The History Lesson
This week back in 1889, the Eiffel Tower opened to the public. The Parisians didn’t like it, and they weren’t alone. Actually, the first folks to give the Tower the raspberry were Spaniards. Engineer Gustave Eiffel originally hoped to build his monument in Barcelona. But the city thought it seemed too — well, weird. And it’s hard to blame them. How pretty could seven thousand tons of riveted iron really be?
Eiffel finally won a contest to build the Tower as the entrance to the World’s Fair in Paris. Still, no one could imagine wanting it around forever. The plan was to rip it down in 20 years. But the Tower did gangbuster business right off the bat. Millions flocked to see what was then the tallest structure on the planet — about a thousand feet high.
And the locals? Hated it. Some of ‘em anyway. Including a few of the best-known artists of the day. They filled newspapers with angry letters calling the Tower “A gigantic black factory chimney” and a quote “metal asparagus.” Author Guy de Maupassant ate lunch in the Tower every day — because he said it was the only place in town he couldn’t see it.
Eventually, of course, bohemians came to love the structure. And when it turned out to be a great radio tower, Paris sorta forgot about the whole “tear it down in 20 years” thing. It’s now the most-visited monument in the world.
The Eiffel Tower
RECIPE, as created for the DPD by Alan Walter at Iris restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA:
In shaker over ice add:
– 3 oz. Lillet
– 1/2 oz. chartreuse
– 1/4 oz. pine needle syrup (or substitute simple syrup infused with a green herb, like basil)
– 1 egg white
– Juice from 1/2 lemon
Shake hard until the egg white forms a froth. Strain and serve in tall, fluted, upside-down-Eiffel-Tower-esque glass. Garnish with ennui and chase with endless, endless cigarettes.