Hello To All This

photo: cafe le rendez-vous

The closest café to the main Denfert-Rochereau métro exit.

Ed Escapes Limbo, Begins the Big Adventure

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 26. July 1999:- For the first time, I am writing this column from Paris' 14th arrondissement. I have been here exactly one week. I have been looking around and I like what I see.

Before, when I lived way out west in La Village, each time I reached Paris I had a feeling of expansion - somewhat like what a long-term prisoner may feel when he - or she! - walks out of the last gate to the outside world. Step off the train in Paris and anything is possible. The place is charged, electric.

What I feel right now, I have managed through miss-luck and ill-chance, to cut out La Village and the train-ridephoto: mairie of the 14th part and now I step out of my door and the charge starts immediately. If the electricity isn't 220 volts in my rue, it is certainly close to it on the avenue at the end of the block.

A large number of you have written to me at one time or another, to express mild envy with the life you imagined I led. It was not quite as you imagined it; and I found it sometimes difficult to keep up a certain amount of false-front. 'Life is great as the Internet's Paris Reporter,' was part fiction.

My new city hall - the Marie of the 14th - is a block away.

The fiction now ends. As head cheese of Metropole Paris I now give myself a permit to do the job right.

I can be 'on the job' 24 hours a days, seven days a week. The events I list in each week's 'Scene' column, I can now attend. I can join the Sunday morning bike riders, I can cover the Friday night roller derby.

Best of all, I've now got time to burn. No more of this 'five-minute-chat-and-run' type of interview. I can write the 'Au Bistro' column in a bistro. I can go to gallery openings and I can go to the Divan du Monde and take samba lessons. Dancing, tozzletoes!

On a lower key, as a practical matter when I want to go someplace, I no longer have to go by the shortest, fastest route. Before, I caught accidental encounters on the fly. Now, if I consider walking to nearby Montparnasse, I can think of five distinct routes, or sub-routes - including through the cemetery.

During the week, while not unpacking and setting up, I found myself walking; walking at two-thirds to half my former speed. I went to Montparnasse three different ways and a totally new way down to the Boulevard Saint-Germain, through the Luxembourg. Through the Marco Polo garden.

That's it, I think. Unlike Marco Polo and China, I know a bit about Paris already. But it is just a bit, no more. I feel ready for the rest of it.

Metropole's Summer Guide:- appeared in Issue 4.27 in the form of two extra pages in addition to the 'Scene' column. You can quickly get to these by hitting this link to the issue's home page, of by taping on All Past Issues at the top and bottom of most pages in Metropole.

The Summer Sales Go On and On - I thought everything would be gone by the time I got to the city - with a little money! - but I was wrong. Two blocks away I found a little shop withphoto: sculpture in cemetery the kind of Italian shirts I have been looking for - for, well, a long time - and got three for about the price of one 'name'-brand shirt on sale at a chic boutique.

Cemetery sculpture, seen while taking one of my new shortcuts to Montparnasse.

Discounts are again on the order of minus 10, 20, 40 and as much as 60 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-nams are, so there are some real bargains to be had. The sales end in early August.


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