...Continued from page 1

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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