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  • Lisa

Coffee and Revolution

Improbable Walks, Season 3, Episode 3: Wow, did April ever whoosh past in a blaze of work & sunshine here in Paris! Today, we're walking through a gorgeous Left Bank alleyway near Métro Odéon on the Left Bank. This is a great place to talk about early coffee-drinking in Paris, in the 1600s, and brilliant Revolutionaries like the printer Marat and his friends Robespierre & Danton (no cliff-hanger here: they all drank a lot of coffee!) Images: A small map, with a red dot to mark the very short street with a ridiculously-long name, ie, Le Cour du Commerce-du-Saint-André; a portrait of Procopio, a coffee vendor in the 1680s; his cafe today; the alleyway c. 1870, photographed by the great Charles Marville; the printer Marat, looking appropriate wild-eyed; the Relais Odéon; the statue of Georges Danton, on the Blvd Saint-Germain.

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