Risky Living

photo: cafe de la bastille

On a sunny day at Bastille, lose yourself in a sea of tables.

Info Instead of Fear

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 21. June 1999:- Since I have little to say this week I should be brief about it. If you note the date you should realize today is the first day of summer - unless you live south of the equator - and then it will be your first day of winter.

Either way, you might as well come to Paris right now. Below you will read that part of Paris is falling apart - but I assure you this is only a tiny amount: there's lots of Paris left, mostly in tip-top shape. What is not in tip-top shape, is probably 2000 years old and may show a little wear and tear, but it is quaint and what you are paying for to come and see.

If you read this week's 'Au Bistro' column, you will come across some alarming news concerning food and drink. I don't want to be the bearer of 'bad news' but you do need to be informed of possibleposter: eclipse show at hotel de ville dangers. I expect you will be able to draw your own conclusions.

The known 'dangers' can easily be avoided, as you will realize. What cannot be avoided are dangers that we do not know about; dangers that have yet to surface. These are risks we all face and are a regular part of daily life no matter where we live or what we eat and drink.

See this week's Scene for eclipse details.

At one time the whole world was a dangerous place for fragile people. As time goes by, progress is constantly made towards reducing these diverse dangers. But no matter how much it is possible to reduce danger, it cannot be eliminated to nothing - so life remains a little risky for all of us.

This should be common knowledge to everybody on the planet and it is a wonder to me that so many news organizations trade on 'fear of danger,' as if it is something to draw profit from. The rest of the press thinks half-empty bottles sell better than half-full ones.

The only thing I'm truly pessimistic about, is the notion that we'll never get to try the 'half-full' versions - because it may be considered to be too risky for sales of 'news.'

Closed: Parvis at Trocadéro - Last Wednesday I found the flat place between the two parts of the Palais de Chaillot to be closed. At the time I thought it was for preparations for the Fête de la Musique.

I was wrong. The Parvis 'des Droits-de-l'Homme' has become too fragile to support much weight. Since 26. April, rollers have been banned from it. The Parvis was built for an internationalphoto: lighthouse at trocadero exposition in 1937 on top of parts of the old Palais du Trocadéro. A thin lid of cement forms the floor of the Parvis, and the roof of the Théâtre Nationale de Chaillot which is underneath.

The Parvis will be closed for repairs for at least two and a half years. This dashes the hopes of many, who intended to follow this year's Tour Eiffel count-down on Friday, 31. December - the last or second-last New Year's Eve of this millennium.

Unless you hurry, you'll miss the salt works at Trocadéro.

The Parvis is also one of Paris' biggest attractions, although it is nothing more than a simple deck. From it the view is stunning and the Tour Eiffel across the way can be seen from no better location.

All is not totally lost, because it is possible to mount the garden side of the Prvis, and you can get to this either by walking around either end of the Palais de Chaillot, or by coming up from the Seine and the Pont d'Iéna.

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