Ready, Set, Go - We're Off

Bistro 1900 in Cour de Commerce Saint Andre
The Cour de Commerce Saint-André
has been a long-time local hang-out.

Parisians Head for Exits in Usual Mad Scramble

Paris:- Saturday, 28. June 1997:- Last night roads leading out of the city were paralyzed as everybody in the Ile-de-France left to go on holidays simultaneously. The weather has been so rotten, nobody can stand it anymore and the city and region have been abandoned to visitors and waiters.

SNCF put on hundreds of extra trains and airline pilots and crews temporarily called off strikes as extra flights were shoved into the schedules in order to handle the holiday traffic.

Highway 'bouchons' were predicted 'partout en France' for the entire weekend, and we also have a set of pre-predictions for the same sort of vehicular agony for the weekends of 18:00 at Gare de Lyon Bastille Day, the first weekend of August, the weekend of mid-August, for the next-to-last weekend in August and disaster of disasters, for the final August weekend.

The Gare de Lyon's clock shows the official summer holiday start time.

If this weren't bad enough, we have the same pre-pre-predictions for 1998, 1999 and for 2000, even! If you plan to travel in France on any of these dates or all of them, take plenty of bottled water and lots of sandwiches.

This is, of course, hyperbole. Yesterday was only classed as 'Orange' by driving organizations - a 'Red' classification is necessary before drivers leaving Paris stall in front of out-going highway toll gates, for lines longer than 5O kilometres. There is, by the way, no 'Black' classification.

For some reason Le Parisien thinks it odd that the recent rain - remember our recent drought? - in the Paris region has not deterred holidayers from leaving as planned - planned as much as six months ago; if not last year. When you are booked, you go, rain or shine.

All the same, travel operators estimate that 13 percent of their customers are still thinking it over. Since there are still places available everywhere, these holdouts may be waiting for summer sales - and it has not been unknown to pay half the going rate for lodging if you have the nerve to wait until empty beds will be sold at any price.

Gites de France reports full bookings from mid-July to mid-August; possibly because these informal places are relatively economic, but most of the major operators have capacity to spare.

'Europride' Brings La Vie en Rose to Paris

For the first time, Paris has been chosen as the site of the 'Europride' weekend, which is holding its fourth annual gathering of homosexuals in the City of Light. The event-filled weekend is expected to draw 250,000 visitors.

On Saturday afternoon a monster carnival parade was planned to start in the place de la Republique, and a super gigantic open-air rock concert was planned for the field at Reuilly. Start for the concert was 21:00 and the 'marathon' of Techno was scheduled to start at midnight and run through to 17:00 Sunday afternoon.

The reason I am not reporting that these large events actually happened, is because I saw no reports of them on TV-news. I do not doubt that they took place, but while I was watching the news tonight, it took me ten minutes to realize that the bike tricks I was watching were on a kid's program which was not the news. (On Sunday night, the evening France 2 TV-news did not mention the event either.)

Not only was it a first for Paris, but important local organizations graced 'Europride's' posters with their logos - SNCF, the fnac chain - which allowed its logo to be printed in rose instead of the usual ocher - and the RATP, which had pink métro tickets issued for the affair. Other sponsors included Virgin Records, Ben & Jerry's, Avis, Canal+ and Libération.

I am a bit in retard here, but Europride Paris 97 also has a Web site. Their poster didn't make it into Metropole's Poster of the Week simply because it has far too much text in it; but it was plastered all over the city.

Oh oh; on looking at yesterday's Libération I see that I failed to get the 'free!' CD-ROM, but more importantly, failed to see the ad for Saturday's 20-page 'Le Modèle Gay' section.

White Pages Go Online in France

France Telecom, after years of getting fat off their 'online-for-all' 1200-baud Minitel and all its pay-per-view 'information' providers, and after launching a ho-hum White and Yellow Pages on a CD-ROM, have finally decide to get serious with their newest effort, called Les Pages Zoom. In theory, the Internet service offers France-wide white pages, Yellow rain fell in France Pages, name-brand pages, 'Rues Commerçantes' and wonder of wonders, 'Pages Web.'

Currently typical street-scene in western France.

I say 'in theory,' because my trial of it left me unconvinced about its maturity, due in part to some odd dialogue boxes. However, I have been using their CD-ROM version - which does not have addresses - off and on for som time, and with its 30 percent 'hit' rate anything else has to be better.


Continued on page 2...
Go to page : 1 - 2
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini