Les inclinations naissantes, après tout, ont des charmes inexplicables, et tout le plaisir de l'amour est dans le changement**
Café society was the description of the “Beautiful People” and “Bright Young Things” who gathered in fashionable cafés and restaurants in New York, Paris, and London beginning in the late 19th century. Maury Henry Biddle Paul is credited with coining the phrase “café society” in 1915.
These days the term cafe society is passé and gets a bad rap. But in Paris it means something else entirely now. In America, the word cafe has come to mean a casual eating
place - a lunch counter, a purveyor of quick, inexpensive food. In
Paris - which did not invent cafes, but which has raised them to their
highest form - the same word describes not just a genre of refreshment
stop but a whole way of life. The cafes of Paris define the way the
city looks and feels as much as any Eiffel Tower or Notre-Dame. Paris is cafes.
To understand Paris, you must sit in a cafe - perhaps at a sidewalk table
beneath lush plane trees facing a broad boulevard or historic square,
perhaps on a leatherette banquette inside a dim neighborhood bar/tabac
on an obscure side street. You must sip an espresso, a Perrier, a glass
of wine, whatever, and watch the world go by (or come through the
door). You must let the sense of the city soak in. Above all, you must
take your time. The hours spent at a cafe - hours of watching, thinking,
idling, conversing, flirting, seducing - are never wasted. They are part of the ebb and flow of the French
day, giving it rhythm and meaning.
**Emerging inclinations, after all, have inexplicable charms, and all the pleasure of love is in change.