...Continued from page 1

As a great deal of France now takes the bulk of its summer holidays from mid-July to mid-August, you should be careful to stock up on ready cash. While residents may empty the cash-automats for their getaways, those staying behind may be taking the pont, leaving a lot of ATMs un-refilled.

Finally. Bastille Day celebrates the French Revolution, which was about 210 years ago. Some people do not remember it fondly; but officially it is still considered a 'good thing.' You can be 'Red' and slightly goofy for the Bastille Day celebrations and nobody will think ill of you for being so.

Balloons Away! - and the Parc André Citroën revisited: in the first issue of this year I ran an account of a visit to the park where the balloon is, and I didn't think too much of it. Because of the balloon, I was back again last week.

Now the park is greener, but its big parts are too big - big enough for big balloons! However, while trying to get another angle I realized that the park has an attraction that is neither grass-green nor glass; two actually.

There are a lot of water surfaces and most of these are still. On the north side, there is a terrace and I wasphoto: balloon at parc a citroen up on it when it occurred to me that there is a fair amount of water noise; of water tumbling down the terrace - which made me think of the Alhambra and its gardens full of water effects.

The other attraction is the water jets between the two glass houses. They play. They frolic. They turn off, shoot up, stagger their heights; they are a show, and it takes more than a minute to figure out their cycles. Worth a look; worth a listen.

Lounging around with a little water music.

Rides on the balloon will cost 66 francs and will be free for Parisians under 12. The balloon can lift 30 adults or 60 kids or a mathematical combo of the two. Ah, if you want to go up to an altitude of 300 metres, the fare is 250 francs. Daily, from 9:00 until sunset; until December 2000.

Concorde Gets Its Sundial - Camille Flammarion's old idea to turn the Place de la Concorde into a giant sundial by using the shadow of the Obelisk as the watch-hand, was realized last Tuesday. However, at the time of inauguration, it was cloudy, which caused a bit of flatness to the Champagne. On sunny days, Concorde will give the time from about 7:00 to 17:00 - except in winter - until the end of December 2000.

The Summer Sales Are Still On - This means, of course, that you should not come to Paris without a little 'mad-money.' Since the sales are regulated to offer only what was in the shops - or nearly - when they began, the best stuff goes first. Discounts are again on the order of minus 10, 20, 30 and as much as 50 percent off. All articles have to display their full pre-sales prices. Caution: very good, very classic goods, are seldom offered 'on sale.' Many famous brand-names are, so there are some real bargains to be had. Continues until late July.

Plug 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 finally rolled around, and this will be in two parts: last Monday, 21. June, and Herb's Père Lachaise visit, Monday 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 babble sounds like, plus some other Paris noises.

John McCulloch wrote, "Artie Johnson style," but more importantly went on to add, "Perhaps you should point out that readers need to select 'AudioBooks' on the list at left, then 'World Tour' on the left of the new page, then register, then - maybe - download the new RealAudio G2."

photo: France 2-tv, lance armstrong firstVery Reduced 'Au Bistro' - With a week's worth of papers strewn around and many interesting items marked as 'fit to print' I do not feel like actually assembling them into a proper 'Au Bistro' column. This then is the week's news: an American named Lance Armstrong, a former victim of cancer, copped the Tour de France's coveted yellow jersey by coming in first on Saturday, the first day of this year's ride-around-France marathon bicycle race. What better news than this? Image:©France 2

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

count down Eiffel TowerIssue 3.27 - 6. July 1998 - This issue featured - Café Metropole - 'Non-Gabby Café Week' and the 'Au Bistro' column had 'All the News I can Remember.' This issue had three features, entitled 'Everything Is Okay In Saint-Denis,' 'The 1998 Tour de France Is Soon' and 'Learn To Love Pétanque Now.' 'Links for WC'98: Ready, Set - Allez les Bleues! was an service feature from our own service department. John McCulloch was the author on an email about 'Montmartre Unmobbed.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was titled or captioned 'Do Something About Sports.'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 180 more partly cloudy, partly sunny and sometimes hot Ile-de-France summer days to go until something really new begins to happen.
signature, regards, ric

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