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Our Club's Man of 2000

photo: m ferrat expresso cafe

M. Ferrat in a blur, shows why espresso café is fast.

News About the 'Café Metropole Club'

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Paris:- Friday, 24. December 1999:- There was no response whatsoever to my little 'floater' last week, suggesting this column should be suppressed, and that Thursday's 'nearly live' report of the club's meeting should appear here instead.

From this I can surmise two possibilities. Either nobody reads this column, knowing it to be a 'puffer' - unadulterated PR - or you simply like to have twice as much club to read about, even if half of it is 'puffer.'

While reporting about one-tenth of what actually goes on at club meetings is fairly easy to do - after all, I am at them - doing this PR page requires real inventiveness. Writing 'filler' is not as easy as you may think.

Of course, there is always the possibility that you skip the tedious 'club report' and get its summary here instead. You may be tired of reading about the 'City of the Week' or looking at pictures of the 'Food of the Week.'

Well, I've got news for you. Last Thursday, yesterday, there was no 'City of the Week' and there was no 'Food of the Week.'

What there was, was ten new 'Members of the Week.' With the three members of the Maginniss family the club got its first 'Village of the Week.' This was so, even if one-third of the Maginniss family were from Los Angeles.

With seven other new club members on hand, there was simply no time to have a 'Food of the Week' and I don't recall anybody eating anything, except maybe some sugar lumps left over from all the cafés we had.

newyear bluestarPerson of the Year 2000

Jan and Dana Shaw were not at yesterday's club meeting because they returned home after many weeks in Paris. They were missed yesterday, and they missed the club because Dana wrote to complain about the reference to Savannah, because I wrote that it 'was close enough to Florida.'

Since Savannah didn't make it as 'City of the Week' and no state is going to make it as 'State of the Week' unless it is very tiny - like Andorra - there is really no reason for Dana to worry about Florida.

Dana Shaw is not only a 'Charter Club Member' but he would be a 'Charter Metropole Paris Reader' if the magazine had such a title.

A very long time ago, Dana wrote to suggest that I take a look at the Rue de la Huchette. He did this becausephoto: man of the year dana shaw he went to high school in Paris for a couple of years a long time ago, and the Rue de la Huchette was one of his favorite streets.

In fact, what he wrote on Saturday, 13. April 1996 was in Metropole's 9th issue. Dana has been writing pretty regularly since then - which must be some sort of record for 'letters to Ed.'

While he was here, we had a plan to retrace his old route from where he lived in Montparnasse to where he went to school near the Porte d'Auteuil, and I hoped to make a feature article from it.

But Paris being Paris, we never quite got around to it. I am sorry about this, because it would have been a good chance of getting a bit of Paris as it was 'then.' As the Irish say, 'there's time.' If Jan and Dana return soon, it'll be the first thing to do.

It being the end of the year, end of the century - and nearly the end of the millennium - a lot of French magazines have something about this on their covers.

This week the newsmagazine L'Express has something like this, but with a twist. Instead of 'Man of the Year' it has the 'Man of the Year 2000,' and instead of a photo, it has a rectangle of reflective paper. If you look at it, it gives a very rippled view of yourself.

I looked at this and decided that Dana Shaw should be this man. 'C'est Vous,' as the magazine's cover says.

I say 'thank you' L'Express for this idea, and I say thank you to Dana Shaw for being Metropole's longest-lasting and most regular correspondent.

It may seem like a 'PS' but I want to add that Jan and Dana Shaw are also the Café Metropole Club's most regular 'live' Charter members too.

Man, what wonderful members you all are! I have no idea of how many 'virtual' Charter members the club may have - signing the 'virtual' member's-present notebook is not obligatory! - but you 'live' counterparts now number two dozen - on the metric system - which is about 20.

With no more back-slapping, let's have our last meeting - the 12th - in this century, next Thursday. Then, refreshed, we'll go after new records at our first meeting in the coming century.

If you want to know how a 'Village of the Week' actually got registered as a club 'official' name, you should read the unauthorized and unofficial account of last Thursday's weekly Club meeting - in case you haven't already read it. Hit the hyperlink to see what happened.

The Café Metropole Club Membership Card

For those of you reading this page for the dozenth time, let me point out that the possession of the membership card is not at all obligatory. For those of you who have yet to read this page, do not accept substitutes.

However, the actual 'virtual' card, as reproduced here for thephoto: virtual membership card dozenth time, potentially contains millions of vibrant colors; far more than any standard computer system palette of only 256 boring and horrid RGB colors.

Printing it in black and white is therefore highly derecommended. In mere black and white, it looks like some scrap ripped out of a sleazy coupon entitling you to five francs off the price of a six-pack of fake beer.

For 'virtual' or real Café Metropole Club members who have not managed to show up before now you will note that this is a 'virtual' membership card, which I have already mentioned more than once, above.

If you want to carry one around with you - perhaps to prove that you belong to an exclusive* club in Paris - you will have to make a print of it; in any color other than black, if possible.

*'Exclusive' in this sense means that it is the only Café Metropole Club in Paris that accepts people as members, and their friends, relations and pets if they are alive. Persons from other planets or asteroids are requested to not use the card. If you have had actual contacts with such people, snitch them off to the Interior Ministry as being alien aliens.

The Whole History of the Café Metropole Club

With its 11th meeting behind it, the 'Whole History' of the Café Metropole Club has gotten much too long to repeat and certainly too long to print, in any color. It is therefore, hereby, abolished. Ancient versions of its 'History' do remain online, somewhere in ' All Past Issues,' where they are covered with spilt-oil sludge.

The Café Metropole Club Is Good-Value For You

Your 'Club' is a truly amazing value for what it costs but it has no actual real, pretended or 'virtual' benefits, except for being free. Its single purpose is to offer an opportunity for the readers of Metropole to meet its 'Ed' and each other at its weekly meetings - or see him wondering whether to trim his nails if you decide to just peek in the window of the club's café.

The club's meetings are held in the centrally-located café La Corona. This café has drink, tobaccophoto: santa balloons products, post-cards and food, which now includes the Café Metropole Club Sandwich - which you should order without hesitation.

Other than warning you about how big one of these may be when served, I only wish to add that La Corona does not always have eggs, so these are disincluded in the sandwich, sometimes.

This figure is not our new mascot; not unless Christmas lasts all year.

'Virtual' membership is not only permitted, but encouraged - no one is excluded from membership by failure to be in Paris. Possession of the now somewhat antique but still colorful 'virtual' membership card is not obligatory if your color printer has run out of ink of any color.

For some weeks now I have been saying that the reading the club's online magazine, 'Metropole Paris' is not necessary, as some new members have proved.

This semi-anti-policy has changed to one that is very much more positive. Be darn sure to read every page of Metropole next Thursday for the latest news of the club's latest meeting and all the other features too. If you are having a relaxing siesta at the moment, set your alarm clock to Thursday now before you fall asleep.

photo: location map, la coronaPractical Information

Here are the day, time and location details for you to note:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre-Rivoli or Pont-Neuf
Every Thursday at 15:00, until 17:00.

La Corona has a small 'salle' beside the bar and a large 'salle' behind the bar. There is a small terrace on the Rue de l'Amiral Coligny side, which faces west; and a big terrace on the Quai de Louvre side, which faces south. The Club does not have its meetings in either 'small' part.

The club's meetings are held at the far end of the big 'salle,' where there is little danger of being run over by the traffic on the Quai du Louvre.

When you enter the bar area of La Corona you will not immediately see any club activity. To find it, go around the left side of the espresso machine; away from the 'tabac' section of the café and into the big room behind.See photo above - go around the left side of the photo.

If you are unfamiliar with bars, La Corona's has a zinc top and a huge espresso machine with 26 nozzles. Near the cash register, you will not see a little wire stand holding hard-boiled eggs.

This object has been pinched by unknown persons. Go left past where the egg thing used to be and turn right to find the 'club.' If in doubt, print the photo, and when holding it upright, go around its left side. One of our waiters, Monsieur Ferrat is the blur making express café, rapidly, in it.

If this cornball scheme fails, simply ask anybody standing behind the bar - in any language that suits you - 'Où est le club, s'il vous plaît?' ['Club' is pronounced 'cloob.']

See you soon - A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ricnewyear redstar

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