...Continued from page 1

Actually, a few weeks ago when this idea was 'rattling around my brain' - I am a noisy daydreamer - I had the place tricked out with a couple of imaginary online PCs, so the 'Club' could be used as a handy email-drop for readers in town. There were special sandwiches on the menu too, but this is part of another 'maybe' deal. Also, I thought it would be useful to keep a couple of the larger reference books handy, in case anybody has a tricky question. And there were a couple of other things which I did not jot down.

Since buying a café is out of the question, I have been snooping around for a likely, informal, location.

I believe I've found the spot - which is very central, near the Seine, has a large terrace area, a zinc bar, high ceilings, one medium-sized 'salle' and another big one. It has a good view and gets light all day, and is only two blocks from a good métro station. Too much traffic going by is its one drawback, but what would Paris be without a whiff of diesel?

Is this the 'Café Metropole Club?' The real place has another name, because the 'club' is just an unofficial place to meet the editor of Metropole.

Come by on the right day at the right time and I will be there to say 'Hi' or 'Tag' or 'Bonjour' or 'Buenos Dias.' Because this will be for Metropole readers who are so inclined and not because I am famous, I doubt if I will sign autographs. On what? Not 'on Metropole,' because it is only a state of mind.

I did think - the old daydream again - that visiting 'club' members could have their portraits shot, and thesephoto: terrace drugstore champs elysees could be put in the following issue of magazine, in a feature called 'Readers In Paris This Week,' which would make everybody just as famous as me, for about the same length of time - about 15 seconds.

But not the Drugstore on the Champs-Elysées - it's too busy.

Although all of this is a daydream, I think we should do it. The café is real and its got enough room. Doing this 'club' will add a new dimension to the Internet; mixing up the virtual with the real. Being able to meet your 'man in Paris' may be handy too. Who knows where it may go?

For the moment, this idea is a 'flag' being hoisted. If enough of you salute, I will talk to the café's management to let them know what's afoot. I suggest a tentative start-date for September or October.

I don't think the 'Café Metropole Club' can begin before then. If it's too late in the year for anybody to drop by, I will go there anyway and read the newspapers or think about what I might write for this column.

Even if there is no 'club,' I may do this anyway. Let me know what you think about this idea. You won't need to fill out a form to get a membership card and quitting the 'club' will be just as easy.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 3.19 - 11. May 1998 - This issue featured - Cafécount down Eiffel Tower Metropole - 'Do Not Adjust Your Web Browser' and the 'Au Bistro' column had 'Big Dump At Culture Box-Office' The issue had two features: 'Grand Marché d'Art Comtemporain' and 'Man Ray in Montparnasse, Forever.' Three eMails were collectively entitled 'Echos of '68.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'The Unemployed Clochard,' a redundancy which was meant for last week's cartoon too and may apply to this week's as well.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 236 more quite warm and breezily blue, Ile-de-France spring days to go until it's over.

Regards, Ric
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