Friday, April 9, 2010

Coffee With Rick at Café Le Sélect, Paris

"We"ll have to start our day with coffee at Le Sélect with Rick," my friend Nancy said. "I can't think of a better way," I replied. Arriving at the classic 1920's French bistro on boulevard Montparnasse, a well worn tiled entrance and warm interior greeted us.
Rick was at a table in the back with his coffee cup, sharpened pencil and sketchbook. For years artist Rick Tulka has been a fixture at Le Sélect in Paris as he draws caricatures of some of the cafe's famous, infamous and everyday patrons. Nancy met Rick after seeing him on CBS Morning News and they have been friends since. He also works for Mad Magazine and sells his colorful black and white images worldwide. Rick's soft spoken demeanor speaks wittily and robustly through his talented hand. The book, "Paris Café, The Select Crowd," written by Noël Riley Fitch and illustrated by Rick Tulka, takes us for a lively visit inside the cafe through it's patrons and food. Rick, a native New Yorker who moved to Paris with his wife, Brenda, 15 years ago seems to be firmly transplanted. We exchanged greetings and ordered 2 grand crème from our waiter. Rick poured our coffee and steamed milk into the chunky cups as we chatted and caught up with life. Nancy and I looked at his hot off of the press, Le Sélect note cards. OK, we had to have these cards he has just posted on his website. I didn't get a pic of our waiter with his long white apron, smug face and yes, the French nose, but I'm sure somewhere Rick has his caricature in his sketchbook. I'll have to ask. We finished our coffee, made plans for dinner together Saturday night and kissed goodbye. Rick hopped on his bike and Nancy and I took the métro to St. Michel. A tout a l'heure....

Peruse Rick's site....you'll be delighted, entertained and amused.
http://ricktulka.com

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13 comments:

lostpastremembered said...

Diane, this is another world. Back in the day there used to be many of these professional doodlers... when life was slower. I love that they still exist in this cafe and must step by next time I'm in Paris. Wonderful story and photos!

once in a blue moon... said...

you do live the good life, so rich in texture and the best part is all the sharing...

La Table De Nana said...

I agree with Jain..you are so kind to share all this with us..I love his art..How fun that you met him..that's exciting:) !

♥ Kathy said...

How fun :) Thanks for the intro!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I would love to have coffee with Rick.
Sam

linda said...

yes, thanks so much for sharing with us...we go through our daily lives in our towns or villages...country or city...not always thinking of other parts of this great world...you truly are a "bounty" of wonderful words as well as interesting places & their stories...
i have been to paris on several ocassions & never had the opportunity & privilege to enter le select... i hope to have the experience some day...& thanks for rick's website...the note cards are fabulous.

Bret's Table said...

Diane -Thanks for the introduction. Would enjoy having a cup of coffee with Rick -- even from afar when we are in Paris next time.

zurin said...

Tq for sharing Diane... I drank everything in... How I wish I could have some of Rick's sketches or just to sit and draw like him! it must truly be an amazing life to live....If only....you are generous to share your life too..such variety n experiences and the people you meet..just wonderful.

Im back for a moment Diane, in blogworld because I have something to share too. Not as exciting n interesting as yours but quite pretty I must say. It s a giveaway and its only for North Americans so I thought Id let u n other NA friends know just in case. actually its quite gorgeous :))

I'm hopping over to Rick's place immediately to see his magic!tq so much.~

Trissa said...

How I wish I had gone here! I would have loved to see Rick's sketches! Enjoy Paris! Isn't the weather beautiful?!

Barbara said...

Oh yes, coffee with Rick, please! I love his work, am going to save this URL so I can have the info when I go on my next Paris trip! Not too many people do this anymore...perhaps more so up in Montmartre, but not the everyday cafes in Paris. So charming!

Kate at Serendipity said...

Oh, now I'm homesick for Paris again. It's almost spring here and time for me to go back. Coffee with Rick seems like just the thing!

I had a friend in DC who used to do this. He's sit somewhere and just sketch people--in the metro, in the Supreme Court, in the Smithsonian, in the Capitol, in the Lincoln Memorial, in the shopping malls. Everywhere. I loved that he did that. I always wished I had the discipline to do it.

2 Stews said...

Thanks for the comments everyone...yes, you'd enjoy seeing Rick's creations, he is a master. The ambiance at Le Select is timeless and the coffee is great!

Diane

Will said...

Wish I had known about Le Select last year, my wife and I were staying down the street at the Eduaord VI!