Today France Is Happy

photo: trouville bar central
Near the desert of the Ecole Militaire,
the café of the same name.

If You Won the World Cup Last Night,
You Would Be Too

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 13. July 1998:- The French team winning the World Cup last night has launched all sorts of dreamlike speculation, including some of my own.

Apparently ladies got tired of twiddling their thumbs while their men-friends lapsed into total SportsFan mode for 32 or 33 days, and they joined the ranks.

I don't know if this is going to last. Alert ladies will have surely noticed that soccer is run by men and men run most of the TV, and they sneakily program game times so that ladies have pauses in which to cook meals.

Nevertheless a lot was made of it and you could see a lot of ladies trading shirts with guys on the Champs-Elysées. This will add an interesting feature to this street if it isn't just a temporary fad.

As everybody doubtless also knows by now, France won the World Cup Championship. I know I already more or less said this in the first paragraph, but it is worth repeating.

Except for some obscure rugby matches, France hardly wins anything except the shoot-yourself-in-the-foot competitions. It isn't that France is good at this; but France is often the only entrant and wins these things by default.

Actually winning something and doing it in front of a very big audience, may have the effect of making the French appear to be competent in public.

This in turn may suggest to some people here that it is not a shameful thing to do. This may lead natives into thephoto: cafe waiting for game habit of doing it on their own initiative - and nobody knows what this might lead to.

Only three hours to game time and the café still has free places.

Basically, the World Cup was won by a clever trainer and 22 ordinary French guys. Although having the backing of the state and its administration, and an organization supplied by the FIFA and the CFO - it was these ordinary guys who actually won all the matches they had to.

They did a darn good job. They deserve to be the heros they are.

Looking For The Revolution

With Bastille Day coming up tomorrow, I was wondering last week how it was possible to live in France, in Paris, for over twenty years - and not know where the 'Museum of the Revolution' is.

I have no idea how many museums there are in Paris or the Ile-de-France, but not having a museum devoted to the most pivotal event in French history seemed to be an impossibility to me.

Yet, when I arrived at Invalides - which I was pretty sure was not the right place - I was amazed all the same that nobody there seemed to know either.

After passing the Champ de Mars - blockaded for the 'Three Tenors' performance on Friday night - after hearing that the France-Croatia game was not playing on the big screen at Trocadéro on account of a rehearsal for them, the Revolution was higher in my mind.

Thirty seconds was all it took to learn that there are no 'Droits de l'Homme' in the Musée de la Homme, regardlessgraphic: expo at the musee de l'homme of the so-named Parvis of the same name right outside. The other twenty minutes spent there were used to discuss certain of these contradictions with the guard, who was quite up on his history.

Now showing at the Musée de l'Homme at Trocadéro.

On Friday at Paris' Musée Carnavalet, I noticed that its collections are well-manned by watchers. On off days it is probably a bit of a boring job, but I've found that the minders often know quite a bit about their charges - and are usually willing to talk to civilians.

Imagine my surprise to discover a guard, with a sort of Lenin-like moustache and goatee, in the 'Revolution' section - who readily admitted to being a royalist.

I somehow sensed he would be, if for no other reason than not many ordinary people visit the Revolutionary part of the museum. He has a grudge against the Revolution because he has to sit and guard it all day, on the off-chance somebody will bring a group of school children around to see it.

Even so, I intend to go back someday, because the museum is full of Paris. Like Paris itself, there is a lot of history in this museum. It shouldn't be second on anybody's list of things in Paris that they have to see.

Coming Events Are Not Here. Again.

What this means is that I haven't had time to find any, what with 'Looking For the Revolution' and being a part-time SportsFan.

Although Paris sort of closes down after Bastille Day, there are still lots of events still going on. Outside of Paris, France is in its usual summer 'Festival' frenzy and if you can't find a dozen of these with your eyes closed, you must be overdosed on sports.

Metropole's World Cup News and Links

This week you will find what most likely will be the final Pre-and-Post-World Cup report, as the lead to the Football Links Page. These links started out at the beginning of the year at the end of the 'Au Bistro' column, in the guise of 'SportsNews,' then graduated to their own page.

Even though I wrote last Monday, "Next Monday, it's going to be gone," this last game is such a hair-raiser for France - ending near midnight last night - I think letting it dribble into this issue is only right.

Soccer Bug Hits The Tocqueville Connection Too

This week's 'The Tocqueville Connection' starts its soccer report with a Washington dateline, then moves quickly to where the real action was last week - in France.

Other items in Friday's issue included a report about Airbus scoring over Boeing, a US firm not buying the Tour Eiffel, and the ongoing strike by some of Disney's 'characters' out at Disneyland Paris - but the main news was soccer fever.

Let ShareLook Help You Look

I like the new search service called 'Sharelook,' so I've decided to move it to Metropole's Links Page. You'll find it there this week, to help you find what you want in Paris, France and elsewhere in Europe.

Getting Plastered In Paris

Paris may be the only world's capital city literally built on plaster so it is only right that there is a Web site devoted to Plaster of Paris. Jump in with both feet.

Getting Multimedia in Europe

France's INA, besides running its own multimedia courses, also puts together an annual guide to European centres of training for this fascinating profession, if that is what it is called. In any case, many of the young prize-winners of the Milia's annual awards, seem to come from a few schools in France. Check out this guide. This site prefers Javascript and the Acrobat Reader is necessary for reading many of the files available.

Exhibitions and Events in Versailles

These are so copious - at least throughout July - that you should check the Web site if you think you will be interested in getting tickets to various spectacles in advance. If in Versailles, pay a visit to the tourist bureau.

Paris' Centre de la Mer

While Lisbon has its World's Fair with a ocean theme, Paris has its own Institut Océanographique, in spite of being some way from the nearest sea.

The 'Centre de la Mer,' as it is also called, currently has a exhibition lasting until 6. September. The event being marked is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Albert 1st of Monaco, who founded the institution; based on 28 scientific cruises undertaken between 1885 and 1914.

Also, if you get too hot in Paris and haven't got time to go to the coast, a visit to this institute will remind you of the sea, with its displays and aquariums.

Centre de la Mer - Institut Océanographique
195. rue Saint-Jacques, Paris 5. Open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 12:30 and from 13:15 to 17:30. Open weekends from 10:00 to 17:30. Info. Tel.: 01 44 32 10 90.

Exhibitions and Events, Which Last Nearly Forever, But Not For Much Longer:

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.

Max Ernst, Galerie Sud, Centre Georges Pompidou
Daily from 10:00 to 22:00; closed Tuesdays. Until Monday, 27. July. Entry: 30 francs. This exhibition will move to the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf where it will be on show from 5. September to 28. November.

Beaubourg Moves to Paris' Modern Art Museum

This is an example of being totally renovated and showing your stuff off at the same time. Some 350 of the Centre Georgesgraphic: theatre bobigny 98 - 99 Pompidou's modern art treasures go on show at Paris' Museum of Modern Art, starting on Thursday, 18. June.

This is a long showing so it will be in three parts, with the third kicking in at the end of this coming October. All of the sub-classifications of modern art will be represented; from the fauves through to the 1981 'Psycho-sites' of Jean Dubuffet.

From Thursday, 18. June until Sunday, 19. September 1999.
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
11. avenue du Président Wilson, Paris 16. Open from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:30; weekends from 10:00 to 18:45. Closed Mondays. Entry: 30 francs; catalogue of 80 pages, 49 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 53 67 40 00.

Exhibition: 'La Gloire d'Alexandrie'

Apparently, this exhibition is supposed to interest children or a certain age. It has a lot of underwater items in it. On show until 26. July at the Petit Palais on the avenue Winston-Churchill; métro Clemenceau, Paris 8. Except Mondays, showtimes are 10:00 to 17:40 and until 20:00 on Thursdays. Entry charge is 45 francs and Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 12 73.

Delacroix, les Dernières Années

Until Monday, 20. July, in the Galeries Nationales of the Grand Palais.

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
Open daily, except Tuesdays, from 10:00. Without reservations, from 13:00 to 20:00. Entry: Square Jean Perrin. Métro: Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau.

Delacroix et Villot

This exhibition accents the copies of Delacroix done by Frédéric Villot.

Musée Eugène Delacroix
Until Friday, 31. July. Open daily, except Mondays, from 9:30 to 17:00. Entry, 30 francs. 6. rue de Furstenberg, Paris 6. Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Près. Info. Tel.: 01 44 41 86 50.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

count down Eiffel TowerIssue 2.28 - 14. July 1997 - This issue featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'Something Unique Found At Last' and 'Au Bistro' had - 'The Usual Summer Un-News: Billions for Versailles.' The articles in the issue were 'The Rue Oberkampf Finds Itself Centre of Paris' High Life' and 'A Day in the Summer of 1927 in Montparnasse.' There were two 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was called 'Rockin' at Bastille.'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 538 short days left to go.

Regards, Ric
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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