April 2, 2009

Sidewalk Cafe's

The first time I ever experienced a sidewalk cafe was when I was 16 in
Franeker, Holland. This picture shows the canal that winds through the town of Franeker. It's a very nice, quiet little town.
Imagine, in the distance, there is always a windmill in the distance, gracefully turning in the breeze, with the canal so quietly gliding by and we ever-so-casually sitting next to a foot-bridge, chatting across our wrought-iron, glass-topped table. Oh, it was the picture of serene beauty and has left
a lasting memory.

Did I mention the tulips? Multi-colored splashes of petals edging everything.
Then we travel onto Gay-Paree. France is very old and is amazing with it's museums, Cathedrals, and Louis-esqeness. I liked that. The Louvre is stunning and should almost qualify as one of the 7 Wonders of the Art World. The truth is, I didn't like Paris. After driving from Holland to France through quaint cobblestoned villages with cottages adorned with flower
boxes, I found Paris, drab, dirty, immoral, loud and big.

But I did get to sit at a nice sidewalk cafe and eat a gelato, which is an ice cream cone that tastes like lemon sherbet, and is actually Italian. It was excrutiatingly hot that summer of '76 and that lemon treat was succulently cool and soft and refeshing. I watched the average Parisian pass by and
wasn't very impressed. The women were in baggy tank tops with very hairy black airpits and no bra, which wasn't very flattering, since I'm sure they hadn't EVER worn bras. I decided then and there, that I was going to submit myself to be "uplifted" throughout my life.
My most favorite sidewalk eateries were scattered all over Italy, my most favorite country to visit. If I was forced to leave my beloved America, permanently, then I would move to Italia. I think I would check out Tuscany, first, just because of the influence that region has had on our recent home decor fads.

I love Italy for the ancient history it boasts and for the Baroque architecture. The people were friendly, boisterous, expressive, jovial and giving. Even the

Monks, guiding us through the Roman Catacombs, had a sense of humor. The climate is perfection and the vegetation, with vineyards covering every mile, was so gorgeous and tranquil.

1) to walk in an idle, leisurely manner; to saunter
2) to go from place to place; to wander

I learned the definition of strolling when I was in Italy. The more rural
the better. And while wandering, in a leisurely manner, I would come upon a sidewalk cafe that looked 750 years old with Baroque dripping off of it like dew off a grape leaf. It was wonderful to sit, rest the feet after all that sauntering, and reminisce over The Pieta or St. Peter's Basilica. I would imagine Michaelangelo or Davinci walking by and tipping a hat in my

I believe, however, that my most memorable and wonderful morning spent at a sidewalk cafe was in Cozumel, Mexico.
Victor and I had left Cancun early in the morning, taken the public bus to Playa del Carmen (a treat no one should miss - boy, did we stand out! Victor is 6'4" and I am very blonde) and then we took a ferry to the island of Cozumel.

We had a superb egg-burrito while enjoying the view of the beautiful robin-eggshell colored ocean in front of us. It was just down right ROMANTIC.

Our town has a few outdoor coffee shops, but I just don't think Montana has the kind of weather that makes eating outdoors pleasant. The table umbrellas, potted plants, furniture and food would sail off in the wind within seconds. One would have to grab a meal in the nearby pasture. Isn't traveling to other places a great idea!

1 comment:

  1. They had sidewalk cafes in China too though they were filthy and I expected rats to run around my feet any second. :) Good food though!