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photo: terrace cafe bonaparte

On really good days, the club will meet on a café's terrace.

Echos About the 'Café Metropole Club'

Paris:- Thursday, 13. May 1999:- Your response to last week's idea in the Café Metropole column - "Standing Invitation - to the Café Metropole Club" - has been not only positive but overwhelming.

I've taken the liberty of including some of your comments at the end of this first edition of 'Club News.' Yesterday I mentioned the idea at a café I have had an eye on, but was not able to talk to the owner.

The staff in the café seemed to think it would be possible to do - most likely in the afternoon, after 14:00. Since I don't like getting up too early, this would be fine with me.

At this time of day, you might be sleepy after a good lunch or you might be tired after a lot of touring in Paris, so an afternoon in a pleasant café might be a welcome break for you.

Some have written to say they wish I'd start the Café Metropole Club in June. I could, at the originally suggested time of 11:00, but not with the afternoon time of 14:00 because of the carpool I drive a bit later on. At the end of the school year, this job ends.

In July I expect to be changing addresses from way out in the west Paris suburbs to Paris itself. At the moment I do not know what this move will involve or exactly when it will take place. Sometime after July, I will need an annual holiday, and planning for this is at the zero stage.

So, as before, I think the Café Metropole Club will be in operation on Thursdays, beginning in the fall.

But First, a 'Pre-Club' Event In Paris

'Faites de la Peinture sur les Champs-Elysées' is a painting competition set to take place on Saturday, 29. May, starting at the unmentionable hour of 8:30 - on the Champs-Elysées.

As of earlier in this week 1,400 artists had signed up for this open-air event - but only 1000 places are available and I have been assured I have one of them.

poster: art competition champs elyseesThis competition first took place in 1997. It is sponsored by the Mairie de Paris - the city hall - of the 8th arrondissement, the magazine 'La Revue des Artistes' and by the Comité des Champs-Elysées. The value of the awards for winning works totals 150,000 francs and the prize-winning entries will be displayed from 6. to 14. September at the Mairie of the 8th arrondissement.

The area of the Champs-Elysées where this paint-in will take place is from the Etoile to the Place de la Concorde - along all of it in other words. As I write, I do not know if specific locations will be assigned to contestants, and I do not know if my requested start time of 11:00 will be confirmed. Whenever start-time is, everybody has to wrap up their tools at 16:00.

Besides participating in this live art show, I will certainly be reporting on it for Metropole's issue 4.22, due online on Monday, 1. June. If any readers are on hand to cheer me on, whistle, sing, look over my shoulder - whatever spectators do at painting shows - you will be welcome.

I hope to see you on the Champs-Elysées then.

Latin Quarter Paint Show

Unrelated to the above event, over 100 art galleries locatedposter: gallery open day, st germain in the Latin Quarter will be having an 'open day' on normally-closed Sunday, 30. May. This will be preceded by an 'open evening' on Thursday, 27. May.

The area in question is roughly between the Seine and the Rue de Buci on the south, and between the Rue Dauphine in the east and the Rue Bonaparte to the west.

The 'art' in the open galleries includes every sort, and with the main event being on a Sunday when this compact area is calmer than other days, this is sort of a rare chance to see a lot with a certain ease.

Reader's Reactions to Last Week's Modest Idea

Email from Mike, via the Internet: Monday, 10. May 1999:-

Bonjour Ric,

I must say that I really got a kick out of your idea for the 'Club.' It's quite innovative, and can actually make sense for a cafe/bar owner who is looking for a unique angle on the tourist trade. Could this lead to a permanent business relationship with someone like that? I think it could. I mean, take a currently average place looking for that extra bit of attraction in the complicated and competitive Paris business scene and turn it on its head. I dig it! You will have to check on it I think.

Email from Dana Shaw, via the Internet: Monday, 10. May 1999:-


"Ahhhtention, Right hand salute!" May I be one of the first to support the idea of the club. However, before you tally my vote, know that it comes with one small string. Jan and I still expect that sometime during our two month sojourn in Paris that we will be able to take you out to dinner. If that is inconvenient, at least a drink of some sort is absolutely mandatory as a small thank-you for all the help you gave me in finding the apartment and trying to fathom the internet jumble in France. Ok? Is it a deal? If yes, then you can include my vote.

Email from Sharlene McLean, via the Internet: Monday, 10. May 1999:-

I think it's a wonderful idea! I only wish it could start sooner... I arrive in Paris on June 16th, and will be there for 2 weeks visiting friends and taking a conversation course at the Alliance Francaise. However, as I usualy visit Paris once a year, I would definitely plan on stopping by the cafe in the future!

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