An exercise in Wallflowering.

Amelie’s. The French bakery and coffee shop on the corner of Northside Drive and Marietta Street with the tables and chairs that don’t match… and neither do the people seated at them. Somehow, they fit. Somehow it all makes sense.

The fact that everything is thrown together seemingly without thought… without rhyme or reason… makes me love this place. There is so much beauty in the chaos.

A sophisticated French bakery-slash-coffee shop in a Thrift Store costume… or is it vice versa? Nothing in here has a birthdate before 1950… or it was designed to look as such. But I choose to believe in the authenticity of every stick of furniture, every fixture, and every accessory. All that’s missing is that thrift store stench. For that, I am grateful.

Her patrons are just as eclectic as her decor. College students, young families, business professionals, and me. Half the room buzzes with spirited conversation. The other half is buried in books or electronic devices.

There’s a young girl having her sixteenth birthday party here. Here. In the middle of the day. These sophisticated youths are sipping tea and coffee at a funky French bakery! Usually, sweet sixteens involve ridiculously expensive hotel ballrooms, limos, and drunken debutantes. My, how they’ve evolved!

The empty chairs and tables themselves seem to be engaged in conversation as well. Cozying up to one another and introducing themselves… sharing stories of where they’re from, where they’ve been, and how the got here. I wonder… do they miss their families? Do they miss the other chairs and tables that look like them?

I’m never here for the dessert. I’m here for the coffee, the bacon and egg croissant and the atmosphere. I’m here because this place reminds me that things do not have to be perfect to make perfect sense. Things that have absolutely nothing in common can find balance and harmony and can exist in the same space… peacefully… beautifully.

Amelie’s is kind of a mess. And it’s okay… because it works. It’s not hurting anybody. Nobody is trying to change it. It’s funky and it’s weird and we love it because it is so.

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