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Cafés, rue de Rivoli
Very sunny cafés on the rue de Rivoli.

It's Your Magazine as Much as Mine

by Ric Erickson

Metropole Paris:- Monday, 14. April 1997:- This week's issue of Metropole has been largely generated by suggestions from readers' eMail, either by questions about Paris - Chickens on the Quais - or by outright curiosity - What are Skeletons Doing Buried Under the rue François-Miron? - or simply by an enthusiastic celebration on the wonders of champagne on a warm terrace.

I was able to treat all these subjects more or less successfully because there were no big salons or exhibitions during the week. If there were, and there always are some, well... I missed them.

To miss events in Paris causes no great damage because there are so many. The 'big' ones are hard to avoid; but I have to keep a sharp eye peeled for the little ones. They can sneak up and be over before I read about them in the papers. Some of these don't even Boulevard St. Germain make news, and it is only when I accidently pass an out-of-date poster that I realize I've missed something.

On the boulevard Saint Germain in spring.

I started the article on the Beaux-Arts area of the Latin Quarter in early March. The day started bright but was thoroughly grey by the time I got there - and I wasn't too happy with the photos. And two other features sort of 'popped' up and made doing the work on 'Beaux-Arts' somewhat redundant.

A request for some photos from Norman Barth of the Paris Pages sent me back there last week, and I had a bit more time to sort of re-do the March photos, so I did. Going home from there I could have taken the métro, or I could go across the nearby Pont des Arts to catch the métro at Louvre, so I did.

It was super out over the river and I would have stayed there if I'd had a lunch to eat on the spot; the air was so clear and the city seemed so calm.

Riding into the city one noon, a couple of small boys dressed all in jeans took the seat opposite me in the métro, and their father sat beside me. Institut de France and Pont des Arts One of the boys said something in German, so I said hello to the father. As the boys are not in school, this family had the option of not coming at Easter - and got the good weather tossed in as a bonus. The family was from Goslar, in the Harz mountains area of northern Germany.

From the Cour Carrée, view towards the Pont des Arts and the Institut de France.

How amazed then, some hours later, while checking out chickens - to find the best singing canary in a bird and fish shop on a Seine Quai, was a bird from the Harz too. No, canaries do not come from the Harz originally; they are from the Canary Islands of course - but there is some breeder and trainer of first-class singing birds way up there in the Harz.

If I have to retire from this job and start doing something for a living, I wonder what I'll do with all this really useful information I'm picking up?

That's then, this is now: Monday. The next issue is a total blank today. Just like this issue was last Monday.

Anti-Terrorist Measures Beefed Up? Mixed Report:

I wrote last week, "the big [trashcans] 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." Just as I was patting myself on the back for not reporting that they are open for use, this weekI see that the 'paella pans' Rue Bontemp on top are gone and the big bins are now fully operational again. They do have a changed-look to them, and I wonder if there is something about them I can't see.


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