Over the past week, concerns about the arrival of the Seattle java giant filtered their way through the media. The usual French suspects talked about Simone and Jean-Paul and their smart set turning in their graves at the sight of the latest American cultural invasion. And just how do we know Starbucks won’t feed us American Frankenfood?
Yet the English-speaking denizens were even more exercised. “Is this the final fall of French civilization?” asked Theodore Dalrymple, a recent exile to France, only half in jest in the Times (of London). Jeffrey the New Yorker, a writer-in-Paris acquaintance of mine, pledged to throw a brick through the window. In case Jeffrey makes good on the threat, I’ll leave out his full name.