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 pr private address, and 'with access to the Internet,' it is 50 francs, which includes three hours of online time.


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