...Continued from page 1

There was probably a pun intended here, as the miniscule bathing suit was named after a tiny atoll in the Pacific that the United States had used for atomic-bomb testing.

The word entered the dictionary in 1965, but the inventor passed into obscurity - although the brandname of Bikini lasted until 1988. Thursday's Le Parisien had this nice excuse for a two-page spread, showing the original photo, plus seven up-to-date 1996 models ranging in price from 99 francs to a really micro-tiny Chanel model for 2300 francs, designed by Karl Lagerfeld. Sorry, but we don't have a photo for this.

trocpools.jpg (15k) Open Air Refreshment

The opposite of dumb luck is no luck at all. A week ago, on the cloudy day of the ride on Bus 80, I got photo of a couple of kids in a fountain in a little park in the 15th arrondissement. On sunny Wednesday, I saved a shot to capture the kids I was sure would be in the fountains just below the parvis at Chaillot - and nobody was in the water. Then yesterday, Libération had a feature on public fountains with a photo of kids in the 72-jet fountain in the André-Citroen Park, with a short list of other fountains, among the 95 in the city. No bikini photo, so here's the fountain shot - without the kids.

The Euro Arrives... in 930 Days

This was a headline in Tuesday's Le Parisien, so counting on my fingers, today makes it only 924 days remaining.

What startled me was finding out that the long-promised 'Ecu' is now the 'Euro.' I was not consulted and I was happy with the former; it was somewhat more original than what it is now, but... so, hoping to get a good poster shot I went to where they make these things, the Monnaie de Paris, the mint.

You can see it clearly from the Pont Neuf, on the Left Bank, just to the right of the bridge on the Quai de Conti. There is the mint itself, a museum and a boutique is around the corner in the rue Guénégaud. There are two boutiques really; one for jewelry and the other for coins.

When you go to the mint to buy coins you get new ones, in mint-condition as they say, and you can get ones today that won't be officially in circulation until 1. January 1999, so it is not like racing off to a going-out-of-business sale - except maybe for the Ecus.

The Monnaie has two lines: a series called 'Trésors des Musées d'Europe' and another named, 'Monuments d'Europe.' Six of the latter are in Ecus, with two in the newer Euro denomination. The heavy silver models (22.2 grams) are 260 francs - for a face value of 15 Ecus/Euros, and the half-ounce gold ones run at 2900 francs. The newer 'Trésor' series of five coins cost 220 francs for heavy silver, 2900 for half-ounce gold and a whopping 5000 even for one ounce of mint gold. 'Le Penseur' by Rodin in silver, is in fact, sold out. All prices include value-added tax.

eurocoins.jpg (8k) The money boutique at the Monnaie de Paris is quite an interesting place. Imagine, shopping for money! It is a nice little boutique full of money for sale - brand-new money - not like some crass exchange kiosk - although these can be interesting too if they are near the Bourse; because people come into them with wads of all sorts of strange paper. Anyhow, if you are stuck for a gift for somebody, try giving money. Coins made at the mint are also on sale at the boutique in the Louvre, in post offices and by correspondence. For info, Tel.: 40 46 58 55. (The very bright blob in the photo is the result of a light angled just... wrong... on one of the gold Euros.)
Demo City:

- 15th Lesbian & Gay March, today, from the Carrefour de l'Odéon to place de la Nation, started at 13:00. Organizers expected 100,000 participants, but as I was half-watching the football, I did not see the score. I nearly didn't see the the last football shot either.


- Sunday, 8:00, on the right bank of the Seine, from the underground of the Tuleries to the underground at Henri IV; on the left bank from Quai Anatole-France to Quai Branly: by Operation Bicycles-Pedestrians.

- Sunday, 10:00, in the streets of the 5th arrondissement and at 14:00 on the Quais of Valmy and Jemmapes (in the 10th), and from Loire and the Marne (19th): Operation Strolling and Relaxation.

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