The French Library
If the dreamy blue building and exquisite logo didn't already have me hooked, a big sign on the door saying "We Proudly Serve French Truck Coffee" really sealed the deal. A French children's library with a café? Sil vous plais. I made plans to meet my mother in law here for an afternoon story time session a few days ago. She speaks French, and loves to spend time with her grandson, obviously, and I've always wanted to go to this new local attraction that all the cool moms seem to frequent. Win-win.
I walk in to the loveliest bookstore / shop / café where even the employees are as effortlessly stunning as the decor. Surrounded by the sounds of French Gypsy Jazz (my favorite!) and en route to the coffee bar, it's love at first sight. Win-win-win-win!
Oscar is one of three babies here for story time. The reader is a French woman with ringlets shaped into the cutest bob and gold sparkly eyeliner that somehow looks so sophisticated and fun on her, but would look tragic on probably anyone else. She not only reads to the children a couple of books in her silky smooth French accent, but she lets them experience the book, encouraging them to touch the pages while she imitates the faces and sounds of every creature and critter described.
The parents get a kick out of our children's reactions and spend some time chatting after story time is over. Grandma ends up buying some treats for her little guy, and we leave the store with a book and some CDs. Being a musician myself, I popped a CD into the car on the way home to check out the "French Nursery Rhymes with a New Groove." I'm immediately impressed at the arranging that's been done on the CD, each track has a different groove, and the songs have been reharmonized to sound like I'm listening to a jazz combo at Snug Harbor. I might just listen to this even if my kid is not in the car.
Needless to say, our visit to the French Library was trés bien and we will definitely be back, whether it's for story time, coffee, some shopping, or all of the above! I definitely recommend stopping in if you are on Magazine Street, or scheduling a visit during Story time.
Click here for their website.