Wobbly Geography

photo: corona terrace, scooter, rain

The geography of a terrace in the rain.

News About the 'Café Metropole Club'

Paris:- Saturday, 29. April 2000:- After 29 weekly club meetings you would think I am pretty used to what goes on at the meetings, but this is not the case. Club members who turn up to become 'real' do not fit in any mold.

Hardly any members who come to the meetings are on their first visit to Paris. Some are, and some don't even realize they are coming to a club meeting - like Anne and Will Towler a week ago.

No, most members are old Paris hands. Last Thursday's Rhoda and Jerry Miller were on their fourth visit - but they live close to Paris, in New York.

Due to the usual hoopla of a well-attended club meeting, I think I attributed a false 'home town' to the Millers by placing their Far Rockaway home in the Bronx. Alert club member Jadine Brown from Long Island City in the Queens borough of New York, put me right.

Now that I look closely at Jerry's map in the unofficial members' booklet - it is the booklet'sphoto: bar, serving tray only map - its 'first' map! - I see that he has drawn an arrow from the name 'Far Rockaway' to the top side of a sausage-shape, labelled 'Long Island.'

From my library I find a large-scale map of the New York area and find Rockaway Inlet, Rockaway Point and even East Rockaway - and all of these places could have their car burglar alarms set off by low-flying Concordes in high-acceleration mode leaving JFK airport.

Picking up the soup from La Corona's bar.

Although my map does not have enough detail to actually show the location of Far Rockaway itself, I will deduce it is not in the Bronx - which appears to be in the direction of Canada, possibly near Montréal.

R. C. Cofer returned to Thursday's meeting and I told him that I had pinpointed Tampa near Brownsville. While I have the atlas out, I find that Tampa is in fact on the west side of Florida - which means that R. C. Cofer's second explanation of its location - as I understood it - to the east of Orlando, is also off the mark.

These geography lessons are valuable. There are - or were, if south Florida didn't secede last week - 50 states in the US. At the rate I am learning about them, in sort of a patchwork pattern, I will be long-dead before we get around to all the names of the US presidents since Davy Crocket.

With the summer travelling season coming up, more and more 'virtual' members are writing to say they will be coming to club meetings. I read these messages and even reply to them, but I don't memorize them because I'm trying to remember a shopping list.

If you do show up to become 'real' and I don't seem to know who you are, this is my fault because of all your messages I have not memorized, and the shopping lists I've forgotten too.

At the meetings themselves, I do not always have time to read your notations in the unofficialphoto: teapot, cup members' booklet - so sometimes it is not before weeks afterwards that I figure out who you are - and remember the questions I intended to ask.

For British members, the 'soup' can be tea. Note purple-tea tea-bag ticket.

A 'virtual' member in Britain recently wrote to ask if the club has any British members. Charter Member Dr. David 'Deep-Fried Mars Bars' Leslie lives in Glasgow, which is in the UK but not in Britain.

Oops, I have almost made another terrible 'faux-pas.' I was about to write that the club has no members originating in Britain - when the members' booklet tells me Charter Member number 12, Michel Hall, is from Manchester, even if he lives in Paris.

This means that the 'first' for this distinction is now unavailable. If I mention all of the world's corners that are still unrepresented, it will set off a rush for 'firsts,' and this would better be avoided in the name of peace and sanity; two characteristics in short enough supply at your club in Paris.

Some Coming Dates To Note

The café La Corona will be occupied by a movie crew for a couple of days one week in May, so the club's meeting will probably be put forward to a Wednesday. Note that I do not know this exact date.

I will be absent from two meetings - the last one in June andphoto: orange presse the first one in July, which are Thursday, 29. June and Thursday, 6. July. Like many of you, I will be hors-continent until Thursday, 13. July.

If the plane lands on schedule and if I can transfer from its landing place to Eurostar's Paris departure station, and if métro line four is operating correctly, then I will arrive for the club's meeting on Thursday, 13. July, but late.

For members from Florida, spring 'soup' is real orange juice.

This date coincides with the eve of Bastille Day, and is usually reserved for a lot of party-like activities in Paris - which will be more this year on account of its '2000' character.

I do not want to miss this club meeting nor this evening in Paris, nor do I wish to miss the biggest picnic in the history of the world on Friday, 14. July.

Next Thursday's club meeting will be held as usual in the same place at the same time, rain or shine.

The Original 'Report' of the Last Meeting

I recommend this - for its new and entirely unforseen new 'first' - if you want to read last Thursday's original report, then you can see the unofficial account of the weekly Club meeting - which has other details than above.

The Boilerplate: The Café Metropole Club Is Free

The one purpose of the Café Metropole Club is to provide a chance for readers of the online magazine 'Metropole Paris' who are visiting Paris to meet its 'Ed,' and each other at its weekly meetings in the club's Paris café.

You will find that your 'club' may be more value than it costs - which is nothing - even though it has no actual real, pretended or 'virtual' benefits, except for being absolutely free. Club meetings are seldom boring, unless there are no members present. Since you don't want to be members of a boring club, you should try to be at its meetings.

The Café Metropole Club Membership Card

This is the Café Metropole Club's membership card. Unlike other cards, this 'card' is completely 'virtual' as you can see here. If you feelphoto: virtual membership card the need, it is possible to print it but it is not absolutely necessary unless you want to carry it around to show to me when you are in Paris.

On the left, your membership 'card.'

Metropole readers who have not had a chance to attend a club meeting in Paris in person can upgrade from their simple reader status to 'virtual'-status by using any method you want to use, including smoke-and-mirrors.

All 'virtual' members, plain readers and now, non-readers, who actually show up for meetings in Paris, automatically become exclusive* and 'real' Charter Club Members, unless they choose to refuse this distinction.

*'Exclusive' means that it is the only Café Metropole Club in Paris that accepts any sort of living human being from any part of our planet as members. Any other virtual Café Metropole Clubs in Paris that claim to be real are actually virtual or pirate copies and should not be confused with the sole 'virtual' and unofficial 'real' one, which is this one.

Charter Club Member List

As 'virtual' members induct themselves at the weekly club meetings in Paris, they become 'real' members of the club by writing anything the semi-official members' booklet.

After becoming 'real,' members will be asked - someday - via email - if they wish to have their email addresses passed on to other 'real' members in a joint list. If in agreement, this will be done. If not, the member's name will be on the distributed list, but without their email address.

This reminds me for the nth time that I should send out this list for those who have signed on for it. The deadline has been moved to the near future.

The Whole History of the Café Metropole Club

The first meeting of your club took place on Thursday, 7. October 1999. The meeting next Thursday will be the club's 29th - clearly over six months' worth. Your club in Paris now has 66 'real' members.

Vital 'Update' Information The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 4. May, in Paris. This is not any particular day - so attendance at the club meeting may not interfere with any festive rites you may be planning.

Be sure to check this week's 'Scene' column for possible festivities you may miss by attending the club's next meeting.

The club's 'report' about the next meeting will be put online as usual at its regular time, which may still be Thursday in your time zone, if it is in the GMT +0100 or +0200 Summer-Time scheme of things and far, far to the west of Paris. If anyplace to the east of Paris, It may not be online before Friday.

photo: location map, la coronaWhat, Where, When, How?

Here are the day, time and location details for you to note:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre-Rivoli or Pont-Neuf
Every Thursday at 15:00, until 17:00.
In non-continental terms, even in Paris, the times are from 3 pm to 5 pm.

The club has a revolving set of regular waiters. You can order anything you want from them because the café has nearly everything, including some French stuff like frites. The 'Waiter of the Week' will keep a tab on this, for you to pay before you leave.

The club's meetings are held at the far end of the La Corona's big 'salle.' The café has several other areas, including its bar, a small 'salle,' another terrace, and a downstairs waterworks part, but none of these are where the club's meetings are held - so pay no attention to them - except for, maybe, the vital downstairs part.

If you are still uncertain about where club meetings are held within the café, simply ask any alert person standing behind La Corona's bar - in any language that suits you - "Où est le club, s'il vous plaît?"

An alternative is to ask for 'Mr. Internet,' but I intensely dislike this nickname and if you need to use it, I'd rather not know about it.

See you soon - A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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