...Continued from page 1

Two of these 'demos' were permanent Sunday features last year and continued until the winter. Expect 'Operation Vélos-Pedestrians' and 'Operation Strolling and Relaxation' to continue this year.

In order to spare regular readers from possibly reading, and me from writing, about these regular demos I will simply predict that they will continue more or less on a weekly basis until Metropole's issue 3.42, which will be put online on Monday, 19. October 1998.

See the feature 'Véloville!' in this issue for more about bike and roller rentals in Paris.

Cheap Thrills

Le Parisien has finally gotten around to noticing that the café with the odd name of 'Ah! Ca Ira' at Bastille, featured as Metropole's opening 'Café' two weeks ago, has cheap café.

At five francs a hit for a thimble-full, thisopentour bus ratp is no doubt the place where Ms Thalman will pay off the 100 cafés she owes me, thus saving about a 100 francs on the lot.

The RATP's new 'OpenTour' bus passes through the Latin Quarter, regularly.

This café comes to Paris from a successful venture in Lille and has the motto 'Les Cafés Aux Prix Révolutionnaires,' which also explains the red, white and blue paint on the spartan decor. In this café, 'Ca ira' means if you want a café at a table, you get it from the bar yourself. Other café owners at Bastille are seeing mostly red.

Cannes 98 Winners

The jury selected 'L'Eternité et Un Jour,' directed by Theo Angelopoulos, to receive this year's Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Roberto Benigni, of 'Down By Law' fame, won a big runner-up prize, for his comedy 'La Vie Est Belle,' which is about Nazi death camps.

Benigni was in the middle of an imposing and impassioned speech to France-2 TV viewers in Italian, when the charming anchorlady suggested he switch to French. He did so, and it was equally imposing and impassioned and even partly in French, and I think he cribbed it from 'Duck Soup.' Either that, or he wrote 'Duck Soup' in the first place.

Depardieu Too Injured To Show at Cannes

Big Gérard's feelings aren't hurt, but he's probably a bit sore. Last Monday he dumped his motorcycle at Clairfountaine, near where Claude Zidi is shooting 'Asterix' with Depardieu playing the major-sized part of Obélix.

The producer of the film, Clause Berri, said Gérard would be back on the set soon. The 'Romans' and the 'Gaulois,' recruited from the local population, have to cool their heels until he turns up to take part in a major battle.

Another Birthday

Owners of Citroen 2Cvs gathered near Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines during the week, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their dream car. With VW's slinky belly-dancer-curved 'Beetle' out-selling its order books in the US, how long is it going to be before some clever auto manufacturer decides the world is not yet ready for the funeral of the 2CV?

World Cup Strike Threats

Threats of work stoppages are in the air and the purpose of them is to grab attention. Will Air France pilots and navigators, and the truckers succeed? Is anybody listening?

The truckers have had vocal support from the FO, but the union has been seeing some of its subsidiary groups depart recently - and with them, some of its own credibility.

SportsNews: SportsMania Season Opens

SportsWidows Unite!

Tomorrow it's the Grand Prix of Monaco. Monday tennis starts at Roland Garros. Sometime in the near future the football madness of the World Cup championship matches will take over the country. No sooner will that be finished than the Tour de France will wind its way across TV screens for three weeks, before the plug is pulled for August holidays.

Grand Prix Monte Carlo

Mika Hakkinen in a McLaren-Mercedes blew away the competition again on Sunday at the GP of Monaco. The cars are being called 'Silver Arrows.'

Grey Days At Roland Garros

One needn't seek the Japanese supercomputer capable of calculating seven-day advance Météo-France weather forecasts, as the culprit for the current chilly weather.

No. At this time of year, cool weather announces the Paris tennis extravaganza at Roland Garros. As soon as the little yellow balls start flying around the red-clay courts, out come the umbrellas.

The Brazilians Are Here!

Long awaited at the Château de la Grande-Romaine at Lésigny, the Brazilians arrived Friday to take up temporary residence. The place immediately went cuckoo. Hordes turned upf2-tv, roland garros from Paris seeking autographs. Local residents have been given special passes so they can get into and out of their village.

Lacking a Brazilian photo; here instead: a pre-Roland Garros shot. From F2-TV.

Some of the Brazilians are large and the management had to run out and buy 14 emergency jumbo beds. For the soccer stars' security, 12 parachutist-gendarmes have also been installed. A local student presented himself and within an hour had secured a job for the duration of the World Cup - to be the official 'no comment' spokesman for the team.

SportsBar Is Lively On Fridays

While real SportsFans begin hanging 22 on Fridays, those at the SportsBar, known as the Football Café play 21 while awaiting the approaching World Cup championship matches. Their girlfriends are not amused, but cannot figure out how to dislodge the true SportsFans from their 'Football Caf&eacute.' in which they are twirling away their thoughts, while dealing their cards-philosophy and drinking boiling hot World Cup SportsCafé. Three cheers and a huge bolabola! for the Football Café and for the single-mindedness of the SportsFans!'

Less uplifting are the 'official' Web sites: represented by the FIFA - which stands for Federation International - and the French Organizing Committee, known to all far and wide as the CFO. I don't what the initials stand for, just like RATP does not sound like métro to me.

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