...Continued from page 1

In one book, olives, olive oil or olive orchards are cited in the index 13 times. But, although olives and oil are as common in Mediterranean cooking as onions, nonephoto: accordion 2000, salon music of the books contained any history or fascinating lore.

About three hours after the marché had packed up for the day, I realized that I had missed a chance to take a lot of photos of a lot of different kinds of olives, and some truly exotic oils too.

The 'Accordéon 2000' will get a tryout at the Salon de la Musique. See the 'Scene' page.

My neighborhood has French, Italian and Greek delicatessens. In the French shop it was suggested I try a bookshop in the 5th, but I didn't want to buy a whole book to add a mere paragraph of 'lore.'

When the Italian operator found out I didn't want to buy a 160 franc bottle of Tuscan high-class extra-virgin olive oil, he was suddenly too busy to let me borrow it for 60 seconds to take a photo of it.

All the same, even if he doesn't get a mention here, he'll probably see me again. He has one of these shops where you have to keep stepping outside, to avoid drooling on the shop's floor.

But this makes me remember that my marché also has an Italian specialty operator. I have drooled my way past this stand often; one day I'm going to stop.

Contest Winners' Prize

One of Metropole's recent contest winners has written to say he is thrilled to have a sardine tin full of 'Air de Paris,' and if Metropole ever has another contest he will enter it in a flash.

Paris air, even though we have a lot of it around here, is rare in other parts of the world. Having a sardinephoto: prize, air de paris tin full of it is a great subject for lagging conversations.

In complying with EC labeling guidelines, the contents were described as a lot of nitrogen, some tiny amount of oxygen, and a very great deal of pollution.

Not only 'winnable,' but 'Air de Paris' is exportable.

Depending on where the tin was sealed, the so-called 'pollution' may not be this at all. It might be the smell of a bakery in the morning, or the combined smells of a street marché after it has warmed up a bit.

I do not think the manufacturers of 'Air de Paris' would have sealed the tin during the rush hour on the Perifreak! or any other such similar place.

Café Metropole Club's 28th Session

The 28th weekly meeting - the after-the-six-month mark! - of the 'Café Metropole Club' marked another sudden upsurge in 'real' membership last Thursday and included the induction of member who were not 'virtual' who did become 'real.' You can read about it on last week's 'Club 'Report'' page even if you have already read it once.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 4.17 - 26. April 1999 - This week's Café Metropole column was headlined: - 'Sunday Strolling, Biking, Rollering, Jogging and Plain Walking.' The rest of the issue was titled 'The issue thatphoto: secours, en case de noyade wasn't, was a small one.' There were Posters of the Week, but I don't know how many.

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

Issue 3.17 - 27. April 1998 - The Café Metropole column had the exciting headline: 'This Strike Won't Affect You.' The 'Au Bistro' column was titled '20 Million Wrong Numbers.' This issue had three whole features, titled 'Flower-Gazing in the Parc Bagatelle,' 'Camping in Paris' Bois de Boulogne' and 'Where All Lanes are Fast: the Perifreak!' There were four 'Posters of the Week' as usual and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Train Driver Dream.'

The Metropole Paris Countdown to 31. December 2000:

Here is the 17th issue of the year already and I still haven't received any complaints about Metropole's somewhat shopworn but still white-on-peachy background, stupendously fabulous, somewhat tattered count-down. Two weeks ago I did something about this situation, but it has changed nothing. Nobody is still complaining about the count-down.

Despite the recent contest - see above - and the claim that one contestant made; he reads not only every word here, but the punctuation as well - the result is still: 'Nobody is still complaining about the count-down.'

I give up. If you aren't going to complain about this useless count-down, I will just have to continue it without further comment until its time is up.

This new countdown will last only 366 days, minus the 115 days already gone. The official reason for doing this is to give the Tour Eiffel a new chance to 'get it right.' This is a re-run for many count-down fans who missed shouting 'Zéro' on Friday, 31. December 1999 when Paris' countdown clock gave up. The 'unofficial' reason for this has been suspended until it's time for another contest.

There are only about 251 days left to go until the 3rd Millennium. For really picky readers, this figure may now be incorrect again. The thing I like least about the count-down is looking up the days gone and the days-to-go each week.
signature, regards, ric

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