Bienvenue to Metropole, Again

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New Paris Web Site and Other Links

by Ric Erickson

Issue 2.37:- Metropole Paris - Monday, 15. September 1997:- In retrospect, it seems like the last issue was the pre-rentrée - the one before the 'big return' - which has turned out to be this one.

This column is longer than usual, and 'Au Bistro' is very long - and still a lot of 'news' literally ended up on the floor. I only intended to do one feature, but chance presented the opportunity to do two and I couldn't resist.

Judging from email coming into my editorial bolt-hole here, Metropole has picked up some new readers. Welcome Ed in Spain to you, welcome to Paris, and a big welcome to all readers who may be rejoining Metropole after what I hope was an agreeable summer - or winter - depending on your hemisphere.

Your Ed in Spain, being a good visitor and soaking up the culture and historic sites.

I can't say this often enough - I really appreciate the ideas for articles and features that some of you are sending to me. When I can do them, it makes this magazine as much yours as mine - and when I can't do them for one reason or another, it is still true. Eighty percent of Metropole is you.

But don't get the wrong idea. All letters from you get equal attention, nearly as soon as they come in and even if no reply seems necessary, I try to respond with a 'Welcome' as sooner rather than never.

If you've written and received no reply, it is possibly because your return email address has a little bobo in it, or the Giant Internet Mailman in the Sky is out to lunch - as sometimes happens too.

This seems like a good time - while we are cranking up for the coming mad dash to our next big vacations - to ask if anybody is having any problems with access to the magazine.

For some time now I have been doing the geek-code which permits viewing Metropole online, and I try to keep it as 'browser-neutral' as I can - partly because I have little time to check the code with all the flavors of browsers available, but mostly because I don't know any 'geek' tricks. So, if it isn't working for you, let me know and I'll try to fix it.

I had two thousand words of other things to say, but heck! Let's go to Paris instead.

Two Events:

Official City Website 'Paris-Internet' Goes Online

Last Wednesday, without much fanfare, the City of Paris - known to Metropole readers as the Ville de Paris - launched its own website.

Metropole Paris welcomes 'Paris-Internet' to the online world. My first impression is that it is well-done without being overly tricky - and as it adds information content to the 350-odd pages now present, it will be a real asset for worldwide 'friends of Paris.'

The reported million-franc cost of the launch of the service may explain why the paper version of the city's 'Paris Selection' has suddenly disappeared from the Official Tourist Office on the Champs-Elysées.

The newspaper Le Parisien has faulted the new site for not being overloaded with trick features, and it points out that visitors to it will not find accounts of pollution warnings nor any tales of phantom voters in municipal elections - it is as they say, a 'site o-ffi-ciel.'

I do not know what Le Parisien might say about Metropole Paris. You can see right here it is especially poor in 'trick' features - no audio, no animations and no video in tiny little QuickTime screens, and no smell at all.

It is just updated with new everything every week.

Six Billion People

While checking out the Tour Eiffel's count-down display [see below] at Trocadéro, I noticed a big banner at the Musée de l'Homme announcing this exhibition. 'Six Billion' is sort of a banner 6 billion large number, so I went inside to find out about it.

First off, this is not a new show. It has been on since 21. September 1994 and a half-million (a small number) of visitors have already seen it. However, the duration of the exhibition has been prolonged and its contents are being updated.

World population was expected to pass the five billion mark during this year and the projection is for a billion more by the year 2,000.

This exhibition is very audio-visual- interactive, as well as bilingual. It seeks to explode preconceived ideas and the fears the so-called developed world has for the under-developed one. The world's population is not in two distinct camps; we are one world.

This exhibition has a web site but it requires the 'Shockwave' browser plug-in. I have no 'trick' stuff like this, so all I could do is verify its existence.

Six Milliards d'Hommes
Musée de l'Homme, Palais de Chaillot, Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16
Exhibition continues until 31. December.
From 9:45 to 17:15 daily except Tuesdays and holidays.
Entry fee: 30 francs, reduced: 20 francs.
Info Tel.: 01 44 05 72 72. Métro: Trocadéro

Metropole's Links

If you are thinking about the Internet, 'Global Village' is not an abstract idea. Web sites such as Metropole Paris are not alone on the network, but sometimes they are not all that easy to find - even by using the best 'search engines.' If you want to get up to speed with these, I recommend Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Watch, which has useful tips for users.

A Web site's Links Page can either be a catch-all of unrelated willy-nilly links - "Let's link!" - or they can be a carefully considered selection, intended to perform a real service for readers.

Until recently, Metropole's Links Page has been a sort of poor relation. I know it is there, but we don't get together often. However, Metropole is being noticed and one thing leads to other good things; so Metropole's Links Page is going to become more relevant.

Editorially, Metropole is two animals. It is a 'city magazine' for Paris and it a 'travel magazine' because it contains information which may be of use to visitors to Paris.

As a 'city magazine,' Metropole is recognized as such by the American Journalism Review, known by its short form as AJR. If you hit this link it will take you to other 'city magazines' which the AJR considers to be newsworthy.

I am of course proud to say that you will find Metropole Paris on this list - despite all the bloopers, typos and other mistakes made by the editor. Metropole's readers are too polite to mention these; I regret the errors but have no plausible notion of why I am not 'flamed' to death for them.

I have very tardy about announcing Metropole's possible utility to Web 'Travel' sites. The alert Scott Peterson, Editor of the magazine, 'European Visits,' found Metropole first, and made a request to re-print one of Metropole's features.

'European Visits' also exists in a Web version and when I visited it I found that it has a short but potent set of links to the major travel sites. Give it a look if you have destinations other than Paris in mind.

Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 1.30 - 16. September 1996 featured the columns - Metropole Diary's 'Sushi Over Haussmann' and 'Au Bistro' had - ' School Daze Continues, Part III.' The articles in the issue were 'Hemingway in Montparnasse - 'A Moveable Feast' - A Sort of Book Review' - 'On the Run in Montparnasse - Next Door to Miss Stein's House' and 'National Heritage Weekend in France - Open Doors for Memories.' There were two 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week rounded off the issue.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 2000:

Blooper department revisited: on account of only eiffel day, wed having ten fingers to aid me with simple arithmetic, last Monday's countdown number of '844 days left to go,' was incorrect. It should have been 845 days.

count-down eiffel I had a suspicion about this so I went to Trocadéro last Wednesday and eyeballed the old Iron Lady. The brightly-illuminated number panel was showing 'J-843.' If you have been setting your calendar by this; my apologies. Today, there are:

Only 838 days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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