Broken Promises: Another Ordinary Week

cafe de Flore
The Café de Flore in Saint-Germain.

Beaubourg Shuts Down; Marly-le-Roi Goes Online

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 20. October 1997:- Just about every week, when I recover my senses - usually about Wednesday - I first tell myself I am going to do less for the coming issue. I am a firm believer that 'less' can be 'more.'

Also each week, usually about Wednesday morning, I haven't got a clue about what is going to be in the coming issue - so agreeing with myself to do 'less' and do it 'better' seems to be no big deal - it may even be a reachable goal.

Last Monday John McCulloch sent me his story about Emile Azam and his 'Vedettes du Pont Neuf.' Since I already knew he could probably turn up a couple of photos he'd taken in 1962, I figured it would make a good 'reader's letter.' So, even Vedettes du Pont Neuf before my Wednesday 'crunch' and usual intention 'not to do more' I already had a story on hand.

The Vedettes du Pont Neuf are right beneath the statue of Henri IV.

I have no idea what I did on Tuesday, but I did not get my kids' bikes fixed like I did the Tuesday before. On Wednesday, I remembered the Marly 'Netdays' coming up so I gave them a call to see if that would turn out to be anything, and I still had my 'pencil' to find.

So I did Marly's photos on Thursday, printed out a note from John to Emile, and did Wednesday's photos; and maybe I watched a movie on TV. I also got a book I'd ordered from the local newspaper-book shop; one supposed to contain impressions of today's France by a French journalist who has just returned from several years abroad - which I thought might give me some interesting insights.

On Friday, Susan Beaupre's letter about Monday, 6. October came in and I knew I had to run it in the same issue as John's letter. I passed John's message to the 'Vedettes du Pont Neuf' people and got their 'history' from them; but the 'history' of the Sennelier art shop was unobtainable due to their closure for lunch.

I got up early on Saturday and whizzed around to the Hôtel de Ville in Marly to get the 'latest' news, and was asked not to announce the Poste's new service as they are not quite ready for it to be public.

As I have about 37 questions I want to ask France Telecom at the moment, I figure I can wait a bit for the Poste and run all that I find out as one piece - because there should be some relationship between the 'Coms and the Poste. On the other hand, maybe nobody outside France needs to know anything about any of it.

In between these 'big' items, there were the usual raft-load of little details, which are of no concern to us anymore. One last thing though: after a brief bit of fall weather which started last 7. October, the weather in Paris has been pretty good lately. Here then, is Metropole Paris' issue number 2.42:

netd@ys in Marly-le-Roi

The post office is skeptical and the government is hesitant, but the Mayor of Marly-le-Roi, population 19,000, wants everybody in his town to have access to email. This is perhaps because the Mayor, François-Henri de Virieu, has no political party card.

He must have some friends, because he is promising every citizen of the commune an email address; and the town is providing public access to computers so they can use them. Other than the town's own locations, even the local post office will have a public email post.

Next Friday, 24. October, 1000 email addresses will be given away to the residents of Marly-le-Roi. As so often in France, this means that the initial cost - 'frais d'ouverture' in this case - is waived by the Poste, and/but a flat-rate is charged per month. 'Without access to the Internet,' it is 20 francs per private address, and 'with access to the Internet,' it is 50 francs, which includes three hours of online time.

Although a long time in planning - arm-twisting and so on - this initiative is sort-of being 'sprung' on the citizens of this town located between Versailles and Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

This effort should be congratulated, and I think it would be a nice gesture to send Mayor François-Henri de Virieu a short message this coming Friday. His URL is '' If you are simply curious and don't feel like writing, give Marly-le-Roi's website a tryout.

'Netdays' is the name of an Internet promotion apparently organized by the European Community; about which I have no other information. The residents of Marly-le-Roi call themselves 'Marlychois' but I cannot tell you how it is pronounced. I expect to be attending Marly's 'Netdays' next weekend and you can expect some sort of report about it here in Metropole's next issue.

Beaubourg: Museum Closes, Plaza Stays Open

The Centre Georges-Pompidou, known to one and all as Beaubourg, is getting a face-lift inside and out and is now closed. However, the giant tepee beaubourg 2 year ticket placed in the plaza in front of the museum will continue some of the activities of the museum.

The new Brancusi atelier is not affected, and the south gallery of the museum will host two exhibitions: that of Bruce Nauman from 17. December until 9. March 1998, and Max Ernst from 28. April until 31. August 1998.

Above all, the Centre Georges-Pompidou is France's National Museum of Modern Art, and for the duration you are more likely to see items from this collection in Tokyo, or in other museums around France. For a while, from 15. June 1998 until 13. September 1999, a good part of the collection will be on view at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris - back where they were before moving to Beaubourg.

The 'Laissez-Passer Vers l'An 2000' is a two-year ticket of entry to all the museum's activities; plus it gives a priority to those wishing to attend the re-opening festivities, 1. January 2000. Price: 100 francs.


'Around the World, Around the World...' This exhibition presents the contemporary works of 60 artists, most of whom were born after the '60's. These expo: transit works have been acquired during the '90's by the National Fund of Contemporary Art, and are largely grouped around four themes: 'true-fiction,' 'spaces, no places,' 'post-human: present, absent, mutant and portrait,' and 'art - simple, ordinary, banal, without quality, even weak.'

Art in transit, in assimilation, and transitory, at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts,
13. quai Malaquais, Paris 6.
Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés
On view until Sunday, 2. November. Entry: 20 francs.
Open daily except Mondays, from 13:00 to 19:00
Catalogue: 160 pages, with 65 photos in color; 150 francs.

Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 1.35 - 21. October 1996 featured the columns - Metropole Diary's 'Kick Out the Marine'count-down eiffel and 'Au Bistro' had - 'Lots of Funny Numbers and Some Not So Funny.' The articles in the issue were 'Ahoy! The Seaside at Trocadéro - Ships, Cannons, Charts and Great Naval Heros' - 'Lines for Picasso, Elevators for Berlin - Big Expos, Big Cities' and 'The Last of the 'Isagiyoi' Plays20 Years in Paris - Porn in Japan is Psycho in Paris, Nearly Forever - by Makiko Suzuki.' There were two 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week rounded off the issue.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 2000:

Only 803 days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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