Two of New York's Boroughs Honored

photo: l->r, jadine, alan, carmel, rc cofer

From left to right: Jadine, Alan, Carmel, RC Cofer; with two more members to come.

Amiral Coligny Was Not a Polish Sausage

Paris:- Thursday, 27. April 2000:- Instead of snowing a couple of days ago at Easter, it is still raining very seriously. This is not Paris' usual little sprinkle, but regular non-stop rain. There are puddles full of it everywhere.

I skip my usual mini-tour on the way to the club. To get a shot of La Corona's terrace, I stand under the awning of a trinket shop, and all the other awnings for all the other outside shots.

Inside the café, warm and dry, there are fewer customers than last week. Easter is over and only May Day - never a record-setter for onion soup orders - is in the future.

The club's waiter arranges five tables, edge to edge. I get time to write the meeting's number and the date in the club's unofficial members' andphoto: yellow checker taxi reports' booklets. Sometimes, this is all I do for two hours. Then I get time to look closely at a brochure I found during a shortcut I took through the Samaritaine department store.

Today's yellow Checker 'Taxi of the Week' comes from Queens.

Before I can wonder what I will read next, Charter club members Carmel McKenzie and Alan Savage have arrived. I tell them about part of the Quai Branly being renamed 'Promenade d'Australie' today.

Today's Le Parisien is still maintaining that the 'Place d'Australie' will be renamed 'Place de Sydney' in a double ceremony, but there seems to be no 'Place d'Australie' in Paris to rename.

Then, in a one-two entry, last week's new Charter member R. C. Cofer piles in, closely followed by about-to-be-new Charter member Jadine Brown, who has just come from the airport and Long Island City in Queens.

The first thing Jadine does is pop a gift-wrapped yellow Checker taxi on to the table in front of me. On its driver's door, it says '$1.50 Initial Charge.' This wonderful item instantly becomes the club's 'Taxi of the Week.'

She must think this is a club of crazies. With members making multiple visits, some conversations carry over from one week to the next.

R.C. Cofer tells us about not getting off a train in time to see some château, and seeing another one near some other station. These châteaux names both start with 'C' but I do not catch more.

This reminds me of the dubious location of Tampa, Florida - which may not have its own postal address like Long Island City in Queens. R. C. Cofer interrupts himself to say, "Miami is the New York of South America."

Everybody says this can't be true, but R. C. Cofer is sticking to New York lore. He says, "Brooklyn is on the way to New York from the JFK airport."

About this time, I am trying to line up the present members for their group photo. Jadine says it is a "Bad-hair day," and "Can't you draw some stick-figures instead?" When I persist, she asks, "Can you retouch it?"

In case any Parisians are reading this, Jadine adds, "Paris in the rain is better than anywhere else." I guess anybody who comes straight to this clubphoto: drink, orange presse from the airport without passing decompression might have a 'bad-hair day.'

Everybody is also interested in Carmel and Alan's inexpensive hotel with 'Gran Confort,' in, as Alan says, "The unfashionable east." But while we are on this Rhoda and Jerry Miller come in, dripping rainwater, with a club membership card for me to fill in and date.

The 'Drink of the Week' is orange pressé, not RC Cola.

The Millers are from Far Rockaway, New York. I think I overhear that this place is in the Bronx, and I glance at the unofficial member's booklet, to see that Jerry has drawn a map - showing Far Rockaway to be on Long Island - which looks like a long sausage in the north, with other nearby islands, and New Jersey, represented by a straight line on the right.

One apparent 'island' is labelled 'The Mainland.' An arrow in 'New Jersey' with a 'N' below it is pointing towards South America.

Rhoda was 'born' on 163rd Street and Jerry says he was 'born' on 117th Street; both in Manhattan. Their present home in Far Rockaway has a connection with Frace: every time the Concorde takes off, as it gathers speed crossing over Far Rockaway, it sets off all the car burglar alarms.


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