...Continued from page 1

'The Best Biking Guide to Paris' is a brand-new book 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 route 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:

The editor of The Tocqueville Connection sends me an email each week with the highlights of their current issue. Since Tocqueville's main theme is Franco-American understanding - how unlikely! - I give it a plug here, in case any of you are worried or concerned about this.

I am neither because I think France has some relations with about, as CNN might say, 498 countries and territories, scattered islands and asteroids, worldwide - and this is who Metropole is for. Tries to be for, that is. Just France and the United States alone, makes an unbalanced world.

This week, because my Web surfboard is in the shop, I can't go and look at Tocqueville myself, and find its hidden jewels under the headings of 'French Style' or 'Op-Ed.' I give you instead Tocqueville's original blurb:

"Romancing the Seine: For Americans in Paris, it's all baguettes and boutiques but France wants to be much more than that... Differing responses to globalization... Chirac eyes early campaign... Decision time in Champagne... Euro challenge to the dollar... Millennium dazzles at the Louvre..."

As a blurb, it is not bad at all.

I would like to know what France wants to be more than... baguettes and boutiques... to Americans. 'Boutique' is a world-word, like 'disco' and if the whole world knows what one is, then France isn't doing too badly. American kids took disco, spunphoto: fauchon it backwards, and inflicted Rap on us - which in turn has spawned 'DJ' fever, making music lovers and musicians unhappy - but this unhappiness has no nationality.

Fauchon - where 'Les Riches' stand in line to shop, instead of pushing caddies around.

'Differing responses...' is like saying France has baguettes and the United States has Wonder Bread. They differ, but it's nothing to worry about. Diplo relations can continue.

France's President, Jacques Chirac, 'eyes early election' and 'decisions in Champagne,' are mysteries to me. The 'Euro' is a mystery to everybody; except the world's treasuries and banking community, which believe it will be reality on Monday, 4. January. Watch out, dollar!

'Millennium dazzles at the Louvre...' is almost intriguing enough for me to dialup, tune-in, but heck! It's holiday time, right? As of today, the Louvre still has 288 years to go before it hits its first Millennium. By then, I bet the lines to get in will be really long.

Web Surfboard Gets Annual Checkup

Web surfing is getting its annual overhaul here and I don't expect to get it back from the shop until early next week; which will be next year. No new URLs means you are stuck right here, so you might as well read the whole thing and look at all the photos. Even the old ones.

Metropole's New Year's Card?

I am not making this up. At the very moment I wrote the word 'France' for the 35,896th time last week, I remembered that I told myself ten days ago to do a Christmas Card for everybody and to put on the cartoon page. The part I am not making up, is I remembered a week ago 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. Again.

Bonne Année! Happy New Year!


Over the past week a number of readers have mentioned their inability to reach Metropole's server in France. Do not adjust your set; stay on the same station. Not just France, but all Europe shuts down for the holidays. It used to be just Britain, but now we all do it.

This means that somebody has left a crucial Internet junction server to fend for itself, and it too has apparently gone on holidays. From where I am, about 30 kilometres away, I can access Metropole's server and all its Web sites. It is alive and spinning merrily around, but is probably wondering where you have gone.

Regards, Ric

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 2.52 - 29. December 1997 - Thiscount down Eiffel Tower issue featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'Parisians Love Paris' and 'Au Bistro' had - 'Maurice Papon: 'I Know Nothing'.' The issue had two features: '1997 - One Finger Taps for Metropole' and 'La Langue Bien Pendue' by M-R Erickson. Last year's holiday season continued with 'Noël Program IV - Even More Opera, Ballet, Theatre, Concerts and Events.' The 'Emails' feature was called 'Emails: Liquid Research at Le Procope.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week posed the question, 'Which way to Dakar?' - as if even Parisians don't know.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 369 sweet little days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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