Pink Vote Takes Cake in Germany

photo: cafes at sorbonne
These cafés near the Sorbonne are full - with students?

Paris Votes for Auto Show

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 28. September 1998:- If things are like they used to be - but what is in today's Germany? - there should be a lot of happy hangovers after last night's election victory parties for the Social Democrats and for their possible 'Green' or 'Red' partners.

Although it was the first time since the war that a sitting Chancellor had been voted out, Helmut Kohl has had his good four terms - 16 long, conservative years; more than any other.

With last night's victory, leftist governments now control all but two western European nations. The two exceptions are Ireland and Spain; both countries with strong Social Democratic movements. Only three years ago, there was a conservative balance of power in Europe.

Herr Kohl seems to have seriously misjudged the voters. Although acknowledged as the 'father of reunification,' notphoto: no cars, quai conti all the 'new' Germans have benefitted from union with one of the world's economic powerhouses. Unemployment in the eastern part of the country remains high.

On the quai de Conti; no cars on account of red traffic lights.

Germans embrace stability over change and Chancellor Kohl was seen as a synonym for the status quo - even though leading the country through its greatest changes since the war.

Perhaps it was this contradiction that induced voters to turn to the SPD's first successful candidate in 16 years, Gerhard Schröder.

Herr Schröder has been playing the role of Germany's Mr. Dynamic. As the son of a cleaning lady, he has climbed over all normal obstacles to the top, picking up a liking for big cigars on the way. For political ideology, he is supposed to be closer to Britain's Tony Blair than France's Lionel Jospin.

Regardless of the final form of his coalition government - Rose-Green or Rose-Red or Rose-Red-Green - Gerhard Schröder will be an united Germany's Chancellor in the new capitol in Berlin, in the new Europe, in time for the new millennium just about to begin.

World Automobile Expo - Mondial de l'Automobile

The 100th anniversary of cars, or of this exhibition, starts next Thursday, 1. October at Paris-Expo. As you will see in this week's 'Au Bistro' column, this carphoto: 22 sept- empty rivoli show started yesterday, with a big parade on the Champs-Elysées, in the pouring rain.

The rue de Rivoli on Tuesday, 22. September. Unrestricted access.

Paris gets this prestige show every other year. When I looked up the press contact telephone number from my 1996 file, the numbers I found were assigned to somebody else. All the same, you can expect a report about this salon in next week's Metropole.

Yesterday I checked the URL of the organizer's Web site and found that it is still 'under construction.' This may be changed by now. An unofficial and commercial site was in operation, if you want to try it.

100th Mondial de l'Automobile
Paris-Expo at the Porte de Versailles
From Thursday, 1. October to Sunday, 11. October.
Open daily from 10:00 to 22:00 for halls 1, 2/2, 3, 5, 6 and 8. Hours are 10:00 to 20:00 for halls 2/1, 4 and 7/1. Trucks and their accessories - with the same dates and hours - are found in halls 7/2 and 7/3.
In addition to hostesses available for translations, there are parks for kids in three levels, from babies up to 12 years, and these are open until 19:00 daily.
Access: by métro: station porte de Versailles on line 12 and station place Balard on line 8. Buses serving Paris-Expo are the 39, 49, 80 and PC. The usual Paris-Expo parking is available, but I wouldn't count on it.

De-Toxed Intox and Feelthy French Pictures

Last Friday's Libération Multimedia section had a big feature about French Web sites, under the heading of 'Les Petits Canards du Web.' Some of these I've heard of and even looked at occasionally. As Lazuly says, "It is indifference that kills," so here they are. Try them out.

The word for 'disinformation' in France is 'Intox' and Lazuly blazes away at this, in his 'Chroniques du Menteur,' which he calls a 'daily, issued by chance.' He has a free email version of this and it comes here nearly every day, regardless of chance.

Most of these sites have been around for a while so they have more contents than I can wrap up here. I may be wrong, but only the 'Guillermito Zone' has any English text; if you want its more extensive VO - French - version just cut "indexang.html" out of your browser's URL line and hit 'return.'

'French' cartoons are not considered 'feelthy pictures' here and a lot of original and topical ones are featured on Erwan Cario's 'L'Ornitho,' which also has a lot of commentary. If you think 'French Feelth' may be too much for your sensibilities, give this one a miss.

Virgile Jouanneau's subhead for 'Les Ours' is, loosely translated as a 'Webzine to Bug the FN.' One of the most well-known sites is Arno's 'Le Scarabée.' It runs off a Swiss server as well as one in France. One or the other guarantees continued operation, in case of exile, if necessary.

While Lazuly's site is a bit asture for graphics, all of the others have plenty of stuff worth a look. They have few annoying techno-tricks and they all load fairly quickly. Finally, all of them have 'links' - to get you in as deep as you want to go.

Opinion from The Tocqueville Connection:

This week I skipped the news section of 'The Tocqueville Connection' to have a look at its Op-Ed page. Remember that this online weekly looks at events in the United States through French eyes, an activity which has being going on since the time of Alexis de Tocqueville. In the light of recent events, it is natural to compare the political systems of the two countries, and this is done by Bertrand du Marais.

Look It Up

I am not trying to get out of looking up phone numbers for people, but frankly, my phone books are out of date. I only get them by accident anyhow, because I don't live in Paris. And if I get them in the city, they are too heavy to carry home.

Some people put the phone directory for France online too. A fairly new service is called 'Annu.' I tried a couple of names on it and got the correct numbers.

Zoom It Up: Paris in 350,000 Photos

Three students began photographing Paris with the first digital cameras available in 1994. These photos, one every 20 metres, one of everything - can be seen at France Telecom's telephone directory Web site, called ' PagesZoom.

From Luxembourg to Web: Média Senat

If you can't be in Paris to visit the French Senate's exhibition called 'Média Senat' you can at least pay abrochure: escapade a velo visit to the Senat's Web site and perhaps leave your calling card. If you have little interest in history or politics, the hostesses are supposed to be worth a look, but these are not on the Web site.

Exhibition Média Senat
Musée du Luxembourg, 19. rue de Vaugiraud, Paris 6. Until Sunday, 18. October. Closed Mondays. No entry charge. Info. Tel.: 01 42 34 21 21.

Coming Soon: 'Lire en Fête'

This is sort of a French language 'Lit-Online' party, set to appear on your browser starting Friday, 16. October and lasting until Sunday, 18. October. The Ministry of Culture and the online 'Lit-Zine,' Pagina are organizing this affair, which - besides literature and poetry - links all the French and Francophone Web sites taking part in 'Lire en Fête.' Long-time readers will probably remember that Pagina has been featured on Metropole's Links page since the year dot. The Fête is just another good reason to give it a hit.

Some [Coming] Events:

The History of Skates

Despite what I read about this exhibition, roller skating is not a Californian invention of the '50's. However, Californians certainly like their wheels and may have contributed to the present popularity of roller skating in all its forms. See about 400 objects relating to skates - skateboards, clothing, photos, films - everything you want to know about the life of wheels on your feet.

Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires
6. avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Paris 16. Métro: Sablons in Neuilly. Exhibition 'Skater la Ville' continues until Monday, 5. October. Info. Tel.: 01 44 17 60 00.

Rollers at Trocadéro

The 3rd edition of 'Tatoo Roller Skating de Paris' rolls around at the parvis at Trocadéro on Saturday, 10. October and Sunday, 11. October. In addition to demonstrations of acrobatics by experts, there will be a competition named 'La Course des As,' which will feature the world's top rollers - and there will be a 12 km long cruise through the Bois de Boulogne on Sunday.

To participate, signup time is 10:00 on Saturday, 10. October, at Trocadéro. Info. Tel.: 01 40 71 83 66.

Ongoing Events, New Here:

Under Paris, Underwater

If you intend to visit Paris' Catacombs, you will get a bonus of a exhibition of 60 black and white photos by Jean-Yves Le Roy, who has shot just about everything wet, flowing and flooding around Paris. You pass this exhibition on the way down to the Catacombs, which are at 1. place Denfert-Rochereau, Paris 14. This is right across the street from the métro exit of the same name, and a photo of the entrance was in last week's Metropole. The photo exhibition lasts until next March. Info. Tel.: 01 43 22 47 63.

The History of Medicine

This museum has one of the oldest collections in Europe and is on show in one of the great halls of the Collège de Chirurgie. Much of the collection was assembled by Lafaye in the 18th century, and it includes items dating to the end of the 19th century. Rare tool kits of old surgeons are on display; sensitive visitors should leave their imaginations outside.

Le Musée d'Historie de la Médecine
In the courtyard of the Université René-Descartes, at 12. rue de l'Ecole-de-Médecine, Paris 6. Métro: Odéon. Info. Tel.: 01 40 46 16 93.

Two Big Painters

They never met, except in this exhibition in the Musée d'Orsay, but Jean-François Millet, who lived from 1814 to 1875, had a big influence on Vincent Van Gogh, born in 1853, dead in 1890.

Lightning hit Van Gogh at an exhibition of Millet's designs and pastels in 1875, just a few months after the death ofbrochure: galerie touber the latter. At the time, Van Gogh was hustling paintings for an art dealer - he didn't begin painting until 1880.

Until 31. October - Jacques Bosser's 'Continents' are featured at the Florence Touber Galerie, 117. rue Vielle-du- Temple, Paris 3

This exhibition places similar paintings by the two artists side-by-side for the viewer to draw obvious conclusions - of the inspirations Van Gogh drew from Millet; to finally gain his own identity - showing also how artists learn from each other. The comparisons do not lessen Van Gogh's stature; they undoubtedly increase that of the less well-known Millet.

This is one of the fall season's big shows, so all the business of making advance reservations applies. Entry charge: 40 francs, reduced: 30 francs. Catalogue: 190 francs.

Musée d'Orsay
1. rue de la Légion-d'Honneur, Paris 7. Open daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 18:00; on Sundays from 9:00 to 18:00 and on Thursdays until 21:45. Info/ Tel.: 01 40 49 48 73.

Charles Trenet Sings Again

From the book by Jacques Pessis, Jérôme Savary presents the Paris world of the '50's, as sung by Charles Trenet. It was a time of no unemployment and the discovery of paid holidays; the show is a remembrance of a time when things only seemed to be getting better.

In the entrance to the theatre, there is a Charles Trenet exhibition and on Fridays, there is a supper show after the performance. This show continues until Sunday, 3. January 1999.

Théâtre National de Chaillot
1. place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Métro: Trocadéro. Info. Tel.: 01 53 65 30 00.

Opéra Briefs:

Ballet: 'Coppélia' by Léo Delibes, until 25. October, at the Opéra Garnier.
Opera: 'Madame Butterfly' by Giacomo Puccini, until 7. October, at the Opéra Bastille.
Opera: 'La Cenerentola' by Gioacchino Rossini, until 8. October, presumably at the Opéra Bastille. Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 68. (This may be a toll number.)

Still Playing:

Constant Permeke Retrospective

Belgian landscape painter Constant Permeke is being treated to a retrospective in the Hôtel de Ville's Salle Saint-Jean. The entry to this gallery may be somewhat unknown to visitors because it is at 3. rue Lobau; which is opposite to the front of Paris' City Hall - just off the rue de Rivoli.

Permeke started as a landscape painter, but also turned to nude studies and sculpture during a long working life that began before WWI and continued until after WWII. In 1951, he travelled to Brittany, in order to gain inspiration for his final landscapes.

The exhibition continues until Sunday, 1. November. It is open daily from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 11:00 to 19:00. There is no entry charge. Info. Tel.: 01 42 76 51 53.

Musée Jacquemart-André

This is the private mansion collection containing Tiepolo frescos - in the process of being restored. These are on display until some time in October.

Musée Jacquemart-André
158. boulevard Haussmann, Paris 8. Open daily from 10:00 to 18:00, and the museum's café is open daily from 11:30 to 17:30. Info. Tel.: 01 42 89 04 91. Nearest métro station: Saint-Philippe-du-Roule.

Théâtres des Sens

This has already been open for many months now, but is probably still worth a visit, especially if it is raining as it seems to be doing all the time since Saturday.

If you think the French are pretty good at making fancy stuff for high prices, and you are either a dreamer or rich or have managed to clean up in the market lately, then this is probably a real treat of an exhibition.

Les Quatre Théâtres des Sens
Palais de la Découverte, avenue Franklin-Roosevelt, Paris 8. Métro: Franklin-Roosevelt. Open from Tuesday to Saturdays, from 9:30 to 18:00; on Sundays from 10:00 to 19:00. This show runs until 3. January 1999. Info. Tel.: 01 40 74 89 00.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:count down Eiffel Tower

Issue 2.39 - 29. September 1997 - This issue featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'Paris' Loooong August' and 'Au Bistro' had - 'President Chirac's Roadshow.' The articles in the issue were 'Wandering Towards Beaubourg' and 'Les Halles Is a Hole In Paris' Centre.' There were two 'Posters of the Week.' Ric's Cartoon of the Week was called ''Indian' Summer for Waiters,' which may have been about the weather.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 460 short days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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