...Continued from page 1

Nelly and Don Smith of Seattle have been having a long holiday - and honeymoon! - in Paris, France, and surrounding parts of Europe and they made room in their busy schedule to attend a Café Metropole Club meeting on the Champs-Elysées today - Saturday - which explains why the dateline above is not the regular 'Club' day of Thursday.

As well as having a Web site called Visit Paris, Don is a photographer and he agreed to show up to take photos, so all of us could be famous for the regulation 15 seconds.

Despite the lack of an actual 'café' in which to meet, today's sessionphoto: nelly & don smith was extra informal as well as short because it occurred just before I began my 'artistic' contribution to today's 'Faites de la Peinture sur les Champs-Elysées' competition, which is also featured in this issue.

A 'first' Club meeting on the Champs-Elysées for Nelly and Don, but not their first time on the avenue.

Nelly enjoyed the 'action' of the Champs-Elysées, especially as she is a bona-fide 'Parisienne.' She said, as much as she now prefers Seattle; it is a bit more sedate than Paris. Nelly and Don told me something about the rest of their schedule; but it sounded like 'The 15 Countries In 60 Days Marathon Visit' and details of it have escaped me.

Don was packing a very huge camera with a bazooka-like lens. With the ambient background noise I couldn't hear if it was working. If it was, some of Don's photos may turn up here in following editions; but if not, they will be on his own Web site - perhaps very soon.

Reader's Reaction to the Café Metropole Club:

Email from Michael McKinnon, via the Internet: Saturday, 29. May 1999:-

Bonjour Ric!

I just completed my 6th trip to Paris this May, after a three day week-end in London first and a ride on the Eurostar - fantastic; second class was just fine.

First, I've got to say the weather was the best ever for this trip. Only one day of light rain and 70 degrees the rest of the time. We hit the country-side this time, going to Versailles - where the Fire Department had either a parade or a protest going on while we were there - and another day to Ecouen to visit the chateau.

photo: erickson by d smithIn both cases, we just spent time in their respective gardens instead of shelling out the francs to go inside. I must say I was more impressed by the chateau at Ecouen than Versailles, it looked more livable. Both cities - villages? - were interesting to walk around, looking at the blend of old and new architecture.

Your Ed with the lid, looking for inspiration. Note half-used Faber-Castel pencil. Photo©Don Smith.

As far as your 'Club' is concerned, count me in! I'll be back next spring and look forward to meeting you and other club members then. I have a feeling I just missed you on the Pont des Arts on the 15th.

And Ric Says:

Readers often have the jump on me for new things. I've yet to try the tunnel or the Eurostar, and I've never visited the Château at Ecouen - ordered built by Anne de Montmorency, and now the National Renaissance Museum - which is just up the Route Nationale 16 from Saint-Denis, or can be reached by train from Gare du Nord, with a bit of a walk.

My notes tell me the reason we didn't run into each other on the Pont des Arts on 15. May, is because Herb Malsman and I checked it out a day later, on Sunday, 16. May. We were close though.

signature, regards, ric

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