"The sidewalk tables of La Palette were mostly full, but the back room I had liked so much was occupied by a single patron: an elegantly dressed older woman with a demitasse and a book open in front of her, who from her clothes and her ease I made as one of the nearby gallery owners enjoying her morning espresso before opening the store. I walked in and took the corner table in back, pleased at the feeling that the place had been waiting for me. Billie Holiday was playing quietly from unseen speakers. The acoustics were hushed. And it was pleasingly dim, even on this sunny morning, the walls all of dark wood, the ceiling painted ochre, the spare tables and chairs deep and comforting shades of brown. When the weather was good, the sidewalk tables were much more the draw for passing tourists and Parisians, but I always liked La Palette best from inside."