French for Epiphany

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 in Found Treasure, Life, Minutia, Things

pastisI originally went to Paris in 1994. It was a thrilling trip, and I tried to soak it all up. I loved the cafes and the way that the French really seemed to use the cafes as an extension of their homes. Mostly the cafes were either very low key (loved those) or completely famous and intimidating a la Le Cafe Deux Magots, etc. There were cafes I went to near my hotel in the Marais which were wonderful and to which I would return and be remembered. That part was magical.

One of the things that really stuck in my head was the water carafes used in the cafes. In 1994 the internet was a bit less useful than it is now, and eBay wasn’t the sledgehammer it is now. Now, just recently, I have been able to locate and identify the long lost water carafes. The ones I like best are the 51 Pastis bottles.

Over the tail end of dinner a few nights ago we began to discuss this. As I spoke I thought, WWTFD? The French, they would not even remotely consider buying a cafe bottle on eBay. It’s just not right. To have the bottle there must be a story, a reason, the joie de vivre, the je ne sais quoi… I should have stuck one in my bag when I was in Paris. Or something, anything else, but sadly, purchasing some other history that I was not part of wasn’t how to do it.

The French, they would have the style. They would pick one up at the farmer’s market, or grab Aunt Clotilde’s whiskey carafe at the last minute. In reality, the carafes I have ached for were little advertisements. Fine on one hand, but not something I think most french would likely have at home. And I think part of the soul of french style (emphasis on soul) is having the right thing for the right moment. So, I will use what I have, or somehow otherwise aquire one. But sadly, I won’t be getting a package from an eBay seller this time. I think that’s ok.

image: etsy