A SIDEWALK EXTENSION SOLUTION, above. Illustration by Brian Pape.

By George Capsis 

We don’t get too many angry letters to the editor but we sure got one from Laurence Edelman, who was outraged at the disparaging remarks we offered in our July edition about the restaurant sheds that, according to our restaurant owner and WestView critic, evidently helped to save his business. But the sheds can be ugly and they are even now attracting graffiti.

The cruel and searing words of our critic inspired me to come up with a solution and then to my astonished joy our Architectural Editor Brian Pape offered that my idea had already been invented.

We all take for granted and we all love the outdoor cafes of Paris so why did we have such a violent negative reaction to the sheds at the last Community Board meeting?

On the wide, wide boulevards of Paris stretching up to the Arc de Triumph, the cafes gather in front of the wide wide restaurants like colorful gardens of tourists and beautifully dressed French women—a feast for the eyes before you taste the cuisine.

If then like 19th century city planner, Haussmann, we could stretch the sidewalk out, we could stretch out our cafes with no need for a shed.

Inspired, I drew out a rubberized sidewalk that would extend from the curb into the street.

On a narrow street the rubberized side walk might be only four feet—enough to allow one outdoor table up against the restaurants window, covered by the restaurant’s awning. On a wide street it may extend six feet.

So, we have no need for a wooden shed— the restaurant awning is the shed roof and you can still park your car !

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