Frances’ latest whereabouts), (2) to serve as a future ‘cafe review’ for those on their touristy way here, and finally (3) to break barriers with current inhabitants, stuck in some rut of their customary café cultures, pushing us all towards being a bit more adventurous (also part of the soundtrack du jour, included at the end of each blog). However ! After a bit of internet snooping, I’ve come to realize that my idea of a cafe review is really not up to standards. I’ll probably resign from the title cafe reviewer seeing as I don’t want to undermine anyone’s true profession in this business. So take my blubbering rants for what they are : entertainment with no real responsibility towards a ’cause’. Instead, here you will find better resources for cafe reviews: here (the barista yearly competition) :

So getting on with it. Ellie came as moral support. We have a way of distracting one another so I’ll try to keep my eye on the prize here. The last text I can recall from last night consisted of our before bed-time check up (former roommates do these things. If you’ve lived with someone for a certain period of time, all your sincerest wishes involve wanting the best for them. And the best you could ask for on a Saturday night out is to make it home safely), which ended with :

Charlie : You home okay ?

Ellie : Yesss! My housemates having a lovely little party with some bitchy french girl. What happened to manners?! hahaj

Charlie : As if those exist in France.

However, I am here to pleasantly surprise all that that’s not always the case. Take Seductive Saturday for instance. Without getting into too much detail about dating etiquette in this day and age whatsoever, suffice it to say that I had been treated beautifully by Mister Fancy Man. A true gentleman doesn’t only occupy himself with being kind to the one he is trying to impress, but all those involved in his daily interactions. Between the tea he purchased before our walk (pointing out various monuments / buildings, giving each their respective background story) to the beer he bought at the bar, he constantly grinned / poked fun at & cautiously investigated all those in our path. Not bad for a French man. At the ladies dinner party that followed (and he jokingly ? asked to come too) I couldn’t help but say ‘He’s really nice !’, the typical kiss of death for any man. Yet manners seem to color the French charm a pleasant fusion of ‘shock & wonder’. As if their appallingly good behavior can only be explained by some sort of other defect.

On that note : I managed to drop Mister Twirler. After four months of persistent texting (involving the bitchiest of replies from my end : complete nothingness since our first meeting ) I surrendered and agreed to a drink. His desperation and guilt tripping became a bit too much to bear. Things were set in order for a Thursday showdown, but halted quite suddenly after being misled about the program (the ‘bar’ he chose was his home) and a veto was sent concerning any future plans or communication. A lingering email is awaiting further response & directive from my end, but sometimes a boy just has to understand when he’s stepping over too many toes. Or rather, perhaps skating is the correct term here ?

I’m avoiding 5 months of back-story, but I’ll make an effort to give brief descriptions when introducing each character. Until then, let’s get on with this past week.

The work-week started off with a cup and a half of stress. A final presentation was required for the only mark concerning my most dreaded class.  Despite being the only Anglophone in the course, I somehow always manage to find a way to be completely terrified of public speaking and therefore popped about 4 anti-anxiety pills beforehand. By the time I was called upon to speak I may have been waving my arms around like a drugged up fool as I made a couple unnecessary but perhaps charming jokes about Serge Gainsbourg (nb : the presentation was about chess players). Once I handed the mike over to my partner things started plummeting. Technical difficulties aside (images were being finicky so computers were switched), the speech was a disaster not because of the performance itself, but because of it’s content. Which, not to get all snippy here, but we had spoken to the professor 3 times about our concerns with the article, but he ignored our words and waved us off with his approval to push forward. Funny that at the moment of truth, vulnerable and manic before the class, he decided to attack our paper, subject matter and choice in journal. Before we had the chance to retort with our defense he said ‘you have 30 seconds to conclude’, scribbled something down and asked for the next group. 

Monday & Wednesday made up for the Tuesday jerkface. I’ll expand more on that next week. Things might just seem more brightly colored in comparison, but expect good news about an animated brit, who may or may not be as funny as I seem to recall. But  let’s face it,  I  just can’t get over those accents !

The weekend started off hip & ended quite homely. Fuzzy Friday began with pre-drinking between girls (and Joshua, but, slip up on my end for forgetting to get back to the boy) with a quick dash to the metro in order to make last call. Or rather, before the entrance fee kicked in. Once inside, I forgot for a second we were in this big French city and not some house-turned-bar from back home. Floral everything, everywhere had this lady swooning as the extra hint of gold geometric mirrors kept the place looking decidedly cool.  The dance floor started spacious, but after a good hour or two, our group began to lose it’s comfortable cushion as the masses drove in. No real crazy stories from the night, aside from feeling quite smug for being on the list, spilling a gin-tonic on Laetitia and snuggling up to djs that weren’t terribly keen on me taking over their workspace.  Dancing was limited to either  (1) the shoulder shrugging, chicken clucking with gun fingers or (2) the two-step shift in either direction, finishing off  with a toe point, jazz hand and proclaimed WHOA ! I met Mister Floppy Hand Man mid-one of these dances so you can’t say they don’t work. Plus, quote of the night was when Joshua said ‘everyone here is dancing so geeky’,cause let’s face it, our generation grew up in what I like to the call The Awkward Age. Floppy t-rex hands, micro-movements, and aimless stomping is the key to seduction, so let’s just stop here now by saying that all the young men out friday night were pulling on some heartstrings of mine. The way back home was relatively harmless, minus one text I had to send while Ellie, Josh & ‘Beer Lady’ (soon to have a better nickname) scrambled under the iron gate of a kebab shop. Good to know – depending on the store license, kebab shops have to close at 3am. This should provide some sort of indicator at what hour in the night we decided to make it back. The bouncer, to the kebab shop, could sense those in need of drunk munchies a mile (or lets go with kilometer) away. By opening the gate a couple feet or so, he must have got his daily kicks from seeing drunkards crawl onto the floor & into a greasy haven (this was one of those ‘bottom-up’ type gates, not ‘side-to-side’). I waited outside like a famished whore, apparently too bourrée to be bothered by what just happened to my friends. 

I’m outside and mildly safe. I’ll wait for you, cause hell, got nothing better to do.

That text took me a good 5 to 10 minutes to type out. Always keeping busy over here. Soon after my posse withered out the way they went in, the iron gate tempted a couple other stragglers & off we continued with our trek home. Normal ? I suppose so.

Seductive Saturday started out with Mister Fancy Man as previously mentioned and finished off with a home cooked meal for girls night. Tranquille et sympa, ladies night always end up being the best. One wouldn’t expect over estrogen to go down so smoothly, but it does. Mister Fancy Man started what I can only assume to be drunk messaging at some point during the night, and it all seemed a bit overthetop post first one-on-one date, but let’s not get too hasty with the judgement calls. We’ve all been there.

So here we are to top it all off in the cafe du semaine, book, labtop, coffee and soon to be calamari in tow.


WORK WEEK : After an unfortunate dip from Tuesday’s lackluster performance, Monday’s brit and Wednesday’s sweet elderly made up for school type bruises.

FUZZY FRIDAYle dandy. check out that scene. or more importantly, that wall paper (be sure to scroll down).

SEDUCTIVE SATURDAY : k1zethe lighting just screams sex.


Cannibale café looks more like a museum casting its ode to the 1930s by means of transforming it into a brasserie. A scruffily charming establishment, speckled with red cubic tables, mis-matched chairs, finely detailed high ceiling décor, a wooden bar-stand and dj set that surprisingly does not appear out of place. The staff is more than friendly without any grating glances concerning the amount of time-spent stationary with a single cup.

CAFE MUSIC (personal) : amadou & mariam sabali, rilo kiley more adventurous, & nouvelle vague in time.

CAFE MUSIC (establishment) : radiohead, cat stevens, acoustic nirvana, jazz-esque artists, amongst unknown others.

CAFE DU JOUR : (1) café allongé & (1) café crème.

NOT TO MISS : BRUNCH !  Prices may be a bit steep (or steep for someone living off of 20E a week), but the portions appear generous, including a mix of eggs, beans, lentils, smoked salmon, baguette and mimosas. Also – calamari. Deliciously spiced & fried, different from the ordinary, accompanied by 2 homemade sauces & a basket of bread. 7E50 never tasted so good. The crowning award goes to the fact that you can substitute gourmand verts for french fries. Green beans, broccoli and gourmet peas are available for substitution.

SORRY TO SAY : Not being a proper ‘stop & go’ café, prices range more on the mid-to high end. In addition, there aren’t any small munchies to accompany a cup or two of allongé .