...Continued from page 1

White-flour and milk-fed pom-pom girls came by. I was annoyed because they did their turnphoto: street cleaner, 1 jan down the street a bit and all I got was their march-past. The drizzle had gotten a bit more serious too.

After a group from the Ardèche, the notables of Montmartre arrived on foot and wearing their black robes. These are very much in the forefront for Montmartre occasions, but seemed dwarfed by the size of the wide boulevard.

New Years Day 'men of the hour' were Paris' street cleaners. Note handy broom.

The problem with the 'Grande Parade' seems to be that there is no special reason for having it. It is not followed by any football game. When the parade is over, you go home. Since it is New Years Day in Paris, when you get home you do not watch football on TV either.

I decided, after it was seriously drizzling and I was being poked in the head by umbrella prongs, that I'd had enough parade. I snuck around narrow back streets, and when I was a block away, I saw the top of the métro's first engine go by. I almost went back.

Organizers say one to two hundred thousand lined the route through Paris; while police say it was more like 20,000. These 'Grande Parade' people should talk to the Techno-Parade people to get some ideas.

Holiday Circuses

At this time of year, it seems to be traditional for the circus to be in town. Four of them were here and four of them got their tents blown to shreds by the storm. These have regrouped to form one unit, and they are carrying on at the Pelouse de Reuilly out at Vincennes. You've got until Sunday, 16. January to catch their act. Info. Tel.: 01 43 44 09 09.

Winter Sales

This is a very serious subject that I think I've forgotten to mention previously. This year, for some administrative reason which is totally unclear, thephoto: line for beaubourg traditional winter sales do not start today.

Instead they will begin about 10 days from now; possibly on Thursday, 13. January or on Saturday, 15. January. This was announced before Christmas.

Saturday's re-opening crowd of gawkers at Beaubourg. The entry line is in the background.

With the winter sales so long after Christmas, people who traditionally waited until early January to do their Christmas shopping, will be sore. This late date will allow other people to catch the winter sales in London without fear of missing out on anything in Paris.

On the other hand, those who do buy in London may not bother with Paris at all, so the 'administrative reason' for the date switch may do nobody any good. Except me. I need a winter coat and it still looks like winter to me.

Café Metropole Club's 12th Session Re-Play

The 12th weekly meeting of the 'Café Metropole Club' ran off quite modestly, as we shared the club's area at La Corona with a bunch of civilians last Thursday. Read all about it on last week's 'Club 'Report'' page.

No 'Scene' Column This Week

Many events in past Scene columns are still actual or being performed. For the coming year, organization seems to be better - except here - and I have already received a preliminary program for Paris. I can't face it, even if the photos are done. Note that the Pompidou Centre - Beaubourg! - is open again and first reports say it is vastly improved. This alone ought to keep you amused for a day or two. 'Scene' returns next week.

Happy New Years To All

If you celebrated New Years, I hope you had a good and safe one. I had a good time on the Champs-Elysées, even if it seems as if I'm moaning about everything all the time.

Last week I wrote, 'There will be an issue 5.01, but my head may be somewhere in the south seas when I do it.' My head is not exactly in the 'south seas,' but it does wish it were out to lunch.

Thanks to the absence of any Y2K 'bug' you are reading this. I do not have to publish any disclaimer about my lack of responsibility over things I do not control, and you do not have to read it. It's win-win for us all-round.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 4.01 - 4. January 1999 - The Café Metropole column was titled by its still-perplexed 'Ed' - 'Euro' Overload Worse than Y2K 'Bug.' Does anybody remember the 'Euro?' 'Au Bistro' had 'Paris Style At a Discount.' This issue had two features, entitled 'The Unhistorical Parc André Citroën' and 'On Top of High Places and Montmartre's Parade.' The issue also had 'Paris' Scene' - Life After New Year's.' count down Eiffel Tower There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Happy Euro-Day.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

Issue 3.01 - 5. January 1998 - The Café Metropole column still had the endlessly boring subject of the weather on its mind, in 'The Big Wind.' Sound familiar? The 'Au Bistro' column was headlined 'Crash Investigation Springs to Life.' This issue had two features, entitled 'The Winter Sales are ON Now!' and 'One for All and All for the Big One' which was by M-R O'Rahilly. Somebody wrote an email about 'In the Louvre's Egyptian Wing.' I think it was the server-lady. There were four'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Guess How Much.'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

For obvious reasons, this silly countdown ended with the last issue of 1999. The countdown lasted 1000 days, and the Tour Eiffel's gizmo that kept it going, conked out about four hours before the end. Hundreds of thousands of people were there to shout, 'Four, three, Two, ONE, ZERO! I was on the Champs-Elysées at the time and I heard shouting, but it wasn't from the Tour Eiffel. I haven't decided yet what will replace this feature. Any ideas?

Thank you for reading Metropole in 1999, 1998, 1997 and 1996. You are invited to read all issues in 2000 too.
signature, regards, ric

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