The Weather Takes a 180-Degree Turn

photo: cafe terrace on champs-elysees
On Friday, nearly all empty seats had takers
on the Champs-Elysées.

Now Official: Leave Your Woolies At Home!

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 22. June 1998:- No strikes! Out with the gloom! France and Paris are in full-tilt party mood. Music, parades and football, football, football over the weekend.

What? I didn't warn you? My fault; the preoccupation with the transport strike. You knew about the football. What I forgot was the Fête de la Musique throughout France and the annual Gay Pride weekend in Paris. You are right! Not minor items.

For the football, there are a lot of you here. The Fête and the Gay Pride are sort of surprise bonuses. If you are not here, mark your calendars for next year: the 21. June is a Monday, so the Fête de la Musique may be all weekend; and the annual Gay Pride 'Day' in Paris is on the same weekend, if there happens to be no football games playing in town.

On top of it, this weekend Spain exported some of its down south weather to us, so France was hot to extra hot-hot. Just perfect for the music and the outside dancing. Leave your fur coats - at home!

The first thing I heard on the radio Saturday morning, was the Marais bar owners' association complaining about the police order to close early - at 23:00. The Marais is the Gay Pride centre of the world. Same thing in Toulouse, where police expected maybe a hundred serious football hooligans to cause them a little trouble; so they told bar owners there they'd have to close early.

What the police are supposed to be for: dealing with thephoto: boat entering marina rowdies - not just during World Cup championships - so the good citizens can drink and dance all night, and make a lot of noise and have a really good time. Telling everybody to 'go home and party' is like saying the hooligans own the streets.

An American cruiser coming in to the Arsenal marina as a huge transport barge comes out.

I am a big supporter of civil rights, especially since the cops available outnumber these hooligans by about 50 or a 100 to one - so why isn't it possible, like in the film 'Casablanca,' to simply 'round up the usual suspects' and put them on ice for 48 hours?

Doing this would release all sorts of police manpower to be available to aid - 61 million residents of France and maybe two or three million visitors - to party in peace and security.

Lionel Jospin Meets Bill Clinton In Person

This week's 'The Tocqueville Connection' has a report about the visit to the United States by France's Prime Minister. Although the tone of the visit has been described as 'warm and friendly,' US lawmakers have been asking Mr. Jospin to explain 'cohabitation' to them.

This is about as good as this issue's report 'An American Watches Soccer' but it is not as complicated. Cohabitation is like when the elephant party controls the White House and the donkey party controls the Congress and the Senate. In France you simply substitute animals for initials like PCF, PCF, RPR, UDF, FN and the rest of the alphabet soup.

Take a Look at ShareLook

A couple of weeks ago a fellow named Damien called me up to suggest I take a look at a relatively new search service called 'Sharelook.' This search outfit started in Germany in August of 1996, and Austriaphoto: temple de l'amour was added in early 1997. Switzerland followed in June of last year, shortly after the introduction of the Sharelook 'cities' sites.

Louis-Philippe has this 'Temple de l'Amour' built on the tip of the Ile de la Jatte for a perfectly good reason, I guess.

The French version has been online since the beginning of this year and now it is really starting to roll. What I like about it, in addition to its Paris selection, is Sharelook's direct connections to other cities, such as Berlin, Bochum, Düsseldorf, Köln, Wien and Zürich. But Bochum? Was ist im Bochum los?

Try Sharelook and find out.

Another Correction: 'Unstable' Weather Turns Hot

Last week's moans about wearing winter clothes paid off last Thursday when the weather turned winter off and summer on in France. To show it was serious, the weather turned itself on to 'high' on Friday and kept it that way throughout the weekend. More of the same is predicted for this coming week.

This means - tah-tah! - all readers who have been knitting me winter socks to wear in 'summer' should now stop and find something worthwhile to do. I thank you for your concern and my feet thank you too; and it does not really matter if my summer socks do not match exactly.

Metropole's World Cup Links

Since just after the beginning of the year, a few links to World Cup sites have been a weekly item near the end of the 'Au Bistro' column - sort of in the guise of 'SportsNews.' The whole chuna-bunga is now upon us, so I've moved these links to a page of their own. Doing this puts fans into a kind of a 'links ghetto,' except for one link there to an anti-World Cup Web site.

Exhibitions and Events, Which Last Nearly Forever:

Max Ernst Exhibition

Although well-known as a painter, Max Ernst was also a periodic sculptor. He seemed to do it while off on trips - to visit his pals Giacometti and Paul Eluard, or further off, on Long Island or in Arizona. The Centre Georges Pompidou is showing 110 pieces and 15 paintings at the centre itself.

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