Lost Siestas

photo: wine bar, le rubis

At siesta time, the Rubis stays open, on the
Rue Marché Saint-Honoré.

How Not To Do This Magazine

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 15. May 2000:- Do you know what life is like when you have no plan? If you were in Paris, it would be like my life. If you are in Paris you probably do have a plan because you've got important things to do. The only thing I have to do each week is get this magazine together and online.

Oh, sure, I brush my teeth and I comb my hair, and I go shopping for food and go across the street and do the washing, to watch the dryer attach lint to my old shirts. About once a week, I have to do something administrative, but this is a duty for everyone living in France.

All of the above I do on my weekly 'day off' when I am half blind from monitor overdose, witless from computer noise and can only walk with a tilt because of the crummy chair I've been sitting on for 72 hours.

I don't know how I get away with this. I used to be reallyphoto: la cantine russe busy; driving a school car-pool, getting the car fixed to drive it - and driving to Spain for a holiday every August. I even used to have siestas fairly regularly somehow, and washed a greater number of dishes before helping my kids watch a fair amount of TV.

Find La Cantine Russe on the Avenue de New York.

These days, I tape a TV-movie and see it in 'parts,' over several days. I quit using dishes, and sometimes I even miss the high-point of the day, the evening's TV-news. I don't read the newspapers; once a week I take a week's worth and rip out the oddest stuff I can find. If I run out of time, I throw it all on the floor.

Every once in a while, some pending 'events' pile up in my head, and because I have no 'plan,' I just wander out to get the goods on them - like the 'incroyable pique-nique.'

You readers send me stuff too and I go out looking for this, because it saves me from thinking up something of my own. Occasionally Adrian Leeds sends me an article and I have to get some kind of photos for it.

Finally, 'events' are starting to fall in on me. 'Le Mai des Montparnos' has been going on for some time - I think - but it was only last week that I found out that its program would be available today.

But on Saturday, the 'disappeared' Lucile popped into my face - with the printed program already! - plus an invitation to her part of 'Le Mai des Montparnos,' which will take place in a nearby café.

Some good folks in way-out Western Australia got a bit spiffed and have decided to re-stage 'Clochmerle,' in honor of a poor French sailor who was stranded or drowned there in 1801, and this has led them to the idea of having a Paris-style toilet-building competition in a place named Augusta, half the world away.

For this they need a photo of a Paris toilet. No problem! The only Vespasienne left is just around the corner. Anything for Oz.

I forgot. Early in the week - on my 'day off' actually - I checked up on Mark Kritz' alert about the Varian Fryphoto: pokka, dr pepper exhibition at the Mona Bismarck foundation. Never heard of it? Neither had I, and I also found the Cantine Russe on account of it. Once 'found, ' what should I do with it?

Result: an issue with no feature other than Adrian's highly educational tour of new world beaneries, with tips on what to eat without utensils, plus a bunch of snacks of this and that.

Tea in cans, Pokka and Dr. Pepper - Paris has nearly everything!

Have I left anything out? Of course - there's the sculpture in the Place Vendôme I touted last week, sight unseen. Finding the latest info about the coming Friday, 14. July 'incroyable pique-nique' at the '2000 In France' headquarters was nearly beside Vendôme's stone courtyard.

Getting there, overloaded with two kilos of excess documentation, took me past the photo ops for Adrian's feature, plus I had a glass of water in one of my formerly-favorite wine bars, in addition to having a pretty good sandwich - with a free salad thrown in - as my 'Meal of the Week.'

So I've put this stuff down on its own page. Even though most of it falls into the 'events' category, the 'Scene' page is already overfull with the stuff that's already on or is coming soon.

This isn't the way to put any magazine together, but this is the way this week's edition has been done. With no plan at all. Let's start with Adrian, because she is everybody's favorite 'belle.'

Professional Eater, Adrian Leeds

Regular readers might recall past food scuffles I've had with Adrian Leeds. She is back in this issue with an outsider's inside look at lots of food in her home-town country, known nearly worldwide as the United States 'of A.'

'A' stands for America, a name which applies to two entire continents in addition to the United States' part. For those whose geography is hazy, Cuba in an 'American' country even if it is on an offshore island.

Adrian Leeds grew up as a 'belle' in New Orleans, attended university in New York City and spent a year on a kibbutz i Israel before settling down, first in Knoxville and then in Los Angeles. Despite all of this, Adrian is still 'belle.'


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