The Corner of Cafe Lafayette


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“Last century, between the 1920s and 1950s, Recife lived a late belle époque, with French tradition and soul. More precisely, at the corner of the Café Lafayette, at the corner of Rua Imperador Dom Pedro II and 1º de Março. The extensive human fauna, which circulated around that rendez-vous, was quite diverse. There were politicians, intellectuals, journalists, public officials, law students with literary or political pretensions, vendors and all kinds of folkloric figures. There was always plenty to talk about and little to do.

About this legendary meeting spot in Recife, Mário Sette wrote: “they set up conspiracies, sketched up flashy articles, spoke bad of their opponents, cried over being ostracized, lubricated lofty hopes, spoke ironically of important people, reconciled with politicians, and plotted treachery. So many things! A street of bums, bohemians, journalists, students, bailiffs, lawyers and St. Francis friars.” Regarding those same square meters, Joaquim Cardozo commented: “a corner of political action. Chats and social criticism. Visitors, rebels and usurpers.”


In the ’20s, still without its own headquarters, the Pernambuco Academy of Arts had only 30 members – insufficient for the number of Recife intellectuals – and for a number of other parallel institutions […], such as the Pernambucan Cenacle of Letters, the Pernambucan Silogeu of Letters, the Arts Guild of Recife and the Cenacle of the Silveira Bookstore – all these were ‘exporting’ institutions of Lafayette clientele.” – JC (PT)


One response to “The Corner of Cafe Lafayette

  1. Pingback: April Round Up | Eyes On Recife·

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