Standing Invitation

photo: cafe club metro?

At the Café Metropole Club, the weather is nearly
always perefect.

Is This How the 'Café Metropole Club' Begins?

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 10. May 1999:- An idea has been rattling around in my head for a few weeks, and this is what is behind it. Lately readers who are coming to Paris have been arranging to meet me in person. Weekly on the Web, virtual, is not enough for these people who like Paris well enough to find Metropole in the Web jungle.

To be quite honest, I like to meet Metropole readers who have taken the trouble to write. While email is wonderful stuff, conversations with it are disjointed and lack all of the hand signs, the body signals and the rolled eyes that make real conversations human.

Yesterday I met Frank Watson from Uppsala, just north of Stockholm, for a chat about photography. Frank teaches it where he lives and he's conducting a group of students aroundphoto: frank watson Paris this week, through the museums and other places where there are photos.

He noticed, and you may have too, that there are usually a number of photos in Metropole every week and you might have, like Frank did, guess that I may have a passing interest in them.

Frank Watson frames the likely shape of the club's 'bunnies.'

We did talk a bit about photos and the teaching of photography, and we talked about this business and about Sweden and Paris - for about four hours; which has been tacked on to this issue's production time somewhere.

Actually, I think Frank mentioned the writing you see here more than the photos. The photos are meant to illustrate the articles in the magazine and are not necessarily the photos I would shoot to stick on my own walls.

We agreed that it was possible to 'get' 10 good photos a year, as a result of steady shooting. Some few of these don't even appear in the magazine because they don't go with anything - or they don't show enough 'Paris,' which is the point of it all. The other 960-odd annual photos aren't second-rate; they merely do their job.

It is very useful for me to talk the readers because it gives them a chance to say critical things they won't necessarily write. Sometimes there are questions too, about 'Metropole behind the scenes,' and I don't mind these - although I don't care to write about this area because it is not about Paris.

All in all, it is quite easy to fill up four hours with shooting the breeze on a warm and sunny, quiet Sunday afternoon in Paris, sitting on the terrace of a handy café.

And this brings me to my idea. If the online magazine 'Metropole' is virtual Paris as it is today, why not add an element of reality to it by having a 'Café Metropole Club?'

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a property agent and he told me that bar-cafés in centralphoto: cafe on grands boulevards Paris sell for 'millions of dollars,' but none are for sale. This kind of lets me off the hook two different ways as I currently lack dollars in any amount.

Also there are a lot of regulations and licenses involved, so pretty much all of the central bar-cafés are controlled in some way by drink-supply conglomos. You have to be friends of these to get anywhere.

A café, almost any café will do. Here, a big one on the Grands Boulevards.

But anybody can walk into any café and sit down anywhere there is a free seat. So the question is, if I say I will be at the 'Café Metropole Club' on Thursdays at 11:00, will anybody come?

Since Frank was handy yesterday, I ran this scheme by him. At first he didn't follow my drift so I said it would be sort of like a 'Playboy Club' with me instead of bunnies. No entry charge, no need to wear a tie, no tipping (me) and no need to make reservations.


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