Paris Valentine: 50 Shades of Sepia
By Theadora Brack
In celebration of Saint-Valentine’s Day, next week I plan to share my all-time favorite love letter by poet and founding surrealist Guillaume Apollinaire to Madeleine Pagès, written in 1915 while he was enlisted in the French army’s 38th Regiment of Field Artillery during the Great War.
Apollinaire’s prose is pretty darn steamy. You are in for a treat, in fifty shades of glorious sepia.
In the meantime, let’s salute to love with our annual toast. And yes, let’s share another sweet-and-sour Sidecar!
Repeating myself: Invented at the Ritz during the aforementioned Great War by head barman Frank Meier (and author of the “Artistry of Mixing Drinks”—Harry’s New York Bar devotees, look away!), you go and grab the cognac and Cointreau while I squeeze the lemon and crack the ice. You know the thrill!
But especially on this special day of the year, let’s not forget Frank Meier’s neat credo about what makes a great bar truly great. It’s not the drink recipes, and it’s not the décor. It’s the people. So spread the warmth. Straight up! I say, like there’s no tomorrow.
Until next week!
My love I am sending you a butterfly’s wing that I found today.
Butterflies have beautiful names but I don’t know them, beautiful mythological names.
May the autumnal hues of this wing suggest to you the even more delicate shades of love.
—Guillaume Apollinaire to Madeleine, October 1915