Death in Marly Is Internet's Loss

Cafe L'Entreacte
The café L'Entreacte, right across from the Opéra.

'Golden October' Officially Over At Last

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 3 November 1997:- Last week I wrote here, "I have erroneously announced the end of 'Golden October' several times prematurely."

I can now definitively state that 'Golden October' is over, because it is November. I have never heard of a 'Golden November.' What people in Paris usually call it is unprintable.

All the same, here is the weather update: regardless of how much mist or fog there is in the mornings, it usually clears by 11:00 or noon - to reveal low, but bright sun. The shadows get longer and more blue and it is cool in them. In the sunlight it is comfortable.

This is the longest, single season of good weather that I can remember since 1976 (the Endless Summer) - which is now going for its 10th consecutive week.

Death In Marly

Last Monday Metropole carried the feature 'E-mail For Everyone in France?' with the subhead, 'Marly-le-Roi Points Way - Via Minitel.' This was a story about one French town's intention to give every resident an E-mail account, at the initiative of the Mayor, François-Henri Le Virieu.

As I was doing the final corrections on last week's issue on Monday morning, radio France-Info announced the death of Mr. Le Virieu; at 01:30 that morning.

I considered this for a couple of minutes and decided that the story was about the Marly version of 'E-mail for All in France,' and expo: Franco-Allemandes not about its godfather.

[ I had noted that the Friday launch was presided over by the deputy-mayor, Bernard Longhi. I had wondered why at the time, but hadn't thought to ask about the whereabouts of the mayor.]

Thus, Metropole went online on time, without an update.

What I did not know, was that last May François-Henri Le Virieu went public about his illness, in the columns of the municipal journal with the title, "I Owe You the Truth." He added that readers of Marly-le-Roi's 'Le Chronique' were getting it first, straight from his pen and they were getting it without the usual filters.

Mr. Le Virieu had been mayor of Marly-le-Roi for only a short time. In the space of something like two years, this man of no party affiliation, carried forward his predecessor's plan of 'Marly Moderne' to his own 'Marly XXIe Siècle.' Last week's Internet initiative was part of his plan to make local administration accessible to all residents - without filters.

Besides keeping 'open house' at the city hall, for members of the administration and for members of the public, Mr. Le Virieu also managed to attract business to Marly - in the form of the brand-new French headquarters of the pharmaceutical giant, Glaxo-Wellcome.

Born in Paris on 18. December 1931, François-Henri Le Virieu started his career as a journalist as an editor of the economic section of 'Le Monde.'

He served a stint as a political editor of L'Nouvelle Observateur, co-founded the daily 'Le Matin de Paris,' and was responsible for midday TV-news on TFI until 1972; he was director of news on 'Antenne 2' in the early '80's, and finally was producer-presenter of France 2's important TV-magazine 'L'Heure de Vérite' for 13 years, until 1995.

Funeral services were held in Marly last Thursday, attended by 800; residents of Marly, and a great crowd from the Paris worlds of politics, publishing, TV and journalism.

Since Marly now has direct access to the world - and the world to it - as a result of François-Henri Le Virieu's efforts - to remove filters - I think it would be a reasonable gesture to let Marly know you know - they are online, worldwide.

Write to the acting Mayor, who I assume is Bernard Longhi, if you wish to make any comment about this subject.

Paris Goes to Vegas

It was announced some time ago that the Bally Resorts division of the Hilton Hotel chain, planned to build its own version of 'Paris' in the Nevada desert, near Las Vegas.

This is welcome news indeed, and Metropole reader John McCulloch has been able to supply us with an excellent photo of the site as it appeared recently. As can be seen, Nevada, as a new site for Paris, has several advantages over the present location in the Ile-de-France. Nevada is roomy.

Las Vegas 'Paris'

It may not look like much now, but this is 'Paris' new location in Las Vegas. Photo by John McCulloch©1997

I had been unaware that the Tour Eiffel is Paris' 'central feature,' but it will be so in the 'new' Paris. Bally plans a 50-story replica of the tower, with a 'prominent' French restaurant and at the top there will be an 'amazing' view of the Las Vegas 'strip,' plus I imagine, a bit of surrounding desert as well.

Planned replicas of other familiar sites include the Arc de Triomphe, the avenue de Champs-Elysées, the Opéra Garnier, the Parc de Monceau and the rue de la Paix.

The originals of these are in the west and central arrondissements of the city and for the moment there seems to be no plans for replicas of Montmartre, Bastille or the Quartier Latin, nor any for the Seine or any of its islands. Nevada seems unready for the pleasures of the bateaux mouches.

Like Paris, the new Paris II will have a lot of guest rooms nearly 3,000 - including 300 suites. There will also be about 14,500 square metres of space for conventions.

Compared to the original, with only 13 specialty restaurants and bars, Paris II seems to be skimping on this aspect. Boutique space of about 3,500 square metres is a drop in the sand and 2,700 square metres for a health spa seems unnecessary with so few bars and cafés.

However, the new Paris II really trumps the original with a gambling casino of no less than 9,500 square metres. I'm not sure how many casinos, bowling alleys, billiard halls, bridge clubs and video-game parlors Paris has - but whatever it is, it is nothing compared to this. On the other hand, the original Paris has a lot of race tracks.

'Paris Las Vegas' is scheduled to open in 1999, sometime before the Tour Eiffel's countdown clock hits Two Grand. It all sounds too good to be true so check it out if you don't believe this.

Some Events

Brigitte Nahon at the Musée Zadkine

Born in Nice and resident in New York since 1995, Brigitte Nahon exhibits her latest experiments in the exploration of the balance between objects and sculpture, by going to the most extreme limits, by use of unassociated materials such as crystal and steel; which can turn the spectator's usual perspective upside-down.

The Musée Zadkine is also celebrating the 30th anniversary of the death of Ossip Zadkine, with a show featuring the acquisitions of the last ten years - including 'found' objects executed by Zadkine; the oldest design, dating to 1913. These new objects round out the equilibrium of the museum's collection.

This second exhibition opens on Friday, 7. November and also runs through to 22. February 1998.

Musée Zadkine
100 bis, rue d'Assas, Paris 6.
Métro: Vavin, RER: Port Royal or Luxembourg.
Brigitte Nahon, from Thursday, 6. November until Sunday, 22. February 1998. Daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:30.
Info Tel.: 01 43 26 91 90.

Marianne et Germania

The subtitle of this exhibition is, '1789-1889, Un Siècle de Passions Franco-Allemands.' It was shown in Berlin at the Martin-Gropius-Bau from 15. September 1996 to 5. January 1997.

To be featured are 350 works from French, German and other sources. Unlike the Berlin presentation, this version of the exhibition bases its 13 episodes around 13 key personalities of the epoch.

This starts off with German intellectual interest in the French revolution; followed by Madame Germaine de Staël, who was exiled from Paris by Napoléon, who also didn't care much for her writings which she sent back from Germany.

The Romantic period of the 1820's saw a number of cultural exchanges and after 1830 liberals from Germany increasingly resided in Paris. Romanticism was still going strong in the 1860's, with neogothic from one direction and neo-middle ages from the other. In sum, this a vast show, which has Wagner as an exclamation point in the 1880's.

Musée du Petit Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris 8.
Métro: Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau
From Saturday, 8. November until Sunday, 15 February 1998. Daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:40.
Info Tel.: 01 42 65 12 73. Catalogue; 384 pages, 295 francs.

Berlin, Mutations Urbaines

I mentioned the following show, somewhat expo: Berlin: Mutations Urbaines prematurely, last week. It starts this Wednesday. In the meantime, I received a copy of one of the photos, 'Platz der Republik;' by the photographer Stéphane Couturier, who holds the copyright. At right:

Exhibition of photographs, done by five French photographers sent to Berlin by the Archipresse Agency in 1995-96, to capture the urban metamorphosis of the German city as it gets transformed from a stagnant 'Island' into its proper place as a great European capital.

The photographs in this show display more of the urban tissue and human fabric of Berlin, than mere architectural photos. One of the photographers, Vincent von Wroblewsky, was born in Clermont-Ferrand to parents who were born in Berlin. Mr. Wroblewsky took up residence in East Berlin in 1950 and studied and worked there until 1991.

At the Musée Carnavalet, 23. rue de Sévigné, Paris 3.
Starting Wednesday, 5. November, until Sunday, 18. January 1998.
Open daily except Mondays from 10:00 to 17:40.
Entry: 35 francs and 25 francs, reduced.
The bilingual catalogue of 88 pages with 62 photographs is 95 francs.

Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 1.37 - 4. November 1996 featured the columns - Metropole Diary's 'Closed For Renovation, or Wear Hard Hats' count-down eiffel and 'Au Bistro' had - 'No Paper, Dud Paper and Bicycle Ladies.' The articles in the issue were 'Georges Brassens - The Times, They Are Not Changing' and 'At Pre-Industrial Museum - The Hand - Ultimate Tool - and Daily Artifacts On Show.' 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 789 days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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