Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rest In Peace, Dear Patrice.

I can't begin to wrap my head around today. I awoke to a small earthquake. Never great. I walked along the beach and watched the grey clouds roll in and take over. Then I went to my beloved French Market Cafe to get my coffee, where I found it to be closed, with a sign saying "Closed for Emergency" scribbled on a piece of paper and taped to the door.

I kept walking then to head over to Abbot Kinney as I still needed coffee. Badly. Walking toward me was Christophe, our favorite French Market waiter. As I smiled and wished him a Happy New Year, I could immediately tell something was wrong. I asked and he could barely speak, until he managed to get out, "Patrice is dead."

Patrice Martinez, the gregarious and kind owner of the French Market Cafe, who has brightened my day for years and years.

I still have chills. I can't bear to imagine how Patrice's wife, Agnes, is feeling. Theirs was a true and obvious love, full of fun and adventure. Adventure is what Patrice was up to in Chile on a motorcycle trip with his best friend. There was a fatal accident on the bike, when Patrice was hit by an oncoming car. The only comfort you can think of is that he was doing what he loved with his best friend.

I will remember him always exactly as he is pictured above, which is how he looked most of the time. Always a kind word, always a little teasing, always the ultimate host of the delightful neighborhood oasis that he and Agnes created together.

My favorite thing Patrice ever said to me was one day when I met a friend for coffee in the morning at The French (as we call it) ... which became lunch ... which became one, two, then three bottles of daytime champagne with other regulars on the patio. I went inside to get something and bumped into Patrice and said, "Patrice, my morning coffee has become three bottles of champagne!" To which he replied, "C'est bon, that is very french!" We laughed together ... and I stayed until it was dark out.

Please keep Agnes and all the French Market family in your thoughts and kindnesses. And man ... remember to LOVE your life every moment that you have it. It can be gone oh, so quickly.

Rest In Peace, Patrice. You will be forever missed.


*There will be a viewing for Patrice this Friday, the 21st.
4-7 pm
Gates Kingsley Murphy Funeral Home
1925 Arizona Ave. Santa Monica


  1. oh no! I've been going to the Market for the last two years and love it. The staff are always engaging and friendly. "Delightful neighborhood oasis" captures it perfectly, you can see the joy in peoples faces as they relax and contentedly chat with their friends and neighbors.

    Rest In Peace, Patrice. You will be forever missed.

  2. Thank you so much you ride this for my very good friend Patrice. Yes, is the tragedy and yes we will pray for Agnes, staff and friends. Please enjoy your life with all your love and happiness, life is beautiful and we have to enjoy THE MOMENT.
    Thank you again to you and YO Venice for your concern.

  3. So sorry to hear about your friend. What a nice to the point recap of Patrice. I clearly understand why this is so hard for you. robbie.

  4. a shocker. you are loved and will be missed.

  5. I am beyond words. I haven't been able to shake this all day. Agnes was the highlight of my morning every time I went to the French Market. It devastates me to think of her grief right now.

  6. Patrice, You were my good friend and you will be missed dearly. I love you my friend.
    Rest in peace.

  7. What a great few words. Those totally summarize Patrice as most of us knew him. Kindness and generosity. He will be greatly missed and not forgotten. My heart goes to Agnes. I hope she will find the strength to keep going.

  8. Truly horrible! Part of Venice family, Sending Love to Agnes and all who knew Patrice. Jen & Tom

  9. This is so unfair. We love Patrice, such a nice person, always smiling and fun. French Market cafe is a bit of home for French people. I cannot believe he is gone. My heart is also going to Agnes, hoping she will find the strength to rebound. they were such an amazing couple.

  10. This is hard to believe. A good friend and I were recently there for lunch which turned into dinner and three bottles of wine, desert, coffee and a lot more. That same friend and I made another date for this week and couldn't get to it yet. This piece of news totally shocked me. My condolences to those left behind and yes, keep loving every minute of it.

  11. Ne jamais oublier , jusqu'à ce que l'on ne puisse plus.Ne jamais oublier son regard , son sourire , son rire et tout ce qu'il nous à donné
    avec spontaneité , amitié ou simple passant.
    Ce qu'il a donné il la fait avec generosité.
    Nous pensons à agnés , mais aussi à sa maman toutes deux sont dans le desarroi et la tristesse
    douloureuse et infinie,pensons à elles et aidons
    les du mieux que nous pourront .
    Mais il n'est pas si loin , juste derriere la porte...poussez la et parlez avec lui comme avant .
    Merci de tout ce que tu nous donné patrice.
    monique et jcl marcou

  12. Our Deepest Love goes out to Agnes and ALL of Patrice's Family & Friends around the world. What a positve, amazing spirit Patrice breathed into our souls. We will miss you so very much Patrice & know that your spirit burns bright in our memories. We love you !
    Gros Bisou,
    Simon & Christina

  13. Toutes nos pensées vont vers Agnès ( que nous ne connaissons pas ) mais aussi vers Josiane et Jacko, Frédérique et Jacqueline ! Nous leur souhaitons beaucoup de courage pour faire faceà cette terrible épreuve.
    Nadine et Jean-Claude de la région nantaise

  14. So hard to believe, you truly were a good man, always had that exquisite and strange mix of fun and wisdom, something it's really hard to find for me. I'd never forget the life advises and thoughts that you always kindly shared with me and my friends. I find this current situation very confusing but one thing I know is that you loved and enjoyed your life to the fullest just as much as we all enjoyed you.
    I will see you later today my friend and I don't know when but I will see you for sure sometime later again.


  15. A toi mon cousin, quel immense chagrin ...
    Pensées à toi Agnès, ma petite Jo, Fred, Tatou, Jacquot. Courage devant l'inacceptable ... Je vous aime ... Bonne route mon cousin, pourquoi si tôt ? Je t'aime.