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Le Fumoir – We meet an old friend from rural Lorraine near the Louvre Pyramid, and he walks us to this, his favorite hipster hangout. I admit that it’s somewhat depressing to see Parisian cafés littered with colas and laptops, but I suppose such things are inevitable. This is New Paris, all darkly striking urban tones, and yet its classicism is Old Paris as well. It’s no bargain, but then that’s not why one comes to such places; my pastis is watery-sweet and grossly expensive, but I just can’t face the overwhelming list of artful cocktails. Our friend regales us with a somewhat dubious tale of his conquest of an attractive Australian tourist that began between these very walls, even showing us a picture; it all seems a little superficial and vain. Somewhat like this establishment. (4/06)


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