These mid-September days seem barely summer, yet hint signs of autumn. At times they seem more summer-like, then changing unexpectantly to a crisp fall-like breeze. The potential seasonal change feels so convincing that I have to be cautious not to pull out all of my heavy knits because the next day any evidence of autumn could be dismissed by heat, sunshine, and discussions of un l'été indien.
Only opened on the weekends, Le Comptoir Général offers an entirely different atmosphere, totally embracing the likes of an Indian Summer.
Upon entering, you walk through a long, chandelier-lit hallway, covered in an ornate red wallpaper and lined with portraits of African peace leaders. At the end of the hall, there is an old concierge desk you pass, and there beaming in light the venue opens up to a vine covered tropical treasure: vintage furniture, sun umbrellas, old leather suitcases filled with ferns are set up casually. There are various eclectic collections curated throughout this sun-filled interior, from taxidermy chickens to Polaroid cameras, a counter with a record player and old record albums hanging behind. Scattered about are souvenirs from a 70's era African hair salon. With a second-hand store upstairs, and an incredible terrace that mimicks the interior more fully with a modest array of tropical vegetation, this diverse environment feels like a mix between an abandoned Cuban luxury hotel with Parisian bohémien bourgeois.
It's a perfect spot to pass these transitioning-season days.