Postcard #12- Deux Gros Nez

Posted on April 16, 2011. Filed under: Postcards | Tags: , , , , , , |

"I miss DGN" Postcards

Great photos of the Deux:

YouTube video from the annual DGN race- Nancy and I can be seen on the 20 second mark:

I miss Deux Gros Nez. These days I am missing it even more than usual. Maybe it’s because the weather is finally warming up and that calls for a Snickers frappe at midnight. Perhaps I’m craving a scone with blackberry jam and whipped cream with my Sunday paper. But I think the real reason is that even though the building, steps, and awning are still there; the heart of California Street is gone. There are some snazzy stores on that block and if I wanted to I could buy a delicious hotdog, a pair of flamboyant shoes or a fancy sandwich, but none of those stores have the funky vibe of the Deux.

I could climb the stairs and open the door, but only if I am there to discuss my catering needs with the owner of the building. Yet my memories of the place live on. The first time I walked up the stairs, the smell of coffee and the loud music greeted me and from then on I was hooked. It became the place where I could be quirky, loud, and silly it didn’t matter because it was where I belonged.

During the nineteen years I was a DGN regular, my friends and I ate the flowers, laughed, and had a great time, even at 2:00 in the morning. Drunken Scrabble with my friend Dan, Mrs. Walley, my last first date with my Auntie Joy and Auntie Laura “chaperoning” and drinking lattes at eleven at night and not figuring out why I couldn’t go to sleep that night are some of my favorite memories. Other favorites include enormous peanut butter cookies, handing out Feta cheese at the yearly anniversary party and my first legal beer where you can bet I sat at the bar and choked down the chunky Spaten. I could go on forever!

I have been thinking about how to end this essay and not sound like an Enya song and I have finally come up with this: Even though DGN is no longer open, I am still that funky person who sat at the bar and laughed at the “old people” (I am their age now). I take my memories with me because they have helped make me who I am today. I have to say that there are no flowers at the 4,000 Starbucks near my house and that I would probably get thrown out if I tried to eat them anyway.

Now it’s your turn- do you have a favorite meaningful place? Memories of the Deux? Share on!


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2 Responses to “Postcard #12- Deux Gros Nez”

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See, Cindy, this is the thing about being the ‘older’ one now. You see things changing so fast and it makes you redefine who you are all the time. I think it’s what keeps us Young At Heart, even though it’s painful at times. I love your stories, keep um coming.

Reading this and looking at the photos, I too am flushed with visceral emotions…wondering where all of the promise of that world has gone? Strange to see other faces there in photo. Strange to not know who you are or they are – but important to know that it affected us all the same. Thank you to who ever made it all work. I suspect it was a lot more expensive and difficult than it appeared. Yes…snicker frappes, Focaccia before the world knew about Focaccia. Everyone outside of Deux Gros Nez thought I was nuts! Mine was with slices of salty, dry sausage and some sort of sharp white cheese and Dijon mustard. I was 17 and in love with that place. I also loved the (so sour you could hardly drink it) lemonade and chocolate pie. It all sounds so foreign, but it was divine. Youth is not knowing how special the moments one is experiencing are and naively living them to the fullest – still, somehow, feeling that one is missing something~ I just bought …can’t image what i will do with it…….coffee anyone? Emmett

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