La Belle Rachelle


Rachelle Ma Belle,

I bet you thought I forgot to write you, patience, patience chère fille, here is your very own letter.  I admit that I’ve left my letters (those of which I intend to write) pile up like a stack of newspapers I’d been meaning to read.  Alas, newspapers do not read themselves and letters cannot compose themselves, and what fun would it be if they did?  Besides, I love to write letters because I know full well the joy they brings, and because it is such fun to receive phone calls from elated friends and letters (though more often then not, text messages and emails) filled with exclamation points.  Unfortunately my typewriter does not have a key for exclamation points, which I find very upsetting since I usually prefer to begin most of my letters, Hi!!!!!!, or something along those lines.

At the moment I am seated in one of my new favorite cafes, Caffe Dante.  It’s situated just south of an area of very collegiate NYU bars and lackluster restuarants.  Dante is a small two-room cafe filled wall to wall with far too many tables and chairs.  I’ve never actually seen more then two or three tables occupied at a time, causing the cafe to seem more empty then it actually is due to the over abundance of empty chairs.  The service is usually brusk (I believe it’s a family run place, almost certainly Italian) there’s always a small dark-haried waitress with heavy eye make-up ready to take your order.  It’s the kind of place that has a separate menu for desserts, each of which is accompanied by a color photo.

But I love this place.  Everything about it is just right.  The size of the rooms, just large enough to feel comfortable without being too stuffy or desolate, the maple wood paneling and 50’s style bar with cut-glass bowls that look like they were your grandmother’s candy dish repurposed into light fixtures; it’s all mismatched enough to feel worn in and unpretentious.  Since there’s usually never anyone around I can appreciate the quiet (the only noise being a questionable radio station, the dishes being loudly loaded or unloaded behind the bar, ice being scooped into water glasses).  I honestly wouldn’t change a single thing about the place.  Enough already about Dante.  Just know that is has the perfect ratio of window light to potted plants, wood paneling to aged black and white photos, illuminated dessert case to patio seating, and I find it quite divine.  (Cheap literary pun intended.)

Tell me about your city, about our city.  What’s new in Minneapolis?  I still miss it terribly.  Tell me everything.  I hope you’re well and can’t wait to hear back.  It’s literally been years since last I heard from or saw you.  In fact, I think the last time was in Grenoble, n’est-ce pas?  Tell me about your adventures since then, next letter I promise to write about more then just a cafe.  Big love from the big apple to the Minne apple.

Sincerely,

Yours Truly

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