Three Candles for Something

cafe de cluny
Where the boulevards meet, is the Café de Cluny.

Re-Look at Our Links Page

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 16. March 1998:- Just a touch under three years ago, I was riding the métro in Paris and I noticed posters announcing the start of the annual Salon du Livre.

In order to dispel a foul mood, I was on my way to a mail-order company to purchase a digital camera. I wasn't sure this would be the right medicine, but the price had tumbled by 57 percent overnight, so the deal looked attractive.

Fate dispenses its little tricks, so the place closed for lunch five minutes before I arrived; leaving me two hours to kill in the 15th. When it opened, the cameras were being unloaded from the truck. Had I arrived on time, I still would have had to wait for the camera delivery after lunch.

After returning home, I remembered the Salon du Livre posters. I phoned a contact to arrange for an entry to the salon and that night I went online to see if I could find a Web site that might take a report on it.

By next morning, the entry ticket to the salon had arrived by mail and I got a tentative go-ahead from Norman Barth to do a story for his 'The Paris Pages' Web site. That left testing the camera and it turned out acceptable enough photos.

Friday, 17. March 1995 was a big day for me - the day of my first 'Paris Internet Reporter' job. The salon itself was huge, and Norman had asked for its entire program - in addition to a first 'report.'

It was also Saint Patrick's Day and that evening the party was at my place. With the kind of people I know, this affair leans to the wretched excess side of the good manners scale, but everybody was gone by 01:30. Duringcours st andre the 'fête' I took photos of some of the participants, and then amazed some of the ones who could still see by showing them onscreen.

In the cour Saint-André, in the alley behind the Procope.

So it was only after all the bamboozle had gone that I got around to the salon's photos. They all came out looking like tar - they were 98 percent pitch-black. I had done something wrong. The 'throw-away' party photos were perfect, and my new 'career' photos were garbage.

I fought and wrestled something mucky out of them and then spent three hours writing an impossibly-long program for the salon. Norman ran all this, and all of the rest of the story is online at 'The Paris Pages' or 'Metropole Paris,' and sometimes on both.

Tomorrow is Saint Patrick's Day again and next Friday I will be at my third Salon du Livre. This year there will be no party here for Patrick and I'm not doing much of an advance program for the salon.

Meanwhile, I will figure out how to celebrate 'three years online' sometime during the week and tell you about it in the next edition.

Metropole's Links Page

Last week I said I had been doing a bit of surfing. I have heard that some people call the Web 'WorldWideWait' and I can certainly second this. Surfing is not my favorite activity.

I do it in order to check new Web URLs to see if there are good Web sites to tell you about. This means, I am usually in a hurry when I'm doing this - and if a site presents the slightest problem, I might give it one second try and if it fails again, that's it.

Readers of this magazine send me URLs and I always check these. Please keep sending them. Some good people find Metropole, and they suggest mutual links and I check these too. Then I think it over for six weeks before doing anything. Or is it six months?

Generally, I will link to any other Web site which enhances Metropole's coverage of Paris. But practically speaking, this is a foggy area. The question I always ask first; will this 'new' Web site link be useful to Metropole's readers?

For example, as near as I can tell, there are now three Web sites which have the equivalent of France's 'White and Yellow Pages.' The one that has worked best for me in the past, is now saying, "Tired Server" or some such other nonsense, for the last several days.

France Telecom has one too, but it seems to be as dumb as their Minitel; which I am too dumb to operate. The Postal people have leapt into the fray with their version, but it has some defect which defies me. Let's say, from neither do I get numbers, addresses or even names, in a timely manner. The result is, I don't want to put any of these three in on the links page. Not just yet.

In the course of 'housecleaning' the links page, I have re-ordered it a bit. Mostly, you want information about Paris, so this is near the top of the page. Complimentary editorial and service sites follow.

Then there are lists of, mainly, media sites. For Paris, the International Herald Tribune is good, because you can find the work of some of their best local columnists on it. The French newspaper 'Libération' has a weekly multimedia supplement, and this will lead to new and interesting French Web sites. The TV 'Canal J' site could be useful for curious younger readers: my son got me to look at it.

That's it. Check out the links page from time to time. Any suggestions, complaints, proposals, brick-bats; send them to me. Click on my name at the bottom of this - and every - page for the Web mail form.

From Friday's The Toqueville Connection:

Starting this week, 'The Toqueville Connection' takes a permanent place on Metropole's Links page, so this will be the last regular weekly plug for it.

The question of the week is, 'Will the Right Unite?' While the right is in quandary over possible alliances, Sunday's elections will measure the popularity of the Socialist Party's policies. Another Socialist, ex-Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, is in trouble. Still no European central banker selected - and other stories. Give it a read, for a 'newsier' viewpoint than Metropole's.

Meanwhile, see the answer to the question above in this week's 'Au Bistro' column.

Saint Patrick's Day Party

As I have already mentioned above, I am not having a Saint Patrick's Day party at my house. If you come, I will be out. If you do not come, I will be in. I am not anti-social and I have sunk more than a jar or two, somest patrick's party of them on Saint Patrick's Days in the past, but - alas! - I cannot do it anymore. And this has nothing to do with 1995 either.

Having Saint Patrick's at the Divan du Monde with four Irish groups, might be fun.

Paris is now full of 'Irish Pubs' and all of these will be having Saint Patrick's Day parties. Not many of the 'Irish Pubs' are actually run by Irish people, but most of them are run by people with an affinity for Ireland, so if some of them are a bit more ersatz than others, the spirits are at least imported.

Saint Patrick's Day parties can also be attended by civilians. This means all who are neither Irish nor Saints; which probably comprises most of the people who will actually attend parties in the name of this good Saint. It is unlikely that Saint Patrick was in fact Irish, so it doesn't really matter who has a good time on account of him.

In Ireland, Saint Patrick is, of course, a Saint. He is supposed to have banished snakes from that green and gentle land, but nobody can say for sure, because nobody has seen a snake there.

The illustration is from a beer mat picked up at the Divan du Monde, which is not an 'Irish Pub' as far as I know. In case the typo is unreadable, 'L'Ange Vert,' 'Dirty Linen,' 'Paris Ceili' and 'Deirdre' will be performing for all elbow-benders present. There's also something about 80 francs, the party gets underway at 20:00 and the address is 75. rue des Martyrs, Paris 18. Oh yeah, I forgot. It's happening tomorrow night.

Brigitte Terziev

For a long time I have had an announcement about theexpo: brigitte terziev exhibition of Brigitte Terziev's works at the Musée Bourdelle, but the description of her work is so elaborate that I haven't had the heart to get out the dictionary to try and decipher it.

There is clay and rusty nails, and there are a number of war-like terms - offense, defense, assault - but also the 'perfume of the desert and sand' - does sand have a smell? - but when I received an invitation to the opening night, I see what it is about.

For people who take in poetry through their eyes, the work of this 1997 Bourdelle Prize winner, will offer something a bit more than words.

Exhibition: until 5. July. From 10:00 to 17:40, except Mondays and public holidays.
Musée Bourdelle
16. rue Antoine Bourdelle, Paris 15. Métro: Falguière
Info. Tel.: 01 49 54 73 73.

Lumière du Monde, Lumière du Ciel

I mentioned the 'Visions du Nord' exhibition in an early February issue, but an enthusiastic review of the show in Saturday's International Herald Tribune by Michael Gibson has prompted this re-run.

Specifically, Mr. Gibson writes, "'Lumière du Monde, Lumière du Ciel' is perhaps the most impressive, poignant and rewarding exhibition in Paris this year." Since this is only mid-March, it may be a premature estimate, but Mr. Gibson may know what he's talking about. If so, then this is a 'don't miss event:'

This is one of four parts, presented under the umbrella title of 'Visions du Nord,' which is an exhibition that focused on 20th century artists of the nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway.

The show is divided into 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.

Printemps Vietnamien

With a written text about a visual exhibition, I may do nothing. But when I get an illustrated invitation to an opening, and it's a good design, then my interest starts to pick up. Last week I received one of these, for an exhibition entitled, 'Lumières.'

The full title is 'Lumières - Laques, Lavis, et Aquarelles du maître laqueur Nguyenvietnam spring Van Minh' - and I will bet Nguyen Van Minh did the illustration you see here. His show can be seen at the Mairie of the 2nd Arrondissement, 8. rue de la Banque, Paris 2. From Friday, 20. March until Thursday, 30. April. Info. Tel.: 01 42 61 55 02.

Paris-Hanoï-Saigon, l'Aventure de l'Art Moderne au Vietnam is an exhibition of plastic artworks by Professors of French at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Hanoï, in addition to four master Vietnamese artists. This will be at the Pavillon des Arts from Saturday, 21. March until Sunday, 17. May. At 101. rue Rambuteau, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 42 33 82 50.

La Photographie Vietnamienne is an exhibition of photos of contemporary Vietnam by five photographers. This runs in the Espace Photographique des Halles, from Friday, 20. March until Wednesday, 20. May. At the Forum des Halles, Place Carrée, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 40 26 87 12.

Recontres et Programmations Musicales features the contemporary musical works of Ton That Thiêt, plus a program including other forms of Vietnamese music. This is at the Médiathèque Musicale de Paris at the Forum des Halles. Info. Tel.: 01 42 33 20 50.

These exhibitions fall within the over-all framework of the 'Printemps Vietnamien,' to be held mainly at Les Halles, and lasting until 20. June. The 20. March is the anniversary day of the Francophonie, and it was decided to put on a Vietnamese Season in Paris on account of the recent Francophonie Summit in Hanoï.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 2.11 - 17. March 1997 featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'The Pubs May Be Fake, But the Paddy is Real' andcount down Eiffel Tower 'Au Bistro' had - 'Eurodemo' Replaces 'Eurostrike' as Week's 'Euroword.'' The articles in the issue were 'Books, Books and More Books at Salon du Livre,' 'Publishers from Africa, 'Little' Editors from France and Students From Paris,' 'CD Review - Mr. Eddy Scores Ten, by Mike Harmon' and 'History and Photos in the Land of Odd.' There were two 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was named 'The Wet Class?'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 656 days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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