Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Anti-Cafe, Paris

I was told of this cool little spot geared toward writers/workers called, The Anti Cafe, and had to check it out.  What could be so Anti Cafe about a coffee shop marketed toward workers? As I was walking there, I thought maybe it was an 'Anti Cafe' because you were beaten, mugged, and or raped walking down the seedy ass street to get in there or perhaps they didn't serve coffee at all.... OMG, I would die and go to Heaven if it was a hot chocolate only bar!!!

The funny thing is that their "seedy ass streets" are like Detroit's best street on a good day.  

Nope.  However, once I got there, it was so charming.

Front window display... clearly a standout on the shady street
The premise of The Anti Cafe is that you only pay for the time you spend there, not for the food and drink you consume.  Unheard of, right?  I guess that is why it is the Anti Cafe.  They have coffee, espresso, etc that the very polite and English fluent baristas will make for you, but everything else is serve yourself.  There is a fridge with lemonade, juice and pop and bowls of pretzels, carrots, breads, Nutella and fruit that you can just grab as you like.

Kitchen and working area...
The basement was very cool, it was like a cavern.  The ceiling was very low and there were stone archways.  I didn't work from down here because it smelled a bit mildewy and I wanted to people watch.  Plus, I'm a total fatty and wanted to eat and didn't want to leave my stuff in the basement unattended.
Basement catacombs...
This guy took over the whole damn corner and turned it into his own private think tank.  I love that he just idea-scaped on the wall and went to town...
Cavern think box???

Kitschy old decor...
I couldn't really grasp the whole, "help yourself" concept.  I mean, I get it, I'm not stupid. I just didn't feel comfortable doing it.
1. I didn't want to look like a pig
2. I felt like people were monitoring me (which they weren't)
3. I was starving and wanted real food but totally didn't want to look like a greedy American making a full on sandwich
4. What was the etiquette on seconds...
5. The people next to me brought in a full on meal.  Amazing salads and pasta creations, it was like they were having a book club meeting. I kept waiting for them to offer me food.  They didn't.

"Help yourself" kitchen...
So, 3 pretzels, a piece of bread and 3 glasses of lemonade later, I hit the road.  Not too shabby for 7 euros. I got 3 hours of writing done.  Oh, for those of you that are curious, the rates are 4 euros for the first hour and 2 euros for ever hour after that up until 5pm, then its just 4 euros per hour, every hour.

Epic Fail: I didn't realize they had wine until I left.  Shit.  I could have had my usual lunch, Chardonnay.

On my way out, I got a little glimpse of weird on the street corner. I love Paris.

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