The Way We Were is the Way We Are

Inside Metro Vol. 1, No. 1 - June 23, 1976

Metro 1 Cover (14k)
The Paris Metro Vol 1 No 1
Paris:- Monday, 7. April 1996:- Before you actually see a new newspaper for sale, a 'zero' number is usually published - to show around to potential advertisers - and so the editorial staff will know what they will be up against when they do the magic Issue Number One.

The Paris Metro's 'zero' number is dated April 15, 1976. When the first issue appeared on the streets in June, many of the lead articles and interviews were carried over from the 'zero' to the No. 1.

These included the editorial (see below); a feature about Les Halles, which had been transformed from being Paris' wholesale food market to being a very large hole in the ground in the centre of the city; and an interview with Jean Seberg. A feature entitled 'The French Cops' in the 'zero' number was held over until issue no. 5, when it became 'Innocence Abroad,' written by Peter G. Lee.

The First Editorial - "The Metro: A Magazine about Paris Today" is unsigned, but I presume it was written by Thomas Moore, the editor. What he wrote then more or less applies today to Metropole - Paris Online, so I include excerpts of it here:

"How many English-speaking people live in Paris? Those who ought to know, have given estimates that range as widely as 50,000 to 300,000 - not including the swarms of tourists who pass through town on any given day. Whatever, the number is substantial. They are not just Americans, British, Irish, and Australian; but Dutch, Scandinavian, Japanese, Middle Easterners and, yes, even French.

"What kind of magazine will the Metro be? To begin with, we will not simply be a community bulletin. Nor will we be an English-language version of Le Monde, pontificating upon the weighty events and issues of the world. We will not attempt to duplicate Time, Newsweek, or the International Herald Tribune, digesting world and American news for the 'international businessman.' Nor, for that matter, will we try to out-gonzo Rolling Stone on the European rock and roll scene.

"Our idea is actually quite simple and as obvious as the notion of moving to Paris. The Metro will be about living in Paris. [....]

"But above all, every two weeks the Metro will run stories about the people, scenes, ideas and issues that make Paris an exciting place to live. [....] The Metro will probe the French way of life, from tiercé mania and food obsession to the revolution-obedience syndrome and the incredible telephone system. [....]

Thomas Moore (23k)
Thomas Moore, Metro's editor
"Paris has always been a place of dreams and romantic lifestyles, many of which are stubborn in their time of dying. Some of the English-speaking people we have talked to in the year this magazine has been in preparation have said they were disappointed to find that Paris isn't the place it used to be when people like Ernest Hemingway, Picasso, Gertrude Stein and, later, Henry Miller lived, wrote, and painted here. No argument there. It isn't the same place. It's different now, with different problems, different things going on and different people doing them. But in its own way, this town is as exciting as ever. And that's what the Metro is going to be about. Paris today."

Twenty years further on, Paris is even more different again; the volume of visitors has increased four or fivefold and the Ile de France has become Megacity. As Thomas Moore wrote, "... this town is as exciting as ever." That hasn't changed.

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