Uh-Oh, Winter Is Back!

photo: cafe kleber
Not meant to be misleading: last Wednesday's
sun at Trocadéro.

Do Not Be Deceived by this Week's Photos

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 11. January 1999:- Last week's stupendously bright Wednesday, featured in this issue as 'Sun On the Terraces,' was a chance day here. The temperatures were mild all week, but this is over now with a high of two forecast for Paris today.

This morning's radio-news is full of tales of gales of blizzards of snow, approaching Paris from the Mediterranean. Roads are blocked by snow and stranded cars, power is out in several places and driving is treacherous.

Some ski stations, which featured snow-boarding on grass last week, are snowed under today and may be closedphoto: petite rotonde because they are inaccessible. Snowfall in the Pyrenees was particularly heavy over the weekend.

Last week stupendously bright - this week, who knows?

Wintry air is moving up the Rhone valley from the south and edging east towards the Alps. Warm air from the Atlantic is keeping this winter system from moving too far west, but if it weakens, the Paris area could become white.

So, if you look at some of the photos in this issue and decide to bring some of your favorite Miami shirts to Paris, put them back and pack the hat, gloves and scarf instead.

I think our little 'spring in January' is over. There is quite often one in February, so try to aim for it.

Tocqueville's Headlines:

Regular readers know this, but if you are new to Metropole, I put in a weekly plug here for another Web site, The Tocqueville Connection. I do this because Tocqueville treats socio-politico-culturo subjects with a Franco-Americo slant, and I do not and I am none of the above.

While I have been mentioning the 'Euro's' introduction lately, and probably have something about it in this issue, Tocqueville has a different slant on it. They also have most of the following URLs leading to French and European Web sites, which should allow me to leave them out. I suspect you are not overly excited about this subject.

The Big But: some unknown aspect of Web site popularity is judged by certain faceless robots thatphoto: window motsche hats count a sites' 'links.' Since I am an Internet hustler like so many others, I have to play this little game too.

These then, are the principal 'Euro' Web sites: starting with President Jacques Chirac, from the Elysée Palace; the good word from the Economic Ministry, which has an English version; the Banque de France which has images of the new currency; and finally, the European Union itself.

The President's site and the European Union site both have currency converters. The example I looked at does not do conversions from Euros to dollars; in fact it crashed when I clicked on it.

High-Tech Monthly from Brittany:

The Breton magazine 'Réseau' which reports on R & D in western France is celebrating its 150th issue. You can see this by visiting Réseau online; where you will find that it is trilingual in French, English and Breton.

Almost Comic Near-Omission:

I find info and run across posters for the Opéra Comique so rarely that you might think it doesn't exist, but it does. Then - whammo! - I got a tip for its new Web site at the same time as a query concerning it came in by email from Japan. 'Saved by the bell!'

As it happens, the Opéra Comique is celebrating its 100th birthday, and you can see all about this on this site - which also has its history and practical information such as seating plans, ticket prices and nearby parking lot locations.

The 'Almost Comic Omission' is on account of having 'closed' this section and immediately discovered I'd left the Opéra Comique out. What drama! Play some appropriate music now.

Paris' 'LiveCam' Scores Hits

After not surfing for a period over the holidays, last week's single new URL has been much appreciatedphoto: courreges by readers who have been writing to tell me about Paris' current weather and comparing it to the weather where they are.

Oh, shopping! Can you ever get enough of it?

I appreciate this even if I am fairly up to date about the weather here - I look out a window. But as is the custom, many correspondents do not say where they are writing from. If you intend to write about your local weather, just remember that I can't do anything about it; there, here or anywhere.

Due to popular request, here is a repeat of last week's lone URL. Hitting this site will give you some views of Paris right now from TF1-TV's 'LiveCam' unless it happens to be nighttime here, which it usually is between about 15:30 and 07:30 GMT. If you are in our modest 'continental' CET zone, nighttime is between about 16:30 and 08:30.

count down Eiffel TowerThis Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 3.02 - 12. January 1998 - This issue featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'The History That Wasn't' and 'Au Bistro' had - 'If the Unemployed Can't Have Work.' The issue had two features: 'Captain Dreyfus and Mr. Zola' and 'The Woman In a Red Business Suit' by M-R Erickson. There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week declared, 'The Unemployed - On Strike!' - which they did later in the year.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 355 sunny days, grey days and perhaps snowy days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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