'Secretary Libre' At the Club

photo: corona terrace

You don't see anybody basking here today because the parasols are not hiding any sunshine.

Without Members, Without Salsa and No Rum

Paris:- Thursday, 23. March 2000:- Spring broke out here on Tuesday and despite all the TV-weather news forecasters could do, spring continued on Wednesday too. This is about the time I do my 'grand tour,' so if it is not quite better than March weather today, it is good enough for the club.

The café La Corona must have had quite a rush for the past two days, because the terrace is practically blanked out by red parasols. Under them, there are not many baskers because over them there isn't much sunshine.

Inside at the bar, the first thing I notice is that the egg-thing has beenphoto: egg thing, sugar despenser promoted to having its own stand. This is sensible because it leaves space on the bar free for drinks. The eggs are also at eye level, which is very persuasive - if you are fond of eggs.

There are more people on the small terrace facing the Louvre opposite, but the little 'salle' is empty and when I get around to it, the 'grande salle' is almost as empty. Several dozens of seats are free for club members.

The 'egg-thing' with its chicken-wire handle.

After doing the usual Café Metropole Club set-up procedure, I look around. Then I look at my watch. It is 15:05.

The club's waiter, Patrick, must be off because there is a new one today. Nobody has told him about the club, so I do it. He is not astonished in any way.

This makes me think there must be other Café Metropole Clubs around town, masquerading as the 'real' thing. Well, I can't go around chasing them down because I have to be where the real one is.

After a while I start to think I am in a café. This leads to thinking that I don't spend much time in cafés; to just be in a café. I look the place over a bit, even if this is the 24th club meeting and I should have really seen it all by now.

But when club members are present, either as registered bona-fide 'charter' members, or as 'virtual' members who are attending in order to become 'real,' that is, 'charter' members; well, on these occasions I don't have much free time to just be in the café.

The 'grande salle' is really grand. It would be more 'grand' if it was full, but when it is not, it is big. It certainly does have a lot of decor too.

Whoever did it must have been helped by two unrelated cousins. They've tossed in tiles, marble, mirrors, hanging lights, spotlights, murals on the mirrors, decorated mirrors, and mirrors that reflect in other mirrors and reflect the outsidephoto: decor, grande salle inside - there are so many mirrors that some of them show their reflections right-side up.

Above the banquets and some fake mahogany, except for the mirrors, the color scheme is cream, peach and some crackled yellow. This was one cousin's work.

Your club's café has enough decor for several different clubs.

Another cousin did everything lower. There is the fake brown of the fake mahogany, then there is the dark fake-olive wood color of the table tops.

Then the third guy came in and decided the floor and the things people sit on should be kind of red. I look at it closely - some sort of indestructible fake-skin material - the nearest I can say is it is sort of a rose-rust with a little white pattern to it. The floor's tiles are a rust color, where they are not divided by white stripes and some darker parts.

It would all look much more as a piece, if the lower half had an all-over blonde ffect. Maybe this would give customers' faces a yellow cast - if there were any customers.

Continued on page 2...
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