Welcome to Dreamland Paris

Restaurant L'Alteo
Another fairly big café in Montmartre with new paint.

Not To Be Confused With Slumber City

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 9. February 1998:- There is a lot of dreaming in this issue. Dreaming is a good thing because if you are able to do it then you are probably able to get out of bed in the morning with a little bit of enthusiasm.

First off, you seldom know if your dreams will come true - but this might be the day! Somebody might send you money you aren't expecting in the post, for example.

Admittedly this is a rare, or seldom, experience; as professional postmen are by law required to bring you bills and demands from the government for either information or money, or both.

So the thing to do is leave home before the postman arrives. If you get out there early enough, you might find some money lying around in the street. This is common enough in France, where people seem to think it is so worthless that they let it dribble through their fingers.

My number-one son had a long lucky streak last summer picking up 100-franc notes and thousand peseta notes on such a regular basis that I started dreaming about retiring. However we spent the bread on a premature celebration, and now he's going through a 'dry' spell, which has lasted about six months now.

Sometimes I wonder how many people there are around this world of ours, who are dreaming of Paris. The messages I get; I'm starting to think maybe one lunatic is writing them under several Ed and Mr 'Bib' hundred phoney names. They all say pretty much the same thing, "I'm dreaming of Paris."

There are variations such as, "I'm dreaming of coming to Paris," and one that really grabbed me last week, said, "We are about to embark on our once-in-a-lifetime visit to Paris." Nothing unusual in this you might think, but the rest of the message was about their other two 'once-in-a-lifetime visits to Paris' and they just wanted to alert me that the third was pending.

I may look droopy, but I am really having a good time at Retromobile.

Maybe it is all on account of the World Cup this coming June. Some soccer fans are - how can I put this? - sort of over the top - which I think is a referral to the little monkeys in the African rain forests who live very high up in the trees - you know: 'over the top.'

Now there's dreamers for you - the soccer fans. Their team is always going to win someday. I don't know how many of these will be pouring into France - to see their team win - but I think there are other people who have figured this out, because their messages all say they are coming in... March.

How does that old song go? "March in Paris, When you should be wearing Harris, Tweed the cloth for keeping out the damp, And..." I was never good at rhymes, nor learning lyrics.

If you know the Paris song about March, send it in. Send it by email please, because I'm a little slow to read the other kind, although I'm thinking about changing my mind. One of these days. Maybe.

Get Rich Quick with Paid Spam

Once in every couple of weeks I get around to opening some mail here and you can bet I was surprised to get a letter from my colleagues across town at the International Herald Tribune.

They hardly ever write to me, so I was doubly surprised that they had stapled a genuine one Free buck from IHT dollar bill to the letter, as payment in advance to read the thing.

After doing this, I discovered they are not paying me to read the letter, but to look at an enclosed ad for Panasonic and fill out some survey form and send it in. There is even a post-paid airmail envelope with which to do this.

Here it is: my 'lucky' buck for nothing. Thank you IHT.

I suppose the ad has appeared in the paper; most likely on a day I didn't buy a copy. I think this is great. The Herald Tribune costs more than a buck on newsstands here - so the dollar is no good for getting tomorrow's edition.

Somehow I have a feeling that I should skip reading the ad, forget the survey and toss out the envelope. But the good US dollar? This I will frame, as the first buck I got for nothing.

Nah, I'm just kidding. If somebody is willing to take a chance and pay me 1/200th of my hourly rate on spec, then I will give it 1/200th of an hour, but I wish they had put in a dime extra - to lick the envelope.

From Friday's The Toqueville Connection:

A Different Drummer for Iraq outlines France's efforts to defuse the explosive weapons inspection situation by quietly trying to play peacemaker. Excerpts:

Paris, February 5 - Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine made it clear for the first time that France would not join the United States and Britain in military action against Iraq, or even help with logistics, if negotiations achieve no breakthrough.

"For the moment, what France is doing is to obtain a solution through diplomatic means and by political persuasion. I do not despair that we will succeed."

France has been treading a delicate line throughout the crisis sparked by Baghdad's refusal to allow UN inspectors unfettered access in verifying whether Iraq is making weapons of mass destruction.

But Paris has been clearly frustrated by Saddam's refusal to allow full UN inspections, including presidential sites in Iraq which experts suspect could house weapons plants.

For the complete report, see The Toqueville Connection. In the same issue:

The Toqueville Connection also asks Will the Working Work Less? As the government honored an election promise to cut working hours, conservative politicians and industrialists joined forces to denounce the legislation. The new laws were passed by the Assembly National on Friday night - see this week's Metropole Paris 'Au Bistro' column.

La Vocaliste en Carton

Apparently, 'L'Orphéon' is some sort of singing quartet, which also has some unusual instruments which may be musical. The description of what the effect may be is somewhat extravagant, so I'm not sure I'd want Opera Comique 'L'Orpheon' to hear this if I was suicidally depressive - if it doesn't live up to its 'blurb' I might be compelled to 'end it all.'

Emmanuel Hussenot, founder of the group, is also the son of his father, Olivier, and since 1946, the Frères Jacques make, with this aforenamed father, 'good company' as some sort of insane chorus. This is according to Jean-Claude Hemmerlin - who I have never heard of.

If you have a hard time singing without teeth, try it without a head.

Possibly at La Pépinière - Opéra - Théâtre Musical. Possibly located at 7. rue Louis Le Grand, Paris 2. Métro: Opéra. On daily at 21:00 except for the usual closed days, until Sunday, 22. February. Info and Resa - Tel.: 01 42 61 44 16. Don't bother to write me if this doesn't work out.

Féeries d'Opéra

There is a Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra, and starting Friday, 13. February, there will be an exhibition of models of opera scenery, costumes and decors. These date from the 18th century and were conserved at the Château de Chambord.

Most of the models on show date from the period of 1757 to 1761, for operas from LullyBN - 'Feeries d'Opera' to Rameau. Also on show are documents from the Bibliothèque Nationale, from the Musée Carnavalet, and from the museums of art and history at La Rochelle. Some of the costumes date back to 1645. A catalogue is available.

Just when I'm looking for Dreamland, the B.N. sends me some.

Féeries d'Opéra - on view until Sunday, 26. April.
Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra
Place de l'Opéra, Paris 9. Métro: Opéra.
Open daily from 10:00 to 17:00. Entry charge is 30 francs and reduced, 18 francs. The entry fee includes a visit to the Opéra as well. Info. Tel.: 01 47 42 07 02.

Only Until Sunday, 15. February:

The Musée d'Art Juif de Paris is celebrating an anniversary; its 50th. 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, which will be located in the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan, 71. rue du Temple, which is a block west of the Musée de l'Histoire de France.

The Issac Strauss Collection, currently at the National Museum of the Middle Ages - Cluny - will join the above collection at the new museum, when it opens later this year.

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.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 2.06 - 10. February 1997 featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'Rightist Front National Takes Another Town' andcount-down eiffel 'Au Bistro' had - 'Winter Holidays Start With Usual Fuss and Search for Babysitters.' The articles in the issue were 'US Ambassador Pamela Harriman Dies in Paris' - 'Shakespeare & Company Sells Books and Gives Away Lodging if You Can't Afford Them' and 'On the Ile Saint-Louis - A Rare Day in the Winter Sun.' There were two 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was a Valentine for Readers - abd I forgot to look ahead to do a new one for this year.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 691 days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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