Across France, CafÃ© Owners Are Suffering [Free registration may be required]
Society-Parisian cafes and terraces
The Tradition of Coffee and Coffeehouses Among Turks
Smart City Radio: An Authentic Sense of Place [Real Player]
10 Hottest Coffeehouses
In France, a country known for its outdoor philosophizing and cafÃ© culture, there are a few ominous changes as of late that have many lovers of Gallic culture and pastimes rather worried. This past week, the New York Times reported that France now has fewer than 41,500 cafes, down from 200,000 in 1960. It is estimated that two cafes close every day in France. There are many suspected reasons for the closings, including the downturn in the economy, changing habits, and a time crunch among working professionals and just about everyone else. More and more French people consider the very ritual of having a cigarette, an espresso, and an aperitif unhealthy, and most can hardly afford the time to commit to such a leisurely paced activity. Some cafÃ© owners are quick to blame the smoking ban that was instituted by the French government this past January. Others feel that the cafÃ© is an essential part of French culture, particularly one Daniel Perry, who remarked, "We need the cafÃ© to have an equilibrium between the village and the world outside. Without the cafÃ©, you lose the conviviality. You lose your mates. Business agreements are made behind the zinc."
The first link will take users to a piece from the Irish Times about a particularly noteworthy cafÃ© in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis that serves as a cultural melting pot. The second link leads to an article from this Saturday's New York Times that talks about the problems faced by cafÃ© owners in France. Moving on, the third link will take visitors to a nice overview of Parisian cafes and terraces offered up by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. The fourth link will whisk users away to an overview of the very fine coffeehouse culture that has existed in Turkey for well over a millennium. The fifth link leads to a great program from the "Smart City" program that talks about how cities can work to create places and destinations that will attract a broad range of people. The final link leads to a list of the 10 "hottest" coffeehouses from Forbes Traveler, and it is sure to spark debate and perhaps a few caffeine-centered road trips.