Honestly, the cappuccino and milkshake didn’t taste all that good at Café de Flore. But I believe in ghosts and I wanted to connect to some of those great minds who parlayed in the cut of here, on the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and the Rue St. Benoit, at one time or another to get their artistic juices flowing: Hemingway, Capote, Satre, Picasso, Baldwin, Wright, the list goes on forever. I allowed myself to get lost in the romanticism of yesteryear, before computers, email, SMS texts, Twitter, Facebook and all those other distractions that have led to a decrease in the overall quality of cultural production.
A Capuccino @ Café de Flore
But it was just an OK experience. No ghosts whispered in my ear or blew fairy dust that would cure me of this writer’s block that has weighed me down for the last several months. Nada. Zilch.
And then came the bill. Man, the dollar is currently about $1.42 to the euro. I tried to imagine how much someone making minimum wage would have to work to afford a cup of coffee and a mediocre milkshake in this joint.
I read this today on the Economist.
“ON FRIDAY July 24th the federal minimum wage in America rises by 70 cents to $7.25 an hour, the third rise since 2007. Some states, such as Alaska, have recently passed laws to match the new federal rate, and a majority either equal or exceed the government minimum. Washington and Oregon are the most generous states, with $8.55 and $8.40 an hour respectively. Kansas is the meanest state, offering just $2.65, though this will change to $7.25 in 2010. Many poor southern states have no minimum-wage law at all.”
So, with a tip, that would be about 5 hours of hard labor in NYC. Was it worth it? I’d say, yes. Paris, with all of its own issues (that aren’t so different than ours) is just that haute.