When journalists came here last time in April they were going to meet at Maple Street’s Little Cozy Cafe on Wednesday, April 19, to admire the restaurant’s new panoramic mural painted by Green Valley artist Marc Cameron. The invitation said the artist’s reception would be held from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

However, when the press has arrived at 7:00, the administration told that it is too late (by a quite inhospitable Little Cozy Cafe person) and that the cafe had closed at 6:30 p.m. After showing the invitation and explaining that they were was the “designated mural reviewers” from the Durant papers, they finally gained access. But, practically they had to push their way onto the premises.

It’s hard to believe that the Little Cozy would snatch a public relations disaster from the jaws of promotional victory, but that’s exactly what they did. Too bad, because the mural turned out to be great.

When you look at the painting —which surrounds you on all four walls of the dining room —you feel as though you are sitting in the Little Cozy of Durant’s best casa, enjoying the plush green hills of Durant Heights on a sunny spring afternoon. But you’re not.

“Actually, it is supposed to be a courtyard in the French countryside,” explains Marc. “In the beginning, the owners asked me to paint one wall with a Parisian motif, and they liked it so much, they wanted me to expand on the idea and continue doing the other three.”

Marc says he spent about 200 hours painting the scene over a period of 3 months. “It was hard because of the limited hours available to me —basically 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.”

Marc, who has lived nearby for 16 years, has shown his paintings (which run anywhere from $350 to $1000) at the Durant’s Coffeehouse, Andrew’s Caffe, and Cakes and Buns, among other places in the neighborhood. As you can tell from the reproduction on this page, he’s also captured the pigeon’s eye view of one of our more crowded crosswalks.