...Continued from page 1

So then, this guide is a 'user manual' for Paris, put together from information supplied by users. The other good thing about it is it costs exactly 49 francs. I bought one.

Bistro Guide: the 'Petit Lebey'

Described by Le Parisien as a little guide 'hyperpractique,' this guide to Paris bistros has just come out with its 12th edition.

The bistro, 'Père Claude' in the 15th arrondissement was judged 'Bistro of the Year' by the guide and The Association to Save the Egg-Mayonnaise, an award created by Claude Lebey, also gave this bistro the prize for, I guess, the best egg-mayo.

The guide's latest edition contains the addresses of 260 bistros, mostly in Paris. Some dishes and average prices - 68 to 200 francs - plus a detailed account of one meal are included for each establishment.

The official name of the guide is 'Le Petit Lebey 1998 des Bistrots Parisiens.' Its 184 pages fit in a pocket too, but it costs 89 francs.

From Friday's The Toqueville Connection:

In this week's issue Philippe Moreau Defarges, a senior researcher for Institut Français des Relations Internationales in Paris, writes, "We should not overestimate France's role in resolving the Iraqi weapons crisis as the French press is doing. This diplomatic coup belongs largely to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan."

In the same issue, read 'A tour, a taste, a toast - have fun with Bordeaux on-line,' a suggestion from Toqueville's 'France on the Web' department. The only thing missing, it says, is an online order form, but it gives the Web site high marks.

Only Until Next Sunday: See It Now

Paris' Salon de l'Agriculture is the salon to go to see a lot of what you eat while it is still alive. Once you've seen some of the cows and other animals you may decide to be a vegetarian, or you may want to adopt a cute cow.

It is a very big annual salon and it features all sorts of regional specialties to eat and drink, and Parisians flock to it by the hundreds of thousands. Other activities, sometimes related to the outdoors, are on display.

At Paris-Expo, Porte de Versailles
Started Sunday, 1. March and continues until Sunday, 8. March. From 9:00 to 19:00 daily. Métro: Porte de Versailles. Info. Tel.: 01 49 09 60 00.

Coming Soon: 18th Salon du Livre

French publishers put on their big annual show of new works - for a public that is interested enough in books and the world of literature, to visit this salon in great numbers. The year's 'Country of Honor' is Brazil and I for one will be interested to see what they are doing over there, besides football and carnival.

This salon is also a showcase for publishers of French titles from around the world; showing that Paris isn't the only place where French gets put into books. Away from the big stands, you'll also find the smaller stands of the independent publishers, the little houses, and the little magazines too.

Meet live authors, take part in literary discussions, or just talk about books. Or talk about comic books - which have bigger best-sellers than books - and meet some of these odd people.

This salon takes place from Friday, 20. March until Wednesday, 25. March. Monday, 23. March, is reserved for professionals. Location: at Paris-Expo - Porte de Versailles, in Hall One - all of it. Info. Tel.: 08 36 60 00 51 - warning: this is a toll number, costing twice as much as the Minitel. Organizer is Reed-OIP and their email address is livre@reed-oip.fr

Modern Art at Louise Weiss

In an area of the 13th arrondissement which has been largely hi-jacked by the Ministry of Finance, there is a large building in which a whole series of modern art galleries are located, at ground level beneath a sort of arcade. Every once in a while they get together and have one big opening; and this time it is next Saturday.

There are six of these galleries, so it means there will be six 'vernissages' - something to drink and eat - between 16:00 and 21:00. This gives you something to do with your hands besides wave them around, while you are studying the artworks. And if you wander from gallery to gallery with a drink in your hand I don't think anybody is going to say, "Don't forget to return the plastic wine glass!"

This send off is for exhibitions which will remain on display until Saturday, 18. April. The poster I made for this - on this issue's 'Poster II' page - was made from a 'sans titre' by Jean-Luc Blanc, 1998, and is ©Art:Concept. I gave it a title called, 'Galleries Louise Weiss.'

play: Femmes de Troie

Without naming them all: Six Galleries:
20 to 34. rue Louise Weiss, Paris 13. Métro: Chevaleret, on line six. All of the galleries are closed Sundays and Mondays: otherwise they are open either from 11:00 or 14:00 until 19:00. Info. Tel.: 01 45 86 72 72, and fax.: 01 45 88 20 10.

Trojan Ladies

'The Trojan War is finished. The town is destroyed. Only the women are left.' Based on the drama by Euripides, the 'Femmes de Troie' is the third part of a Trojan War trilogy - this part directed by Matthias Langhoff, who is making his first return to Nanterre since his 1993 production of 'Désir.'

It all sounds very blood-curdling, with very tough language, in French, for those of us who don't speak antique Greek from 600 BC. This drama is already running and will continue until Saturday, 28. March.

Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers
7. avenue Pablo Picasso, in Nanterre. Info. Tel.: 01 46 14 70 00.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 2.09 - 3. March 1997 featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'Forever an Immigrant' andcount-down eiffel 'Au Bistro' had - 'Madame Mégret Tells All to Berliner Zeitung.' The articles in the issue were 'At the Salon de l'Agriculture - France's Food Chain On Parade' and 'Part of a Day at the Other Versailles - Not at Over-Splendid Palace.' Walter Conway Wrote An Email About Colors and Smells. There were two 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was 'Agro-Mechano' or something.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 670 days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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