'E-Biz' Comes to Metropole

photo: le rocher st lazare
A downtown Saint-Lazare café, on a dim day.

Real Plugs For Real People

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 14. December 1998:- Last week was a hectic one for me and for this reason I am skipping my usual so-called philosophical scribblings today.

Super Giant Jumbo Free Plug(s)

As regular readers know well, Metropole Paris has nothing to sell but dreams, and these are free. Many of the photos and images in the magazine contain commercial information, but are reproduced as representations of what anybody sees in Paris during any given week. These posters and brochures are illustrations - not paid advertising.

Metropole itself has nothing but Paris to sell; correction: give away. However, this has not yet been packaged in a form suitable for delivery. Next year this may change. The first 'Metropole' product I am thinking of is a 'Euro' key-chain with a built-in Euro-exchange calculator - an absolute must for every un-mathematical visitor!

Since it is the season and you may be looking around for ideas too, this week's Super Giant Jumbo shameless plug is for the writers and publishers who have placed their wares on Linda Thalman's WFI server, for online sales.

For one reason or another, I routinely offer 'shameless plugs' to all sorts of commercial efforts - after all, if nothing were 'for sale' it would be nighttime on earth - so I am more than happy to now boost some good people I've actually met.

The people below are real and live in or near Paris, have done their research here - so whatphoto: brasserie ballard they're offering are 'Paris' products - some of which are possibly only available via online purchase. Despite what all the gloom merchants may say, ordering goods online is no more risky than having hot pizza delivered to your door.

The Barasserie Ballard; right on the rue Saint-Lazare.

Since I am fond of author Thirza Vallois, the first plug is for her excellent 'Around & About Paris' series of in-depth books about Paris.

While I don't know the artist Alain Kleinmann, he also offers several of his books and 'An Artist' is his latest, I think.

Last summer I blew a chance to meet Rachel Kaplan at a garden party, because nobody thought to introduce us. Her Web site is called 'French Links' and on it you can find her 'Little-Known Museums In and Around Paris' and 'A La Découverte des Plus Belles Routes Ile-de-France.' She also has written books about little-known museums in London and Berlin.

Suzanne Forster's 'Insider's Guide to Paris Hotels Under $100 a Night' might be very handy, especially if I ever get around to offering the 'Metropole Paris Euro-Converter' and keychain. In the meantime, her prediction that this 'spellbindingly rich cultural center needn't clean out your savings account' may be true.

'Jeanne Feldman's Best Buys in Paris' is subtitled 'A Shopping Guide to Discounts and Bargains in the City of Light.' What is hinted at sometimes in Metropole, is set out in full in this guide about how to shop and get away with it with some money to spare for necessities, such as food and drinks.

The 'Leeds Good Value Guide to Paris Restaurants' by Adrian Leeds - is not only about 'good value,' but also about finding it in tidy surroundings. Once, while having lunch with Adrian, she was so busy making notes about the tablecloths and curtains, that her meal got cold. Mine was fine through.

'The Best Biking Guide to Paris' is a brand-new guide by Rose Burke. Rose has been writing about Paris since she arrived here with her husband in 1994 and began to look for a parking place. Last year when I met her she said they'd given it up and gotten bikes instead; so this book is not based on theory.

Rose has also included nine 'best bike rides around Paris,' descriptions of routes in Paris and around the Ile-de-France with kilometre-by-kilometre directions to two-wheel dream spots such as Versailles, Auvers-sur-Oise and Giverny. Quote Rose: "Paris is kinder to cyclists than most: geographically, meteorologically and psychologically."

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