When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.
The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
~Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
by Ernest Hemingway
A Good Cafe on the Place St.-Michel
Then there was the bad weather. It would come in one day when the fall was over. We would have to shut the windows in the night against the rain and the cold wind would strip the leaves from the trees in the Place Contrescarpe. The leaves lay sodden in the rain and the wind drove the rain agianst the big green autobus at the terminal and the Cafe des Amateaurs was crowded and the windows misted over from the heat and the smoke inside. It was a sad, evilly run cafe where the drunkards of the quarter crowded together and I kept away from it because of the smell of dirty bodies and the sour smell of drunkenness. The men and women who frequented the Amateurs stayed drunk all of the time, or all of the time they could afford it, mostly on wine which they bought by the half-liter or liter. Many strangely named aperitifs were advertised, but few people could afford them except as a foundation to build their wine drunks on. The women drundards were called poivrottes which meant female rummies.
And so ends the opening paragraph of A Movable Feast, one of my favorite books.
If you know the people in the cover picture let me know. I recognize Hemingway, of course, and I believe that is Ezra Pound on the left, and I always thought the others were Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, but the woman doesn’t look like Zelda. She looks too womanly to be Gertrude Stein. ? Let me know.