Readers Respond to 'Help' Metropole

resto Les Forges - Sentier
The café is where the neighborhood has its lunch.

Insights, Analysis, With The Tocqueville Connection

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 2. February 1998:- Last week's appeal to 'help Metropole' has been taken very seriously by a number of readers and they have rolled up their sleeves and pitched in.

In fact, a lot of readers have sent ideas and suggestions as well as general encouragement. It is gross understatement to say that this support has been gratefully received. It all helps and I thank you.

While chatting with a Metropole reader last Friday in Paris, I realized that there continue to be some misconceptions about the relationship between Metropole and its readers. I say 'continue,' because I've written about this relationship in this column before.

It is worth doing again, partly because it is still being 'invented' and refined as time goes on.

First off, Metropole is a weekly magazine, distributed uniquely via the Internet. As such, Metropole is not, and does not operate like any ordinary newspaper, magazine, radio or TV. Because Metropole is 'on' the Internet, it means La Tete de Goinfre that its readers can be, should be, 'interactive.'

This is not a 'rule.' It is just a possibility I think should be explored, because it is possible. No doubt, some will disagree with this.

Inside the delighful Tête de Goinfre, with its pigs.

The most primary way of being 'interactive' is to send the magazine a message via Email - via the Internet.

Who am I? For Metropole, I am chiefly its editor. However, I consider every reader to be a potential 'contributing editor.' So I really act like the manager of an apartment building, which is 'owned' by its tenants. I will act on any tenant's suggestions.

Messages coming in are pretty much divided into two categories. People find Metropole, like its contents and write to say so. The editor responds to each of these messages.

But since every incoming message is from a potential 'contributing editor,' I try to find out how much potential there may be.

Some readers, for one reason or another, have a lot of 'potential.' But they are not used to any publisher or broadcaster taking them seriously - who is? - so there are usually some back-and-forth messages, to get the show on the road.

The new 'contributing editor' usually has memories to draw from, and my job is to sometimes do additional research, get photos, fill in gaps - then edit it all. But it is the 'contributing editor's' story, and the 'byline' and copyright notice are attributed to this contributor.

At the moment, two major stories are being developed, from beginnings like these.

Other readers have taken to writing to me as a person, and I - not as an editor or custodian of Metropole - reply in kind. This is a 'back-channel' and many of the messages passing through it have marathon de paris nothing to do with Paris, France, or Metropole. But even here, an idea for Metropole may emerge. If this happens, then we go over to 'Metropole-mode' and proceed in a normal way.

It all comes down to three fundamental statements: Metropole believes every reader has the potential to be a 'contributing editor.' Not every reader wants to do this and this is respected. In either case, no message from any reader will be published in Metropole without the contributor's consent.

Metropole is not just me and Paris. Metropole is the sum of its readers and their experiences, and their interaction with the magazine - and recently, interaction with other Metropole contributors, through new 'back-channels' which bypass Metropole entirely - and of course it is me too, acting as referee, umpire, Mr. 'Feet-on-the-street,' and, in general, your man in Paris.

Metropole is 'live' because it is reported from the streets of Paris and it is 'live' because it also is the community centre of a large number of people who have an even larger number of reasons for loving something about Paris.

Me, I just edit a bit of the flow in and out of this 'live' letterbox called Metropole.

The Tocqueville Connection

Like Metropole, 'The Tocqueville Connection' is in its third year of weekly publication on the 'Net. Unlike Metropole, 'The Tocqueville Connection' is a lot more serious about the issues facing France and France's relationships with its partners throughout the world.

Catherine Antoine, editor of 'The Tocqueville Connection,' writes, "Our magazine is interactive; our pages are open to your comments, criticisms and rebuttals. The Internet makes this process a truly planetary exercise. It's not only Americans who are hooking onto The Tocqueville Connection, but readers from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South Africa. This is simply more proof that the Franco-American dialogue is rooted in values common to us all - notions of progress, human rights and individual freedom."

As editor of Metropole, I agree with 'The Tocqueville Connection's" fundamental aims and its analysis of the situation of our times. Metropole is meant to be more diverting; but if you tire of fluff, then hit the link to 'The Tocqueville Connection," New issues appear every Friday.

An alert Metropole reader pointed our eyes towards the 'The Tocqueville Connection.' Thanks for passing on the tip.

The Musée de la Marinemusee de la marine

France's excellent Navy Museum is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the foundation of its collection this year. Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau started it off in 1748 by passing on his personal collection to Louis XV, which has resulted in this museum sharing the honors for the world's oldest with Saint Peterburg's Fleet Museum, founded by Peter the Great.

Musée de la Marine
Palais de Chaillot, 17. place du Trocadéro, Paris 16.
Métro Trocadéro. Closed Tuesdays. Info. Tel.: 01 45 53 31 70.

Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Under the umbrella title of 'Visions du Nord,' on Saturday, 7. February this museum will launch an exhibition focused on 20th century artists of the nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway.

The show is divided into three parts: historical, contemporary and recent works. The first category is represented by the works of Edward Munch, August Strindberg, Carl Fredrik, Akseli Gallen-Kallena and Helene Schjerfbeck.

Between contemporary and historic, are works by Per Kirkeby. More than 20 young creators fill up the contemporary section, under the title of 'Nuit Blanche' - and this can include video and associations with music.

Catalogues have been produced for each of the three sections. The dates run to either 10. May or 17. May, and there will be other manifestations surrounding this show.

Musée d'Art Moderne / ARC
11. avenue du Président Wilson, Paris 16. Métro: either Iéna or Alma-Marceau. Info. Tel.: 01 53 67 40 00.

Only Until Sunday, 15. February:

The Musée d'Art Juif de Paris also is celebrating an anniversary; its 50th. I missed this with my 'futures file' being such a hodge-podge, but there is still time to see this exhibition - which displays the museum's activities as well as its collection of religious objects and popular art, mostly from eastern Europe, the Middle-East and north Africa.

After this show closes, the collection will be transferred to the Musée d'Art et d'Historie du Judaïsme, located at 71. rue du Temple, which is a block west of the Musée de l'Histoire de France.

The present exhibition is at the Musée d'Art Juif and it is located at 42. rue des Saules, on Montmartre which is Paris 18. Métro: Lamark-Caulaincourt. Open from Sunday to Thursday, from 15:00 to 18:00. Closed on public and Jewish holidays and during August. Info. Tel.: 01 42 57 84 15.

Salon d'Accueil - Hôtel de Ville

The modest exhibitions put on here fairly regularly with little fanfare usually turn out to be quite popular, even poster: handicapped though they are free. The one that is currently installed is about being handicapped, and how the Ville de Paris is trying to make life easier for people with disabling afflictions.

This is being presented as part of the city's social affairs efforts, but I mention it because handicapped visitors might not find the city all that friendly. I have personal friends who can't just go anywhere they please because of insurmountable obstacles.

The city is not unaware of these problems. One example is the many new parking spots designated as reserved for the handicapped. I think more of public transport, because many visitors do not have cars and cannot always afford taxis. Some buses are equipped for roll-on, roll-off, but not many. Some métro stations are nightmares for handicapped people.

The present exhibition runs until Saturday, 28 March and is open daily from 9:30 to 18:00, except on Sundays and public holidays. At the Salon d'Accueil - Hôtel de Ville, 29. rue de Rivoli, Paris 4.

Paris Marathon 'Sign Up' Reminder

The Marathon International de Paris - to be run on Sunday, 5. April - is still signing up fast runners. Inscription rates until 20. March are 250 francs for residents and 370 francs or US$75 or 115 DM for visitors.

The rates for inscribing on the day are 400 francs for residents and 450 francs or US$95 or 135 DM for visitors. Entries are limited to 22,000, so if the quota is full on race day you'll be out of luck.

Registration can not be made by fax. Interested fast people can get information or request an official entry form, by fax, to (33-1) 53 17 03 13 from outside France. In France the fax number is 01 53 17 03 13. Otherwise write to: Inscriptions A.M.S.P., 8. Rue Crozatier, 75012 Paris - for full information.

The organizers have a pasta party planned for Saturday, 4. April, which is free to all registered runners. Marathoners resident in France are not supposed to attend this heavyweight feast if they are French.

Metropole has a reader who intends to run in this race. I have just received word that he is now on his way to Paris, via Dehli, Jaisalmer, Kathmandu, Tibet - if possible; if not, then Ladakh, trekking in Everest Region, Phaplu, Gokyo region, up Island Peak or Mera peak - 6,000-plus metres, then back to Kathmandu, Delhi, London and connect to Paris for the Marathon. Let's all root for Bill Jans on Sunday, 5. April.

Sign Up for Paris' Semi-Marathon

This is for sprinters because the fastest times will be under one hour and ten minutes; but the distance to run is something more than 18 km but less than 'official' marathon distance

The date for it is Sunday, 8. March 1998 and the start location is the Stade Charlety. Request entry forms from same fax number as above. Until 20. January 1998, the entry fee is 70 francs for residents and the same for non-residents. After that, it costs 100 francs. There is no pasta party planned for this event.

Old-Time Cars, Boats, Cycles and Parts, Parts, Parts

Retromobile 1998 rolls into the exhibition grounds at Paris-Expo on Friday, 6. February and runs through to Sunday, 15. February. Several 100th anniversaries are going to be celebrated; those of Renault, Ford and Michelin's very round Mr. Bibendum. In addition to old cars in sparkling 'as new' shape with 'low milage,' there will also be some old speedboats such as the famous 1912 'Batboat 1' and a steam-powered motorcycle. Need some parts for your 2CV which is 50 years old this year? This is the place. In the Hall 2/1, open all week. Watch this space for daily times.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 2.05 - 3. February 1997 featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'In the Dead of Winter' andcount-down eiffel 'Au Bistro' had - 'The Usual and Average News Plus Sports.' The articles in the issue were 'Salon 'Expolangues' at the Grand Hall of Babble' - 'The Maison des Jardies in Sèvres - Where Balzac Bought, Gambetta Lived' and 'Gas Works at Beaubourg Celebrates Its 20th Birthday.' There were two 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week finished off the issue.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 698 days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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