Live music, open windows and a crowd spilling out onto the pavement drew me into Café Kafka for the first time last week. An exuberant young group of musicians were playing jazz of the infectious foot-tapping variety, with clarinet and piano improvisations holding the crowd captive, their conversations suspended. Meanwhile students sat hunched over chess games, and two dogs roamed the floor: the only ones who dared breach the space between musicians and their audience; sniffing, mingling - and bringing with them a hint of barely contained chaos.
The musicians, unperturbed, played on. Their flat caps and black and white brogues contrasted with the beards and the nonchalant scruffiness of us scattered around them. We were a mix of students, lone enthusiasts and a crouching photographer - and if anyone wore a suit by day, they had done their best to hide it. But the band were safe in the knowledge that they were having the most fun.
Café Kafka hosts concerts, DJ sets and poetry recitals.
rue des Poissonniers 21/Visverkopersstraat 21