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One of things you see a lot of during the summer months in the city, are these so-called chic little sidewalk cafes.

I say “so-called” because to me, they’re any BUT chic.

(a better word would be…ASININE)

It’s one thing to be in Europe, where the café tables are set back AWAY from the street. But here in Philadelphia, where they have NO idea what the hell chic is…they feel that if they place a card table one inch off the sidewalk and two centimeters from the curb…they can call themselves a Sidewalk Café.


One cool and lovely evening last week, I was walking home with a friend of mine. And as she and I were coming up to one of these chic cafes, we both looked at one another and at the exact same time said, “What‘s wrong with this picture?”

We just observed….

And there we saw four tables smushed between the sidewalk and the curb. And next to these tables sat a large and totally full city trash can. On the street level, were cars and delivery trucks lined up; almost touching the people eating. And as we’re watching this, one of the trucks started it’s motor, as a big puff of exhaust smoke shot out like a fart…and landed all over the people sitting at the tables.

And I’m thinking to myself…”DAMN….now that’s CHIC!”

I don’t know about you, but I’m not particularly fond of spending $15.00 for a glass of wine and $50.00 for an entrée…and then having it marinated with carbon monoxide.

But then again…I’m not too terribly CHIC…

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Weekend movie classic recommendation: Waiting for Guffman


  1. I guess I'm not terribly chic either! That sounds perfectly awful.
    Now, like you said, some places where there's room to sit and enjoy the surroundings and where a delivery truck isn't pulling up, would be FAB. I'm thinking somewhere like the Piazzo, or is it the Pilazza... you know, Rome.
    Although, my favorite types of restaurants are ones that are lit mostly by candlelight, cozy, themey atmosphere. Like Moroccan maybe. And there's an Indian place me and hub like to meet sometimes for lunch. It's buffet, so you can pick and choose your own items but the waiter is there often filling water. The music of course is terrific and it's not too crowded so we just get to enjoy the food and each other without other interruptions.
    Don't get me wrong, I love to people watch and be in the action at times, but I'll do that at Barnes from their cafe, not at one fearing for my life on the side of the road.

    p.s. There's one or two on South St. and even though they aren't right next to the curb, they still always look very crowded. Hey, have you tried the Thai restaurant at the end of South. Offhand can't think of the name, but it's pretty yummy. :) ooh, Tamarind? Is that it?

  2. Ewwww! That doesn't sound like a good dining experience at all. It is silly, and we have it here too in our city. Our city is smaller than Philly, but it's nothing to sneeze at. Hardly enough space between the curb and the building though. I hardly ever see anyone out eating at those tables though.

  3. You said it...Crystal Chick!

    The Pilazza in Rome!!!!

    I've seen that place several times in movies (although I've never been).

    The sidewalk cafes in Europe differ greatly from most of the ones here(at least in Philly). The cafe's here, make me laugh!!!

    I agree...I SO enjoy those wonderful restaurants with a candlelight atmosphere and nice music. It adds so much to the eating experience, doesn't it? you, I really enjoy people watching in a bookstore cafe. It's interesting to see what types of books everyone reads and what they're eating and drinking.

    I don't go down to South St. much anymore (too crowded). But if someone from out of town comes to visit...I will always take them there to see all the cool little shops, and to get a Philly cheese steak sandwich. The next time I'm down there, I'll definately check out the That restaurant you suggested!

    MUCHO thanks for stopping by today, M!

    Enjoy your weekend, dear lady.

    I hear it's going to be very WARM!!


  4. Morning Bekah!

    Ewwwwww! is right...

    And what's even eeeeew' that I've seen people eating out there on a HOT summer's day with all that smelliness going on!

    Oh, each there own, I guess!

    GREAT seeing ya, this morning Bekah!

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Have a FABU weekend!

  5. Yeah, it's taking a good idea and making a bad one out of it.
    Good point, Ron !

  6. Morning Annie!

    Hey...listen...if you ever come to Philly I'll treat you to a nice dinner at one of these CHIC sidewalk cafe's...

    I think you'd LOVE IT!!!



    Thanks for boppin' by this morning, Annie!

    Have a great weekend!!!

  7. I shun "chic" at all costs!

    and you're right about the sidewalk cafe. same thing in NYC. I once sat at a table so close to the sidewalk that I kept getting hit in the head with handbags as women walked by. what the hell is chic about that!?

    love the dog!

    it's going to be hot and humid all weekend and that sucks lol

  8. Mmmmmmmm, they just haven't quite got it right have they Ron? ;)

  9. Gee Ron, that sounds absolutely disgusting!!
    Although, I would never choose to eat on sidewalk, regardless of trash cans, exhaust fumes or the lack there of. I don't image that this would be very kid friendly.

    This did remind me of this cafe that is in the city where I shop in VA. They have their main restaurant, and then their tables set up "Outside." However, their "outside" is within a corridor of a shopping center, right across from a health club with giant windows. I am talking, 10 feet away from the windows. And it is not really outside. This place cracks me up everytime I see it. It is completely lame. But you can tell they were trying to go for a chic atmosphere. They failed. Just what I want to see while I am eating, a bunch of sweat people in spandex.

  10., I'll have what was thrown in the trash can...Yum. hehehe. The price is unbeatable.

    Hey they have a few of those on Sunset and off sunset. I drove by horrible to have a meal and have Paris Hilton drive by with the exhaust and smog...yuck. And she wonders why I flipped her off. Ahem, hey they charge a huge amount for a glass of crappy wine too. I've had better out of a box. Um, not that I've eaten at those places, mind you. Okay once...twice at the most.
    hey the new thing in wine is sparking wine. I hear australian wine makers are putting out some really fabulous stuff. California has a few good ones too.'s not like the 70's craze Cold Duck! hehehe.

    Come read me...and I have a video you need to see and tell me what you think, ever hear of the Children's Hour?
    Ciao baby.

  11. HOLY HELL, Dianne...your comment made me bust out laughing!!!!

    Hit in the head with handbags!!!?!?!?

    TOO funny, girl!

    When I lived in Manhattan, I ate at a place called Pennyfeathers. It was either in the Village or the Upper East Side (I can't remember) time, while eating my lunch...some "street person" walked by and GRABBED one of the french fries off my plate!!

    I sat there in TOTAL SHOCK!

    Ya, gotta love New York, though...ya know?

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful cafe story...I totally enjoyed!

    And YES...this weekend here in Philly...HOT and HUMID too!

    OY VEY!

    Enjoy your weekend, Dianne!

  12. Evening Akelamalu~

    YOU SAID IT!!!

    Sometimes I feel VERY sorry for Philadelphia. It doesn't have a CLUE...about SOOOOO many things.

    I often feel like a fish out of water!

    And I was BORN here!?!?

    GREAT seeing ya, dear lady!

    Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend!

  13. OH DAMN, KILLED me with your comment!

    I'm trying very hard to get a good visual of those sweaty people in spandex!

    yummy! FUNNY! LEAST it was AWAY from the street!

    And you're right...they're not very kid friendly.

    However, people bring theirs dogs and attach the leash to the table. And I feel bad for the dog, because everyone on the street is accidentally kicking them as they walk by.

    And what amazes me, is that on a HOT and HUMID day like today...they're STILL sitting out there eating!

    Thanks for sharing your WONDERFUL story, Nicole. It was a HOOT!

    Have a GREAT weekend!

  14. Evening Miss Jones...

    And need I say...

    Your comment made me shake, rattle and roll!

    PARIS HILTON???? God love her!

    She actually came to the store I work in and signed bottles of her lastest perfum (Can-Can) back in the Spring. I didn't get to see her because I was off. But everyone said she was EXTREMELY nice and very gracious. And she brought her little dog too!

    Hey...thanks for sharing the info on the new sparkling wine. I'm always grateful to discover new wines. I'm a RED drinker myself. I love California and Australian wines. They produce some AWESOME bottles! And not very expensive either. If you enjoy wine...try Barefoot (Shiraz and Cabernet Sav)....YUMMY beyond words!

    One of these days, when I get to California...I would love to visit Sunset Blvd. It always reminds me of the movie (which I own).

    Thanks for sharing your magical story, Spiky!

    You always make me smile!

    Yes...I'll be over to read your post in a few...can't wait!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  15. Im with you on this one! They are tryig to sqeese them in all over the place here too.

  16. We don't have 'sidewalk cafes'....we have beer gardens.

    Yeah, yeah...we're talkin' IOWA.
    And really, what's a dumpster next to a beer garden?!
    Like anyone would notice? LOL

    Just sayin'.....

  17. Hellllllooooo Casdok!

    Before I checked my comments here, I viewed my google reader and found you had posted....YAY!!!

    It's always so GREAT seeing that!

    I'll be by in a bit to say hi.

    The thing about the sidewalk cafes their closeness to the street. The European ones I've been to, have all been set back away from the street.

    Thanks SOOOOO much for stopping by, dear Casdok.

    That always make me happy!

    Have a GREAT weekend.

    Love to C!

  18. Oh Mel...your words made LAUGH!!!

    I'm visualizing a beer garden, with all the waiters and waitresses dressed in little "Heidi outfits", handing out pretzels and yodeling in german!!!


    GREAT seeing ya, deal Mel!

    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend on the patio with your chalk and bubbles!

  19. I'm sorry, i just had this visual of you sitting at a table in one of these chic cafe's when a GIANT bug lands on your pasta.
    Oh yeah that would go over well.
    I like sitting outside and having a beer
    or a wine, watching the sun set. I prefer to eat inside away from things that crawl, or cities that smell.
    Guess my Chic-factor is really low.

  20. Oh, god, totally gross. I agree, not terribly appealing in a crowded city and next to the street. Europe has these down much better than we do here in the U.S. apparently.

    Great post and the picture of the dog just rocks.

  21. Evening Lady Sorrow~

    tee, hee!


    There WAS a BIG bug that landed in my pasta. It flew off that DAMN city trash can!!!


    Since you've at one time lived in this delightful city...I KNOW that you thank you!

    oooh...I too enjoy sitting outside in the evening with a nice glass of wine. Especially in an area close to nature. Now that's HEAVEN!

    But a sidewalk cafe in that's HELL!

    Thanks so much for stopping by today, Sorrow!

    And I hope you're having a wonderful time with you friend!

  22. Howdy Rhea~

    Great seeing ya!

    You got it, girl...Europe has a TOTALLY different interpretation of a sidewalk cafe. And once you experience something like's had to imagine it any other way.

    One of these days, I would LOVE to go to Italy and have a fabulous glass of red wine with some fabulous cheese at one of their sidewalk cafes, listening to some fabulous music.

    Hey...thanks for enjoying the dog photo...I saw it on Flickr one night and thought, "That's it!"

    Isn't he cute?

    Thanks for dropping in today!

    Always enjoyable, Rhea!

  23. These started to pop-up in FL after the smoking ban. Think how lovely they are here - 100% humidity, mosquitos, seagulls, exhaust, smoke and people yelling to each other because of the traffic noise. So, fucking chic!

  24. OH are TOOOOO MUCH woman!!

    Ya know, I don't think I ever went to a sidewalk cafe while I lived in Florida!?

    I wonder if a Cabana Bar counts?

    GREAT seeing ya, dear lady!

    Hey...I'm DYING to hear how your weekend convention went!

    Did you sell lots of TOYS????

    Thanks for stopping by!

  25. I had a party this weekend that went very well. The convention is next month, July 31-August 3. You KNOW I'll be blogging about THAT! LOL

    Any outdoor bar, food service, coffee house, etc. that is a block or less from the beach, no matter where in FL, is exempt from the idiotic sidewalk cafe laws. That's according to me, anyway!

  26. ooops! your dates all mixed up Nitebyrd. glad to hear the PARTY went well!!


    And I LOVE your sidewalk cafe law....agree!

    Thanks for stopping back again!


    "I'll have the black smoked oysters squirted with a bit of dog urine thanks."

    This post had me giggling so hard, my poor belly bean got the bouncing of a lifetime! xx

  28. Comin' right up, GIGGLES....

    "An order of black smoked oysters squirted with a bit of dog urine."

    And may I suggest some gas fumes too?

    At no extra charge, of course!

    Tee, hee!

    So glad you enjoyed, Belly Bean!