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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 usually visit Paris once a year, I would definitely plan on stopping by the cafe in the future!

Email from Richard O. Miller, via the Internet: Monday, 10. May 1999:-


I can see it now... Club Metropole... "of all the bars in all the cities in the world.." etc. Your idea for a club is great, and we will be looking for you sometime during the week of December 20th, since significant other - Cheryl - and I are going to be in Paris for the New Year. I'll add Club Metro to the list of places to visit. The list now includes Musée de la Marine, and a couple of the cafés which you flaunt every week in your pictures. As an amateur photographer, I really enjoy the pictures you include in your 'zine.

Email from Barbara J. Rowley, via the Internet: Monday, 10. May 1999:-

Dear Ric,

Café Metropole - bon idée! Too late for me this year. We'll be in Paris in June, but good to know about in the future.

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

Ric, I love the idea of the 'club.' Sign me up. One problem, though... those - fortunate - of us who actually got to spend quality time with you in person can no longer can lord it over other Metropole readers... sniff! Another victory for the virtual - versus the real - world.

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


What a wonderful idea! I propose that you start 'the meeting' in late June since I am going to be in Paris then and would like to meet you. Sounds so self-serving, doesn't it!

Email from Leigh Gadell-Newton, via the Internet: Tuesday, 11. May 1999:-

Hi Ric,

The idea for a 'Café Metropole Club' sounds like a good one... count me in for the occasional Thursdays when I'm in Paris. It would be fun to hear about what you're planning to scope out that week. And selfish motive... as much as I love speaking - bad - French, there are times when I just need a good fix of English! So I end up travelling into the city to talk to Americans. Keep us all posted on your plans for start-up.

Email from Janet, via the Internet: Tuesday, 11. May 1999:-

Bonjour Ric,

Wish you were going to have the cafe right away. We will have to catch you another time. We are going to spend a month in Tours studying French, starting in June. We are in Paris several times a year so would enjoy having a place to stop by and say hi.

PS. Which cafe are you thinking of using for your headquarters, Sir?

Email from Joanne Melanson, via the Internet: Tuesday, 11. May 1999:-

Ric -

Like the idea of 'the cafe' a lot. I'm going to be in Paris in June which probably will be a little too soon for you. However, if I know where and when, I'll be sure to stop by and say, "bonjour". I've enjoyed reading Metropole, especially back issues whenever I have the time. Thanks for the very interesting read.

Email from Mike Annis, via the Internet: Tuesday, 11. May 1999:-

I'm a little sheepish writing you after over a year of reading Metropole. I should have commented earlier on the enjoyment and useful information you've given me.

We try to get over once a year and I'm always furiously doing research, restaurants, gossip, exhibits, and whatever Paris may be obsessing over at anyphoto: ice cream, la corona particular time. I in fact used your archives to plot out what to do on New Years' '99. La Coupole was great fun but we also hit the Alcazar - the cross dressing cigarette girl had my wife in stitches.

If the 'Club's' café is like this one, your kids can break their ice cream budgets with ease.

Enough about all the good info in virtual Paris. As we plan on going to Bordeaux in September and will pass through Paris on our trek back to California, it would be marvelous to meet you in the flesh at your 'Club.' I hope you pull it off, and it becomes a regular event for you and your readers to meet. I, for one, think its a brilliant idea.

Email from 'Palissy,' via the Internet: Thursday, 13. May 1999:-


I'm a Japanese fan and always enjoy the M.P. My name is Kaoru Ichijo. Metropole Club? Really good idea! I would like to join it. I've been to Paris three times - but not for brand shopping. I like to visit museums and my favorite places. Someday I hope to see M.P.C's stuff in Paris. Thank you for sending me nice and practical news from Paris. So, see you later at the M.P.C. in Paris! Good-by.

Email from Craig Tredeau, via the Internet: Thursday, 13. May 1999:-

Bonjour Ric,

I love your idea of the Cafe Metropole Club and would love to be a charter member but I assume that means I have to show up in person at the Cafe? With the recent birth of our son it doesn't look like we'll be doing any long distance traveling for a while. One of these days I would like to return to Paris and meet you in person.

Email from Anne Woodyard, via the Internet: Friday, 14. May 1999:-

The real Club Metropole - a great idea! Next time we're in Paris on a Thursday - after you get started - we'll stop by!

And Ric Says:

Metropole Paris fans are too much! After this outpouring of good feelings, you are going to get the 'Café Metropole Club' you deserve - right downtown - at the centre of your interest, in Paris.

Thank you all.

Regards, Ric

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