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I hadn't anticipated these and they kept coming in all week long. At one time I thought I'd put them all into onephoto: metro 3rd birthday cake big reader's 'e-mail' feature - John McCulloch sent a virtual birthday cake for an illustration too - but while 'dreaming' of the Impressionists, I completely forgot all about it.

John McCulloch's Metropole cake.

Then I forgot that last week was the first issue of Metropole's fourth year too. Even if I'm getting too forgetful to do this job properly, here is the cake from John - as my thanks to him for sending it and to all of you who wrote, and to all who intended to but forgot.

Keep those cards and letters coming folks. I don't throw them away. If I remember to, I eat them.

The Big Freebie

Otherwise known as 'Le Printemps des Musées' - merely means free entry next Sunday to all - most - of the museums in France. Well, not quiteposter: free entry, printemps des musees merely, because each establishment is supposed to show three items relating in some way to spring. There is also an associated contest, and the Musées de France will publish the 26 winners. Oh, and by the way, this is the premier of this event. If you can't make it personally, give the Web site a hit.

Tocqueville This Week

This week's 'The Tocqueville Connection's' Patricia Ochs writes about the detective work done on Dr. Gachet's collection, to determine what was painted by whom. The results of this investigation are hinted at and the paintings given the spyglass job are on display at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. See this week's 'Scene' page for details.

Books In French, German and English - Give Europe a Tryout

Some readers write to me to ask general questions such as 'Do the French really eat frogs?' Or 'Are Germans speed crazy?.' These questions require, of course, at least an essay-length answer; if not a whole book. In fact, writing about 'what the French or thephoto: metro staint jacques Germans do' is a major European industry, and if you are really interested you could be reading it in French or German, which might not be available in book form where you are.

This métro station has no café - thankfully rare in Paris.

Several weeks ago, European media giant, Bertelsmann, launched 'Books-On-Line' - or BOL for short - in France and Germany, followed more recently by Britain. If you have one of these short questions and you really want the long answer, then give BOL's online bookshops a try. I've been told their French Web site will be featuring this year's Salon du Livre too.

Paris' 'LiveCam' Shows Typical Weather

Some Metropole readers are giving this site a hit because it gives current views of the sky over Paris. This comes from TF1-TV's 'LiveCam.' If you want to see what typical winter weather looks like, now you will see it - for what it's worth to see leaden, gray skies one minute or bright, blinding sunlight the next.

The weather right now, at 11:20 CET in Paris, is crummy.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 3.10 - 9. March 1998 - This count down Eiffel Tower issue featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'Frankfurt Sends Its 'Bong' By Radio' and 'Au Bistro' had - 'Fake Cow Annoys Farmers.' The issue had two features; entitled 'Here Comes, There Goes, the Salon de l'Agriculture' and 'Rain and Shopping and More Rain on Rivoli.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'Take Your Picture?'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 299 days of crummy gloom left to go. Also note: now less than 300 shopping days left in this millennium.

Regards, Ric
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