This Time Nothing Means Zero

photo: bar de jarente

In an issue supposed to be devoted to tea shops, this
bar slipped in out of sheer habit.

No New URLs; No Sportsnews Is In
the Other Column

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 15. March 1999:- The income tax papers are waiting to be filled in and delivered to the tax office by midnight tonight and the census lady has just beenphoto: madeleine patisserie at the door to give me another set of papers to fill in. Outside the sun is shining very brightly and I do not have one worthwhile thought in my head.

If you think I am going to rack my tiny brain to try and fill up this column with 'significant' thoughts this week, think again. My brain is not wool- gathering, because it is full only of fluff.

To be frank, after skimming the past week's Le Parisien headlines, I think maybe 'fluff' would be better to serve than Paris' regular daily fare as seen by Le Parisien. On the other hand, perhaps nothing more here would be even better than 'fluff.'

Try it.... See? Nothing is okay too.

Reminder: UNESCO Web Prize

Artists, designers and programmers are invited to sign up - until 31. May - to enter their Web sites, especially if they involve themes of UNESCO interest. There are two categories for entries; 'anything goes' and anything that could qualify a site for an '.Org' registration. There's two prizes of US$5,000 each at stake.

Tocqueville This Week

If I was going to read this week's 'The Tocqueville Connection's' I would skip the news about the BNP's huge takeover bid for Paribas and Société Générale and the verdicts of the odd trial concerning the government ministers and the AIDS affair, and all the other odds and ends and turn instead straight to the story about the chocolate camembert. Yes, this is what I'd read.

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

I took my own advice over the weekend - to give the new online bookseller BOL a tryout. The sad news of the death of fiddler Yehudi Menuhin reminded me I have a book written by his nephew, Lionel Rolfe; which is partlyphoto: rivoli arcades about having a famous uncle but mostly about being a leftist west-coast journalist in the days when it was a fun-type occupation.

The connection this may have with Metropole is slight - the Menuhin family lived for a time in nearby Ville d'Avrey, along with a lot of other famous artists and writers for neighbors, and I've long thought of popping over there to look around and see if there is anything left to see.

So, without much deep thought about it I fired off a 'bullet' to BOL, asking them to put Lionel Rolfe's 'Fat Man On the Left' into their catalogue - so I could link Metropole to it, which would give you the opportunity to buy it on crazy impulse.

Of course, I sent this 'bullet' on Saturday; a day when many Europeans do things other than work and I have received no reply other than one from a sleepless software robot. Meanwhile, Lionel Rolfe was not asleep and he replied to say that we 'might do something' together, even though he has never seen Ville d'Avrey in his life.

As I write this it is fairly early on Monday and I would expectphoto: lina's sandwiches that BOL has had its morning café and sifted through its 'in' box; but for some reason I don't expect any action until after this is written and thrown online. If BOL comes up with anything, I'll let you know next week. Below is what I wrote about BOL last week:

Several weeks ago, European media giant, Bertelsmann, launched 'Books-On-Line' - or BOL for short - in France and Germany, followed more recently by Britain. BOL's French Web site will be featuring this year's Salon du Livre.

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 early spring weather looks like, now you will see it - for what it's worth to see Paris bathed in bright, blinding sunlight. Eat your heart out.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 3.11 - 16. March 1998 - This count down Eiffel Tower issue featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'Three Candles for Something' and 'Au Bistro' had - 'Elections: Right Unable to Regain Lead.' The issue had two features; entitled 'Conversation at the Café de Cluny' and 'At 50, Tati Shopping Becomes Class Act.' 'A l'Affiche' was to be a new feature with three, extra 'Events' posters, but nobody seemed to notice. There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'A 23 Cafés Day.'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 292 days of pink cherry blossoms and the usual yellow, weedy- looking ones. What are they called?

Regards, Ric
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