It's Raining But It's Not Pouring

Cafes in Montparnasse
It is almost time to go into the cafés for winter.

Take Your Pick: Pencils, Tools and Photos

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 13. October 1997:- For some reason I do not have a clear memory of last Monday, but I'm sure it was raining by Tuesday. As it kept on intermittently all week, I guess I can safely say 'Golden October' is over. It was good while it lasted.

From this point of view, this means that Paris returns to its more or less normal state of being more or less grey; this soft, almost velvet color, when highlights are seldom and shadows are no longer pitch-black. It is soft; Paris doesn't stand up to too much light over a long period of time.

The rain is seldom serious; it is on or off, often many times in a day, and it seldom settles down to rain non-stop for days on end. It is a 'supportable' rain I would say. It offers views through bus windows, dotted with shiny drops, and when it is a café window and you are inside you can be comfortable because you know the drops are on the outside of the glass.

If you are shy of rain, waiting for it to stop is a good excuse for spending longer than you normally might want to, in a café. Now 'moulage' at Rougier that I've written it here, I've started to think about cafés I'd like to sit in - a good number that I hurried through while the weather was fine, are really worth revisiting to try out their essential sitting qualities. It's something to look forward to.

At right, and the photo below, are Rougier window displays.

This is an issue of no important or big subjects. For various reasons, I decided to do some new cartoons especially for this magazine - but this will get going slowly because I have been away from it for a good number of years. It is a bit like a sport you can only be good at if you practice; one has to build up a mental 'set' for it, to get the right kind of 'quirk' going.

I've been using this under-utilized set - some of them 25 years old - and one of you caught me running one for the second time, although it was for a different subject. That made me think that this magazine really does have 'alert' readers, so I'd better get out my pencil sharpener and use it on my head.

Actually, thinking up gags is a useful occupation while standing under a shower-head - more useful at any rate than just standing there watching the water not go down the drain.

Although I am terribly unhandy with any sort of tool and don't like doing anything with them as a consequence, I like tools for themselves - especially well-made ones. Being very old-fashioned, I like well-made ones which are made out of materials which are extremely hard to make things out of - like heavy-duty ultra-hard high-grade, steel.

You look at the stuff - the good stuff - and it is smooth and shiny and you can tell this isn't an item you can tear off a tree and fashion with a pocket-knife. It comes out of the deep ground and gets run through 'beaux arts' at Rougier the fires of hell before being crafted into something both beautiful and utilitarian - and you can usually buy one of these - for really little money for what you get - and you get something that will not rot or fall apart and may last a thousand years without showing any sign of wear and tear.

I have thought this for a good many years so you can imagine my excitement when Allan Pangborn wrote to the magazine about the tools in the basement of the BHV. I hadn't looked at any in some years - not since I bought a golf club for 10 francs - and I was surprised to learn that good tools are still, in fact, being made. And some of them are made in France.

Allan, by the way, visits France fairly often as he is in the wine business. A lot of people visit France for the wine even if they aren't in the business; so I think it's realy cool of Allan to cruise the tool shops as sort of a hobby - which is kind of a hint to everybody, that there are a lot of unusual things to see and do in this country, which are not your usual cup of - tea.

Some Shows
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