New Member From Brooklyn!

photo: sunbathers, corona terrace

The club's waiter, Patrick, spiffs up his tan while serving sunbathers on La Corona's terrace.

One Jerry Is Like Three New Members

Paris:- Thursday, 6. April 2000:- The weather-lady on the TV-news wasn't kidding last night when she said it was going to be cold today. 'A little less than normal,' she said. On top of it, the sun is trying hard to show its smiley face.

There are a lot of people heading west on the quay towards La Corona, but only one or two brave ones outside on the terrace when I get up there.

How to take a new photo of this? Don't; go around the corner and shoot the chocolate bunnies inphoto: all my cafes the 'Best Croque-Monsieur-in-the-World' place's window instead, and I am 'covered' for an arctic Easter.

Somewhere, I don't know, a Paris magazine has stuck itself to me, so I spend some time looking it over. It is issue number 75 and it is the first time I've ever seen it in my life. Part of it is like reading Metropole's 'Scene' column, so I catch up on what's going on in Paris.

This is dry going, so its café time again. When it comes I remember it may be the 'Drink of the Week' so I record its status carefully. Then I start reading about Paris' championship parking ticket areas. What a luxury it is not to have a car!

The life of a café - but it doesn't make it 'Drink of the Week.'

About four a guy comes in, looking like he's been mangled by the baggage routine at the airport. While still several metres away he begins talking and Jerry Schlemowitz from Brooklyn, USA, makes the change from being a 'virtual' to 'real' member.

He takes another couple of minutes to cover the remaining distance now that I have said he is a 'real' club member, but try as I do, I cannot get him to sign the official members' booklet.

He has taken the club's official blue and yellow pen and is drawing diagrams instead; while shoving notes at me, and photocopies, and asking questions, and ordering what really does turn out to be the 'Drink of the Week,' which is a balloon of rouge tipped into a Perrier glass, and mixed with Perrier.

I've seen people do this with vodka, but with wine it makes a nice, light and refreshing drink - although Jerry seems to need no refreshing.

In Brooklyn, Jerry has an outfit that makes the wooden parts of Paris bistros for trendy Manhattan watering holes. This obviously makes Brooklyn the 'City of the Week.' This is Jerry's first Paris visit. He is in too much of a rush to be impressed.

La Corona's interior architecture gets a going over. Jerry can see what's real and what isn't. It's amazing how much real café the club has, and how little is added-on brick-a-brack. The marble I thought was fake is real.

The neon around the ceiling is real too and I'm glad about this because I've admired it often in the past few weeks. Jerry manages to compress two hours into 70 minutes, while talking about how French designers have taken all the Greek Doric stuff and turned it sideways, but - hey! - he says, "It works all right!"

Jerry manages to actually write his name in the member's booklet just before we put on our coats and end up in La Corona's bar, where Jerry gives it a proper critique. He points out the original pieces of it.

So I invite him to check out the Samaritaine department store, figuring he'll appreciate its iron-work. Up on the roof terrace, the sun is shining and it isphoto: jerry's drink clear - just for Jerry, Paris is putting on its best face.

We see the interior iron and admire the exterior iron. I don't think he even notices the Pont Neuf because it is all stone. Traffic is jammed into porridge on account of a demonstration on the Ile de la Cité, and getting into the Rue Dauphine is a risky adventure - like downtown Manhattan, Jerry says.

No kidding! This is really the 'Drink of the Week.'

On the way up to the Procope, where I think Jerry should see the oldest café - and its bar - he feels shop-front moldings and checks out window frames. The street is fully jammed with traffic, and it is a struggle on the narrow sidewalk.

At the Procope, we adroitly avoid the 'greeters' and 'seaters' and Jerry does his architectural trip on it. I think he is going to peel off some of the molding. He thinks Le Procope's tables are fine, and he thinks the café has broken ones 'in its basement' that he could fix up and sell in Manhattan for stiff prices.

Out in the alley behind; Jerry checks out the window frames of the tea and crumpet joints, ignores the bumpy cobblestones and we check out the bar called '1900' too - where Jerry takes a photo of its bar with the zinc top. He tells me why the bottom isn't rounded like the top.

"Because marble doesn't bend," he says and that is the 'Quote of the Week' because we've been short of them lately.

Jerry has two throw-away cameras for recording his researches and a guy in the '1900' doesn't like it a bit when he pops off one of the bar.

We go across the Odéon to an ordinary café and Jerry admires its ordinary stainless bar top, while ordering another 'Drink of the Week.' We discuss how many - different - cafés and bars there are in Paris.

For a guy who is 'jet-lagged' Jerry has a lot of steam, and he has a lot of things to get done; chairs legsphoto: jerry to find, odd scraps of molding to pick up, before getting back on the jet to New York on Monday or Tuesday - to make sure his crew is busy building Paris-style bars and not goofing off.

I asked Jerry to look at the camera. For a split-second he did, then continued talking.

We are standing in the street while he is going on a kilometre-a-minute about it, while Parisians are swirling around us, on their way to battle traffic to get home or wherever it is they are going.

I think Jerry is going to be a good club member. He certainly knows a lot more about Paris bits and pieces than I do, and he's only been here - I don't know - I mean, it must have been more than three hours, but I can't be sure.

Warning to any Paris bar owners reading this - Jerry has the biggest bag his wholesale pal in Brooklyn could find, and he intends that it be full when he gets on the plane.

Next Monday's 'Club News' in Metropole

Unlike the week before last, I can run today's 'report' in next Monday's club news page, so you won't have to link back to here. But anything can happen between now and then, so maybe I won't.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

Thursday, 13. April 2000 is the date for the club's next 'real' meeting. Come to the meeting if it is Thursday and you are in Paris. If you don'tphoto: corona's bar happen to be in Paris, wherever you are you can say "It must be Café Metropole Club day!"

The café La Corona meeting place will be as open as usual next Thursday, so the time for your club's meeting remains from 15:00 to 17:00 - which is also known as 3 pm to 5 pm in certain unmetricificated time zones.

Come as you are, especially if you can. If you cannot be present - unlike Jerry today - you can read the regular - this week's - Monday page for your last week's club's non-news.

La Corona's bar is judged top-notch by Jerry. I never noticed it before.

Instead of PR, instead of an account of last week's meeting, it now features a string of words unrelated to any club affairs - curiously - minus whatever scheme-of-the-week I've run up to see if anybody salutes. I've quit having 'schemes of the week' after today. The café's location is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre-Rivoli or Pont-Neuf

A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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