Paris Launches Prohibition

photo: cafe lachaise

In case prohibition is enforced in the cemetery, try this place.

Merchants Doubt Enforcement

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 25. January 1999:- I wasn't aware that drinking on the streets of Paris was prohibited in certain areas of the 17th and 18th arrondissements until I recently read that the city's Prefecture has dropped a new ban on the city centre Les Halles, Beaubourg and the Montorgueil districts.

Within this area, the evening sales of take-out drink has already been prohibited for the past 16 years, which may come as a surprise to recent visitors. This new ban prohibits collective drinking 24 hours a day on the public streets within the area.

This new order does not apply to sitting on the many café terraces in the area and having a couple of jars. The ban is directed at some 'marginaux' - not to be confused with ourphoto: flowers at lachaise and cat beloved 'clochards,' who have identical behavior - who are exasperating local merchants and residents.

This week's visit to the Père-Lachaise cemetery produced more photos than can go with the feature; here's a bonus one.

Oddly, it is only group drinking which is targeted. So if Charlie stands on one side of a street having a drink out of a litre-sized 'vin-en-plastique' with Willy who is on the other side of the four-metre-wide street, I'm not sure they would constitute a 'group.'

Fines for al fresco cocktail parties will run from 75 to 200 francs. Some merchants think the free-as-birds drinkers will seek seats in cafés to continue their idle ways, while café owners say this sort of client is not particularly appreciated. But all seem to be worried that even with the legal means, there will not be sufficient will to enforce it.

Apparently, it has been effective in the areas where it was adopted in 1997. Meanwhile, outside these limited zones, if you feel like having a slash from a mickey in a park, be my guest. Don't forget to bring the baguette and the cheese.

Tocqueville This Week

'The Tocqueville Connection' has its usual excellent coverage of endangered-species affairs, seen as always with its Franco-American outlook. This week's focus is on the Bruant Ortolan, a rare and tasty bird about the size of a small tangerine.

The hunting of Ortolans was banned 20 years ago, but so far, in France, this 'ban' has not been enforced with 'repression.' Since the birds are small, a snack for one person is about 20 of them.

Tradition calls for capturing the poor thing and then fattening it for three days before drowning it in cognac. The bird is then cooked and brought hot to the table, where diners put their napkins over their heads to capture the aroma. The birds are eaten whole; beaks, feet and all.

Hunting in France has a long history and a fair amount of tradition. The people opposed to it have neither and a lot of CRS riot police were needed over the weekend to keepgraphic: paris map, pere lachaise angry hunters from throwing a gang of older-looking 'greenies' into a very wet canal full of dark water.

Popular request for location map, shows the Père-Lachaise cemetery to be 1505 metres from Bastille; but not very clearly.

The battle, near a canal bridge, was fierce between the hunters and the police with many rounds of tear-gas fired. The hunters seemed to be unaware of this, as TV-news showed them calmly strolling around by the smoking bombs. The police managed to 'save' the 'greenies.' These, by the way, are growing in number and are not considered an endangered species.

There have been quite a number of incidents lately and they have been growing in number over the years as native conservationists try to save native wildlife from native hunters. From what I have seen reported, the hunter's attitude is 'take all you can get' and 'by any means' which seems to be somewhat shortsighted in crowded Europe.

French Lit. Actual

A selection from the latest editions can be found on this Web site which is divided into categories such as literature, history, essays and documents. Besides extracts from the works themselves, there are reviews of them and interviews with their authors. History is big in France so the current trends are analyzed along with the magazines - there are several popular ones - that treat the subject. History is almost as popular as astrology.

Never Too Early for Valentine

As a confirmed crochet I feel silly writing this but realize that many readers may not share my views of the expansion plans of the greeting card industry. Therefore, since email Valentines destroy no trees, I logically feel I have to support this annual silliness. Here then, is the URL for sending someone a "Jevousaime." As my source says, "Non romantiques s'abstenir!"

Crypto from Ireland

A 16 year-old student, Sarah Flannery, has been chosen by the Cork-based Esat Telecom competition to be awarded 'Young Scientist of the Year' for dreaming up a new algorithm for cryptographyphoto: avenue hoche that is simpler and faster than the 20 year-old 'RSA.' She also collects 1,000 punt and a chance to represent Ireland at the European Union Science Contest in Greece later this year.

Avenue Hoche scene shows no outdoor cocktail parties in progress.

The French source for this story says Ms. Flannery doesn't intend to patent her code, which will amount to more free crypto for the authorities to worry about. See more information at a site I did not check.

Paris' 'LiveCam' Shows Winter Dreariness

Hitting this site will give you some views of an overcast Paris right now from TF1-TV's 'LiveCam' if you want to see what typical winter looks like - unless it happens to be nighttime here, which it usually is between about 15:45 and 07:45 GMT. If you are in our modest combo 'Euro'-and-'continental' CET zone, nighttime is between about 16:45 and 08:45.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

count down Eiffel TowerIssue 3.04 - 26. January 1998 - This issue featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'Out of Paris, In the Ile-de-France' and 'Au Bistro' had - 'Papon Trial Goes Into Reverse.' The issue had one feature, entitled 'Getting Ready for New Year in Chinatown.' There was an 'Email from Gordon Greb: 'It's for Old Lovers Too!' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'Phone In Your Order' which I shouldn't have run last year.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 341 gray and drizzly days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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