Today, the cafe remains a place where awnings, tables and chairs awaite you; a place where you may arrive feeling blue, and then, for no apparent reason, find the mood magically lifting; maybe an idea comes to mind, a friend approaches, the coffee is served. Or perhaps the sun comes out, a breeze stirs, or a favourite song is played. But one thing is evident: at the cafe one realizes one is not so alone as previously supposed and that life itself can be grand. As Jean-Paul Satre once noted … ‘It is certain that the cafe by itself with its patrons, its tables, its booths, its mirrors, its light, its smoky atmosphere, and the sounds of voices, rattling saucers, and footsteps which fill it–the cafe is the fullness of being.’
Val Clark (ed), The Parisian Cafe: A Literary Companion, New York: Universe Publishing, 2002.