by Ric Erickson
Number 1.21 - Metropole Paris, Monday, 15. July 1996:- The weather was perfect for the big 'fête' yesterday; cool and grey in the morning with the sun appearing in the afternoon. The good news is last night's unbelievable weather report for the coming week - nothing less than full sunshine and temperatures in Paris predicted to be about 27 to 29 degrees. I can live with the forecast - even if it turns out to be true.
As Le Parisian said on Saturday, it is now officially summer and holiday time. Before it was unofficial, and residents and visitors alike were having a good time on the sly, but they can be open about it now.
I suppose what it really means is that the politicians can scram off to their favorite hidey-holes and wear shoes with no socks, not shake any hands or kiss babies, and just generally keep mum for a bit out in the country somewhere. I know I mentioned it elsewhere in this issue that the new summer habit is getting to be the four weeks between 15. July and 15. August and the poor news people still stuck in town will have to turn over paving stones looking for stories.
Meanwhile visitors to the city will not have the place entirely to themselves until the diehard hold-outs who still adhere to the August dictum hook up their caravans and glide out of town, either on the 26. of this month or the 2. of next. I will be particularly alert to see if there is any illegal wading with impunity in the pools at Trocadéro as I have been on the watch for this for some weeks, without luck.
I hope nobody is morally offended by my little 'history' of the Bastille and the fact that it contained no oppressed political prisoners when Parisians captured it and put the Revolution into motion. Visitors are pretty right when they guess that Paris is not exactly a small version of all France, but a unique place with its own conventions, and that Parisians may not represent all France - and the city has its own life just like any other major world-class metropolis.
Parisians have had a long history of getting out in the streets to fight what they consider to be unjust authority or government. They won in 1789 because there were no foreign wars at the time, and the whole country was generally at odds with the management in Versailles. The Revolution echoed around the world and the final notes have not yet been played.
This column is the only thing I write in Metropole 'in the future,' although as I write this, it is in fact, Monday. Bastille Day for me was long and this is the tail end of it and I am at my tail end so this is the tail end of this column.
Coming Event, announcement retarded department :
Brest '96 - from 13. July to Tuesday, 16. July, in Brest. The flotilla leaves Brest Wednesday morning to sail to Douarnenez, where there will be a sail-by and the fleet will stay there until Sunday, 21. July.
Tall Ship Meet - Brest '96
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Tour de France - All you want to know about Tour
French Art / Artists Online:
-Vincent Perrotet + Graphistes Associés
French Magazines / Libraries / Bookstores
All Newspapers Online Worldwide
Music Guide - French Top 50 and more
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