Those of us who live in the little Provençal villages that dot the landscape and give the unique character to the area, have always delighted in the rather quirky fact that we have no street numbers. The “Postie” knows everyone and the mail is delivered promptly and (usually) accurately.
However, some bureauocrat within the organization known as La Poste, has decided that this state of affairs can continue no longer – the residents must have street numbers. As we all know and have become used to, nothing is simple in France. A letter on official stationary, sets out ‘le parametre’…
* everyone must have the same type of number plaque – provided by the local Municipality
* the numbering system in not chronological – it is done on how many metres you are from the nearest intersection. This results in our next door neighbours having number 190 and we have 294!
* the plaque must be placed 1,8m from the ground; close to your letter box; on the right hand side of your entrance; in full view of the road.
What do you do in our case? Our wall is 1m high; our letter box is on the side of the wall; fortunately, our wall is on the right hand side and in full view of the road. So, we achieve 2/4. We wait to see if the are committed to excommunication for failing on two of the ‘parametres’.
We’ll let you know.
Back to Provence… thanks to all our old and new friends in Chatham; Maine; Nantucket; New York and Boston. Not forgetting dear E. Merci bien!! xxxx
We feel a little affinity with the fanous Zabar deli in NYC – the Zabar family are landowners in Ménerbes and we ‘had’ to go and see the deli:
Eighty Years, and 3 generations later, Zabar’s family business is still going strong.
Our father and mother, Louis and Lillian Zabar, started the business
back in 1934, opening a 22-foot-wide shop along NYC’s Broadway at West 80th Street. Louis was a real stickler for quality, roasting his own coffee, and personally visiting smokehouses to sample and inspect the fish – rejecting far more than he accepted.
The principles and practices of our founder and father continue to guide us: Respect the customer. Never, ever stint on quality. Offer fair value. And last but not least, keep searching for the new and wonderful.
Without question, this last point has accounted for some memorable moments. Back in the 1960’s, we introduced New York to Brie, in the ‘70’s we brought them sun-dried tomatoes and gnocchi, and in the ‘80’s, we got so excited about caviar – and wanted everyone to taste it – that our prices set off a so-called “Caviar War”. (Incidentally, we won.)
Over the years, the business kept growing, and today we span practically the entire block front. With our sons, daughters and their cousins, we’re still at it – hand-slicing meltingly delicious smoked fish behind our deli counter…offering tastes of the latest artisanal cheeses…setting out fresh-baked batches of rugelach (it’s our Bubbe’s recipe)…overseeing the roasting of our special coffee blends (we sell 400,000 pounds a year!) Retire? Not on your life – we’re having too much fun!
As Louis taught us, to succeed as a family business, you have to love each other, and love the business – in our case, great food, great service, great prices, great folks. We ask you, what’s not to love?!
Here’s to another 80 years, and then some! Heartfelt thanks for your patronage.
- Saul & Stanley Zabar
What the Zabars do not say in their little piece above is that they rae the biggest purveyors of Caviar in New York!
We loved the NY buildings in the more residential areas.