...Continued from page 1

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." Rose obviously knows where the hills are and how to avoid them.

Finally, but by no means last, Editions Ellébore Paris has books and videos in French, and you can check out the titles in their catalogue. Many of the titles are for books about better living and improving your lifestyle. You may think living in France automatically takes care of this, but you can never know enough.

In Tocqueville This Week:

One of The Tocqueville Connection's main stories is about France's official reaction to the American effort to get some attention in the Middle East last week.

France's flinty Foreign Minister said he thought Saddam Hussein should pay attention to the message, while suggesting the US should try to think of more diplomatic ways of delivering it. Other French politicians did not see it this way; and thought there were plenty of other available diplomatic ways of making friendlier relations with Iraq.

More interesting, as usual, is Tocqueville's article by Patricia Ochs, about Paris at its Christmas frenzy - not a frenzy at all, she writes. "When you're out of breath, stop off at the Hotel Crillon's piano bar in the Place de la Concorde for a drink, but prepare to pay about 200 francs for a glass of Champagne. Ah, yes, the cost..." Heck, in Paris if you are worried about cost, you can get a plastic cup of near-champagne at 'Quick.' No tinkly piano though.

In another piece, Christine Creech gives some thought to prowling French online shopping centres, and adds a few warnings as well. She says when you may think you are clicking on some image to get more information, but you might be putting a 790 franc scarf in your shopping basket instead. Advice: click slower.

Now That You've Been Warned

French products from the provinces, made by hand, grown by hand, fashioned by hand, are brought togetherphoto: winter trees in a Web-link site that may be called France des Terroirs, which sort of means 'from out there.'

This site also warns users that they provide only links, and are not responsible for the sites they link to. They are responsible, however, for their own profusion of 'You don't have Java' warnings - which can be over-ridden on a well-built site, or are completely invisible. After you get by the hazards-built-by-geeks, there are a lot of links to a lot of stuff not found in Paris.

Eat On Line

This site promises to deliver sandwiches and a whole pile of other food ready to eat, to your door. Since it doesn't come through your modem, you don't actually 'eat on line.' With the options available, the idea is to pick a cooperating restaurant in your neighborhood - to your taste if possible - if you want to eat today. I don't mind enterprise, but the idea of eating is supposed to get you away from your modem. I don't even know why we have modems in France.

The Christmas Card?

I am not making this up. At the very moment I wrote the word 'France' above, I remembered that I told myself three days ago to do a Christmas Card for everybody; to put on the cartoon page. The part I am not making up, is I just remembered I forgot to do it. Geez. It is a small consolation, but I will immediately start to think about a New Year's Card, for 1. January 2000, right now.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 2.51 - 22. December 1997 - Thiscount down Eiffel Tower issue featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'Don't Ask Me to Look Out the Window' and 'Au Bistro' had - 'Two Trials and a Nice Guy in Marseille.' The issue had two features: 'Downtown Strolling Without Snow' and ' A Modest New Years' Proposal - 311 Year-Old Café.' Last year's holiday season continued with 'Noël Program III - Even More Opera, Ballet, Theatre, Concerts and Events.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was subtitled, 'Greetings from Paris,' which must have been Metropole's 'remembered' Chirstmas Card.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 376 sweet little days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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