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.

This is not something that happens often, but last week it happened again. Yvonne Karn wrote about Maurice Utrillo, probably from somewhere on the west coast of North America. Yvonne's return eMail address turned out to be a dud - or it was refused by the 'Postmaster' of the mailserver referenced in her eMail URL.

As Metropole has an unresolved problem with a Utrillo matter and Yvonne may be something of an expert in this area, I hope she sees this, and sends another message - with a good return address.

Not that I expect Metropole readers to be true Internet-geeks - just as I am not - there is, in fact, a powerful search facility available. It is called something like 'Internet Yellow Pages' and if you are looking for someone, you may be able to find them with it. So far, I have had no success, but I keep hoping.

A New French Web URL

In self-promotion it is called the 'First French Internet Sitcom;' the 'Rue Montorgueil' site is an interesting find. (The URL for this site is 404 'Not Found' and has been removed.) This 100% French language site - unfunded, unsponsored - puts up periodic episodes of a sort of 'sitcom' revolving around a small cast of characters, and their lives in 'branché' Paris. The site comes in two versions: one for the techno avant-garde featuring 'Java' gizmos, and one for us techno-retards, who have old broken-down primitive last-year-model Web browsers. It's a nice piece of work.

Metropole's own feature on the rue Montorgeuil is in its Issue 1.15 of Monday, 3. June 1996.

Some Coming Events


Le Mirror Noir is Picasso's personal and unpublished collection, from 1900 to 1927, of everything from paintings and drawings to photographs, from the artist's archives.

Musée Picasso
5. Rue Thorigny, Paris 3. Until Monday, 9. June. Closed Tuesdays. Hours: 9:30 to 17:30. Info.: Tel.: 01 42 71 25 21.

Les Européens is an exposition of photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson, that runs through to the end of June.

Maison Européen de la Photographie
5-7. Rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Hours from 11:00 to 20:00. Info.: Tel.: 01 44 78 75 00.

De Pont Avon à Montmartre with paintings by Emile Bernard, Maurice Denis, Gauguin... from the times before they were famous.

Musée de Montmartre
12. Rue Cortot, Paris 18. Until 28. September. Hours from 11:00 to 18:00, closed Mondays. Info.: Tel.: 01 46 61 11.


Stephane Eicher
Musician, singer, back from multi-year extended world tour. From Thursday, 22. April until Saturday, 25. April, 20:00 - at the Zenith. 211. Avenue Jean-Jaurés, Paris 19. Info.: Tel.: 01 49 87 50 50.

Coming Soon

Paris' Annual Super Exhibition: the Foire de Paris

This monster show takes up most of the exhibition space each year at Paris-Expo, Porte de Versailles, and as in past years will feature a lot of regional food and drink, and the ever-popular Concours Lépine - the inventor's show.

From Saturday, 27. April until Thursday, 8. May. Hours 10:00 to 19:00; plus early openings on weekends and May Day. Late 22:00 closings on Tuesday, 29. April and Tuesday, 6. May. Full entry price is 45 francs, foreigners 35 francs, children 14 to seven - 25 francs and under seven, free.

Regards, Ric
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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