...Continued from page 1

Park-a-Car, Rent-a-Bike - Starting today, two big downtown Paris parking lots will be renting bikes. These are at the surface parking at the Place de la Concorde and the underground lot at Saint-Eustache - Forum des Halles.

The idea is to get drivers to park their cars and use bikes for inner-Paris trips, but the bikes are available to all comers. This is part of the RATP's 'Roue Libre' bike operation. If there is sufficient demand for it, other parking locations will adopt the service and the first to be considered will be the parking lot at Bercy.

Although drivers will not get any reduction on parking fees - which are 15 francs per hour - by parking they will get a 15 percent reduction on bike rentals, for which 'Roue Libre' charges 30 francs per day during the week.

Other than 'Roue Libre,' bike rentals in Paris cost between 20 and 30 francs per hour; 50 to 60 francs for half-day, andphoto: cafe de la danse 75 to 90 francs for a whole day. All the major bike rental firms operate seven days a week, usually between 9:00 and 19:00.

The Café de la Danse is not all that hard to find in its alley.

The Bois de Boulogne has two rental locations; one at Porte d'Auteuil and the other at the roundabout by the Jardin d'Acclimatation; métro: Sablons in Neuilly. The spot to rent a bike at the Bois de Vincennes is at the esplanade of the Château, or on nice days, at the landing stage by the Daumesnil lake.

Bikes can also be rented at the Carrefour des Anciens-Combattants in Boulogne-Billancourt, at in front of the Hôtel de Ville, in Saint-German-en-Laye. Same tariffs as 'Roue Libre.'

Babble by Ric Recorded for 'Visions by Herb'

On Sunday, 16. May, Herb Malsman had me talk into his microphone for a 'wretched excess' lasting three hours in the Latin Quarter. This was reported in the 'Scene' column in issue 4.20. After considerable editing - I hope - Web broadcast time has finally rolled around, and this will be in two parts: today, Monday, 21. June, and on the Monday following, 28. June.

Herb Malsman didn't know about sculptor Ousmane Sow's 'Little Big Horn' show on the Pont des Arts before he saw it, and seeing it blew him away. Tune in to his 'Visions' on Broadcast.Com's audio-book Web site to hear what my babble sounds like, plus some other Paris noises. If you don't have an audio plug-in, you'll need to download one to hear this - something I do intend to do, too.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

count down Eiffel TowerIssue 3.25 - 22. June 1998 - This issue featured - Café Metropole - 'Now Official: Leave Your Woolies At Home!' and the 'Au Bistro' column had 'France Worries, But the Games Go On.' This issue had four features, entitled 'Take a Slow Boat To Bastille - The Arsenal Marina,' 'Champs-Elysées - The World Cup Grill and Lounge,' 'On the Beach In Paris, and a Last Picnic' and 'My Exciting Sailing Weekend In Brittany' by Linda Thalman. 'Links for WC'98: Ready, Set - Parlez Foot!' was an service feature nobody asked for or noticed. There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was titled 'Ticket Salesman.'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 194 more partly cloudy, partly sunny Ile-de-France summer days to go until something else really happens.
signature, regards, ric

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