Thoughtlessness and
the Significance of Trash

The 'Snack' in the Gare de Lyon

And Other Genuinely Uplifting Items

by Ric Erickson

Metropole Paris:- Monday, 14. April 1997:- I don't have any particular thoughts about the past week, nor about the week to come, and nothing much is bugging me that I can bother anybody with, so I'll just have these few items for you to chew on, and take the rest of the day off.

Anti-Terrorist Measures Still in Practice

After sitting for a good long time in the sun on a terrace across from the Gare de Lyon with a real Metropole reader last Tuesday, when I got up to go I noticed that a nearby city trashcan had no stopper on it.

You can hardly expect the city to broadcast to one and all and ships at sea, that anti-terrorist measures are being dropped, less than Paris trash can six months after the last major bombing. All the same, it was rare to see a trashcan you can put junk into - so I took the photo of it.

I was sitting no more than four metres from this traschcan for hours without noticing it.

For the rest of the week I kept an eye open for rubbish bins and trashcans, and the result is, no. Except for the trashcan beside the café terrace, I saw no others that you could put anything into.

In fact, the big ones out at La Défense, have now got deep-dish paella pans on top of them, for people to toss their old tickets and trash into. These new additions don't hold that much, but they are easier to hit and their only downside is that the trash in a little more 'in your face' than if it were lying on the ground.

The usual squads of street cleaners are doing their usual good job of keeping a very busy city clean, and with the good weather you quite often get a lot of sparkly reflections off the water they sluice the gutters with, and I always think they are somehow slightly festive when it is warm and water is flowing everywhere.

New Book: 'Around and About Paris'

Just published by Iliad Books, Thirza Vallois' latest, "New Horizons: Haussmann's Annexation" - is about the creation of Paris' arrondissements 13 to 20 - and is volume three of a series, that tells the story of Paris past and present, following the successive stages of its geographical growth.

The author, Thirza Vallois has lived in Paris for over thirty years. She is an agrégée, which is a doctoral-level qualification of the Sorbonne. She knows Paris stone by stone and has worn out shoe leather walking every street and also knows the Paris that hides behind doorways, in courtyards and even under the pavements. She has absorbed every available book about its history and development.

Which is a lot more than I have done, so I suggest you find out more about 'Around and About Paris', plus details on the first two books; especially if you want a more in-depth study of the subject than you get in the accounts of my aimless ramblings.

Not Known Here - No Return Address

The volume of eMail from Metropole readers to me is not so great that I can't answer every one received. The reply may be a day or two later, but I reply to ALL incoming eMails. However there is a situation where you may have written and received no reply.

A reply from me has always been written and sent - but the Internet mail system has not accepted the address as a true one - and shot Métro exit, Arénes de Lutécia the thing back to me. The code that comes with these undelivered messages is all geekspeak, and I have been assured that an alternate address can not be gleaned from it.

Exit from the métro at Place Monge, near the Roman arena.
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