The Suits Exchange B-Cards

photo: cafe la corona

Rain or shine; right here - next Thursday!

Your 'Club' Starts On Thursday

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 11. October 1999:- Last Tuesday evening it was not raining in the part of Paris where I hang my hat, so I did not put it on when I went to my first FirstTuesday meeting at Frédéric Mitterrand's old Olympic Entrepot cinema.

It is now just called l'Entrepot, but it is still a cinema that shows classic movies all the time. Frédéric Mitterrand has gone on to better things in the bubblegum-color TV entertainment line, after being a well-worded cinema historian for late-night TV.

Europe 'lags' behind the United States - who does not? - in the area of making pots of money out of the Internet. Actually, most of the 'pots of money' are made by speculators betting 'Internet' on the markets, but this is mere nit-picking.

Steve Carlson has been tirelessly running a newsletter called 'Online Europe' out of Budapest for years and all of his efforts have been directed at getting Eastern Europe online andphoto: sign, fleche d'or cafe into the money. Late last spring he informed his readers about London's 'FirstTuesday' meetings.

These are designed to bring poor but able Internet people into contact with able investment people, who are beginning to get an overflow of cash from the US and looking for 'plays' in old Europe.

The sign for good times in Bagnolet.

Compared to the US and Canada, Europe is relatively under-wired and seriously underfunded, but does have a huge population which can be another way of saying Europe has an untapped potential to be a new frontier, boomwise.

Over the summer some organizing was done and in September, 'FirstTuesday' meetings were held in many European capitals, including Paris.

Being presentable again, I presented myself at last week's 'FirstTuesday' meeting to see what a large smoky room full of poor but able Internet types and able investment bankers could do with a lot of free wine and cheese and close contact with each other.

There were featured speakers from a French portal Web site which has been online a little less time than Metropole. With a purely Franco-French play, they said they were cruising along according to their business plan and paying the rent.

Despite the able sound system, half of the 3-400 present continued their own discussions about their B-plans while the other half tried to get insights from the speakers.

Before the meeting, a colleague told me it would be mainly a B-cardphoto: sign: las vegas, paris exchange so I took some of mine and got some others in return. The most interesting person I met was a photographer from the Paris daily, Libération. As all there was to shoot were suits, he left early.

'Us too!' Las Vegas, Paris; Rue de Charonne.

I walked home through the quiet streets of the 14th and wrote up my impressions of 'FirstTuesday' in Paris and sent them off to Steve in Budapest for his newsletter.

The next day, I also wrote a simple 'remember me?' to all the B-cards I'd collected, which has resulted in no replies.

Another correspondent, in Munich, told Online Europe the 'FirstTuesday' meeting there had a turnout of 600 'strangers,' who he thought were there to sightsee the media-hot but cash-poor 'Internet people.'

Café Metropole Club Launch

After checking out the architectural additions to Paris' Palais des Congrés last Wednesday, I checked up on the location for this week's first edition of the 'Café Metropole Club.' Read all about it in this issue's 'Club' page.

I am a bit nervous about going 'live' so be prepared for it to be a bit haphazard. No need to dress up for this; just come as you are.

The Viaduc des Arts

'Les Signes du Temps' is another open-air sculpture show on the sidewalk in front of the old railway viaduct on the Avenue Daumesnil near the Gare de Lyon. The arches under the viaduct have beenphoto: sculpture veronique vermeil 'cinq continents' transformed in showrooms and artisan's workshops. The sculpture adds a lively touch to an otherwise boring street - the arches go from here to infinity, with hardly any typical Paris life to them.

On top, where the rails were, there is a narrow promenade of a park which offers green views closeup and nearby redevelopment views further away. Architectural fans probably like the repetitiveness of the viaduct but it always gives me an impression of sterility.

A part of Véronique Vermeil's 'Cinq Continents.'

Some few of the arches do contain working artisans and these are worth visiting, which is also encouraged. With so many other artisans chased out of Paris by high rents, it is hard not to wonder what sort of subsidies are at work here - to give strollers a false impression of thriving artisans.

Save La Bélière!

Trust Le Parisien to tell me there is a lively jazz joint about three blocks away from where I live and it is on the edge of extinction.

The very same national Minister of Culture who is implicated withphoto: cafe-club la beliere the 'Viaduc des Arts' has just abandoned the consideration of classing La Bélière as a monument. So has a regional body. As a fairly ordinary 19th century building, it just doesn't make the grade.

The jazz club not worth saving; in the Rue Daguerre.

This leaves it up to the city's zoning authorities to protect elements of 'popular' architecture. But a permit to demolish La Bélière was granted on 22. December 1998 and the construction promoter is demanding its rights to carry it out.

The defenders of the cabaret are going to try and get the Minister of Culture to reconsider classing the site. A local group has also launched opposition proceedings, with the hope of getting demolition delayed so long that it gets bumped off the coming millennium's calendar.

All the same, I think I should get over there and check it out as soon as I can make it.

Metropole's New Web Address Continues

The new Web URL for 'Metropole Paris' is http://www.metropoleparis.com
Some readers have said the old URL works fine, with the 're-direct' sending them automatically to the latest issue. Please 'bookmark' this new URL.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 3.41 - 12. October 1998 - The Café Metropole column was titled - 'The Partial Strike That Was.' 'Au Bistro' had 'Social Engineering Takes a Hit.' This issue had only one feature, entitled 'Auto Salon - 100 Years On Wheels.' count down Eiffel Tower This week's 'Scene' column headline was 'Nice Day: See Tigers; Rainy Day: See Plants.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Flabby Tire?'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

Issue 2.41 - 13. October 1997 - The Café Metropole column was called - 'It's Raining But It's Not Pouring.' The 'Au Bistro' column was entitled 'French History Goes On Trial in France.' This issue had one feature too, entitled 'Art Tools: Looking for a Friendly Pencil.' Reader Allan Pangborn wrote about 'The Hôtel de Ville Tool Shop.' There were two 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Art is... making your own pencil.'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 82 more mostly cloudy, nasty wet, slightly warm and occasionally stormy Paris and Ile-de-France autumn days to go until the really big year-end party is in full swing.
signature, regards, ric

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