Tuesday, June 07, 2016

tales of two places

When I spent my first summer in Argelès, we often ate at this café. The year was 1979. Every Monday night they had couscous and while there was a street dance in the same square.

Over the years the café has changed hands many times. At one point it was said to be headquarters of a local prostitution ring, but most owners have it as a restaurant or a bar. 

On  ultra hot days it was the coolest place in town and although I am not much of a beer drinker, my friend Barbara and I would take refuge under the trees and sip an icy beer.

This is the back of Hostalet, a lovely hotel. It wasn't always lovely. For years it was run by a couple who took client service lessons from Fawlty Towers.

They sold it to a Danish artist and it became client friendly. The artist later became our landlord when my studio proved to small for my new husband and myself and remains a good friend.

Someone bought it and left it empty for a couple of years and finally Jonathan and Matthieu bought it, renovated the rooms and turned it into a warm and charming place. Last year they opened the back for a couple of hours in the evening serving wine, beer, fruit drinks and if we are lucky a homemade tapenade.

It is a perfect place to relax at the end of a writing day.

In between the two places are flowers and a wall. The wall is pretty not like the one between Mexico and the US, or the old Berlin Wall or the Israeli Wall.

One can cross it without papers or visa. It is possible to have a cold beer at two on a hot day at the one cafe and return for a chat with Jonathan and Matthieu and a cup of tea at five.

During the summer on Sundays many of the local artists set up their easels and paint. Tables will be filled in both places.

And those summer dancers?

We haven't seen the schedule yet, but we'll reserve our places with J&M as soon as it is posted.

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