Goodbye and Hello To All This

photo: cafe at bastille

If you want a seat at the Bastille Tuesday
evening, come early.

Ed Goes Into Limbo, Just South of Paris

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 12. July 1999:- After last week's sad showing concerning the deadline that came and went and went, this week I am on time because I have none to spare.

As soon as this is finished, I unplug and pack up to head for my new home in Paris. There is one slight hiccup though - the present tenant of the apartment I've rented does not hit the road until Monday, 19. July; while I have to be out of my suburban village apartment... today.

With the pack-up and move out, with Bastille Day in the middle - which is a serious national holiday in France - and my planned move-in next Monday, I am just going to forget the idea of doing an issue.

The server-lady Linda Thalman has prepared a mattress on the floor beside the Web server and invitedphoto: cafe le bastille me to flop there for the week. Besides air- conditioning and a 24-hour buzz, I'll get all the grape juice I can carry down there to drink.

This café is just a bit further on from the one above.

It is not going to be all fun and games though. Metropole's Links.page is far out-of-date and we are going to go over it to add new links and cut ones of minor interest. There will be other changes too, but these will happen over a period of time as I dig into Paris and its sidewalks on a full-time basis.

If I survive this upheaval, I will take a peek at my bank account and if it is in the black, I may try one of the last-minute travel auctions and head off for someplace - warmer, with palms - for a couple of weeks in August. About everything, you will be alerted in this space.

I hope all of you have a good holiday and can get away from your computer monitors for some ten-minute periods. Maybe to read some 'summer' novels - if you have any good tips for me, send them in.

Metropole's Summer Guide:- appeared in the last issue in the form of two extra pages in addition to the 'Scene' column. You can quickly get to these by hitting the links to them in this week's 'Scene' column.

How-To Do Bastille Day Rehash Rehash:- the fête starts tomorrow already! Bastille Day is here, nearly. Below is a rehash of a rehash of last week's comments for those who missed them - to help you avoid showing up for the bash a day late.

Parisians and the French are more used to Bastille Days than their own birthdays. A lot of people will do what they've done the year before and the year before that.

At the Place de la Bastille the cafés do not plan on having anything special, because it is all going to be happening right in the place in front of their terraces. For this, see the Bastille café photos on this page.

Note that the Café des Phares is a Café Philosophe which has its gab sessions starting at 11:00 on Sundays; even throughout the summer. "They never stop talking," the manageress said.

One thing to get straight, first: the majority of public Bastille Day parties and fêtes take place on the eve of Bastille Day; that is, this year, on Tuesday, 13. July. There will be some big general street affairs - maybe another at Place de la République, which isphoto: cafe des phares, bastille closely linked - in name at least - to the revolution. This place is big too and can hold a lot of people. If you don't care for large crowds, it is better to avoid République and Bastille.

This is the café where talking is more than mere babble.

Montmartre, with its revolutionary tradition, will also be an area where fêtes may be expected. Many bars and cafés throughout Paris will also have their own programs, from elaborate to just having a bash with their regular clients. I imagine many dance clubs will also have special events programmed.

The official Bastille Day parade takes place on the Champ-Elysées in the morning of Wednesday, 14. July. This will involve a considerable display of military pomp, but is worth watching for unusual features such as the engineers of the Foreign Legion, their leather aprons and their beards.

When this hoopla is over, you have the rest of the day free to see soldiers wandering all over Paris, until the official fireworks time of just after sunset. Although the Parvis of Trocadéro is closed, I expect the big fireworks show will be viewable from the Champ de Mars as in past years.

This field in the 7th arrondissement is cluttered up by the bulky Tour Eiffel, but will still hold about a quarter-million sparkler fanciers. A lot of people walk to this event and the hordes of people on the after-dark streets are an event in themselves, one that is eerie and village-like at the same time.

If you want to skip this - or intend to see big fireworks at Versailles or Saint-Germain-en-Laye - some of the fire stations have their neighborhood fêtes too. For ones with parties on both evenings, see this week's 'Scene' page.

Lady Liberty Ends Japan Visit - after having her stay in Tokyo Bay extended by four months for somescan: mag: miss liberty goes home, toyko reasons involving weight - 14 tons - and cost of shipping - a cool billion yen - Paris' Liberty statue is finally on her way home to the south end of the Seine island by the Pont de Grenelle.

According to Makiko Suzuki, Metropole's correspondent in Japan who sent the magazine clip, Lady Liberty was very popular there, and this was the reason for the extended stay.It had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Cognac sales there have not been brilliant lately. Photo©Shukan Burshun

The Summer Sales Continue - which means, of course, that you should not come to Paris without a little extra 'mad-money.' 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. The sales end in early August.

Last 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 guess - Web broadcast time finally rolled around, and is in two parts: dated 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 readersphoto: cafe oh! ca ira, bastille 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."

Bastille's café 'Oh! Ca Ira' now sells its 5-franc café for 7 francs, still making it one of Paris' cheapest thimbles of café.

Both I and Herb thank other Metropole readers who tuned in our mutual babble and wrote to say so. It was a fun thing to do even if I did not find out about audio on the Web - which I wanted to, for eventual use at the 'Café Metropole Club.' No, I haven't forgotten about either the 'Club' or audio.

Finally, Herb wrote to say our broadcast of 'An(other) American In Paris' has been held over at Broadcast.com longer than any other of the audio shows. Babble that lasts forever resists the hatchet.

The Next Issue: - of this magazine is still an 'iffy' thing. If you regularly tune into this station, do so on Monday, 26. July, for issue 4.30. The current issue will run two weeks and has the double-number of 4.28/29. If I get lucky and find a camera that works with a PC and a Bastille Eve bash to match it, there might even be a report about the fête in the meantime.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

count down Eiffel TowerIssue 3.28 - 13. July 1998 - This issue featured - Café Metropole - 'Today France Is Happy' and the 'Au Bistro' column had 'No News, Only Football.' This issue had three features, entitled 'WebSports: Ready, Set - Les Bleues WIN!' followed by 'Looking For The Revolution' and Tracy Turner wrote about the Eurostar in 'Highlife Under the Channel.' 'On Bastille Day in 1963' was the title of an email from John McCulloch. There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was titled or captioned 'Should We Celebrate?'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 173 more sometimes hot Ile-de-France summer days when it isn't rainy or cloudy to go until something really, really new begins to happen.
signature, regards, ric

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