The New Parisian Cafe: La Fontaine de Belleville

1 June 2016
La Fontaine de Belleville

Before the weather took a nosedive (The Local reported that it has been the rainiest month of May since 1873), I was celebrating the opening of the ultimate Parisian neighborhood café by engaging in the consummate Parisian pastime, apéro hour. La Fontaine de Belleville, the first café extension from the roasters behind Belleville Brûlerie, is the quintessential corner hangout, adapted to today’s tastes. By which I mean that it blends quality coffee, quality craft beer, wine and spirits and simply delicious snacks like pain perdu and yogurt for breakfast, croque monsieur for lunch, and top-shelf cheese and charcuterie for evening nibbles, in a space that successfully looks both to the past and to the future with glorious effect. It’s a warm environment with spacious terrace seating, enjoyable music, and a rollicking vibe that sends the message that Parisians will never, under any circumstance, relinquish their bon vivant tendencies. But most importantly, it sees the gap between the specialty coffee world and the Parisian café idiom close just enough so that devotees of both can feel satisfied. Operating as a café since 1915, the café had a firm identity and a loyal set of regulars. The Belleville trio David Flynn, Thomas Lehoux and Jeff Marois didn’t want to radically alter its visual […]…

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Just Another Year

31 December 2010

There’s no good reason to wait until the first day of 2011 to make changes in our lives and yet it seems reassuring that with a new year will come new (and, perhaps, more) opportunities, good health, happiness, success, fortune and confidence. While these are the same desires we should aspire to achieve all year, there is a certain mental comfort in knowing that all of the struggles, disappointments, frustrations and pain from the previous year will be washed away allowing us to start anew and hope for a better outcome. But I don’t want the struggles, disappointments, frustrations and pains of 2010 to vanish completely – I need their traces to remain in order to propel me forward and remind me of how far I’ve actually come.  I’ve accomplished a lot in 2010 despite some physical ailments and emotional obstacles and I believe I’ve grown into myself a great deal more. I still have a visceral fear of failure (really, who doesn’t?) and all the unknowns in my future, but I’m getting better at managing these fears constructively. It’s easy to say that I’m optimistic for 2011, that all I have been planning for and working toward will provide the clarity […]…

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