...Continued from page 1

This is how I got two hours late, but nicely warm before getting back to my 'garret' on Saturday. I have two fireplaces but I don't know if they work, so I declined Antonio's offer of some kindling. It wouldn't look smart to start a chimney fire in May.

Vigilant readers will likely recall that I mentioned this Australian business here last week. In the meantimephoto: ateliers poussin Kim has reported that his neighbors have gotten really serious - plus he has unilaterally honored me with the title of 'Honorary French Cultural Advisor' - so I think I am obliged to keep everyone informed of these vital events.

Artists in the ateliers 'Poussin' have open doors for the event in Montparnasse.

According to Kim's latest message, received yesterday, the local electricity company was in town by chance to see if any lights are on, and the wine-growing shark fishermen hornswoggled them into financing construction of the replica 'Morris' column - which now makes them famous worldwide by being mentioned here, even if I don't know the name of the company.

If you are reading this, you will know I survived the horrible conditions in my unheated 'garret' - by dreaming of building a replica of a Paris Vespasienne in Western Australia.

However, if you'd rather I write about being freezing cold in Paris, I will do it instead because I have a fair amount of experience with this too.

Café Metropole Club's 32th Session

The highlight of the 32th weekly meeting - way over the 30th-week mark! - of the 'Café Metropole Club' - exceptionally held last Friday - was getting Sweetwater exchanged for Stillwater, Oklahoma as the previous week's 'City of the Week.' You can read about it on last week's 'Club 'Report'' page.

Because the last meeting was held so recently, I doubt that you have read its 'report' even once, and twice seems exceedingly doubtful. This issue's 'Club News' page treats the membership question raised last week, because no two members agree with my proposal or each other's.

If this sounds more tiresome than usual, there are also two other wonderful 'firsts' - one from Friday and one I forgot from the week before.

But if you intend to skip it, the club's next meeting will be on Thursday, 25. May. Be sure to see this week's 'Club News' page anyway for tips on how to tell whether it is Thursday or not when you are in Paris. Even if they are 'old' tips they still work.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 4.21 - 24. May 1999 - The week's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'Techno Bubble Explodes.' The 'Au Bistro' column was titled 'State Museums Hit by Strikes.' This issue had one feature, titled 'The Rue Cler Is Not Funky.' There was one eMail page, which posed the question, 'Does Paris Stink?' by Johanna Shirley. The 'Scene' column had 'Paris Issues 'User's Guide.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Is the Champs-Elysées Ready?' - but then it always is, isn't it?

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

Issue 3.21 - 25. May 1998 - The Café Metropole column had a mindless title: 'Rattled in Long Weekend May,' as if it never happened before. The 'Au Bistro' column was titled 'Libération: Paper of '68, Born in '73, Hits 25.' This issue had two sappy features, titled 'Paris Is a Moveable Picnic' - still! - plus the vastly snappier 'Véloville! Rollerville!' Murray J. Aronson sent an eMail which was titled, 'Hôtel des Bains.' Therephoto: pleure pas grosse bete tu vas chez hoblet were four 'Posters of the Week' as usual. Ric's Cartoon of the Week was had the unexciting caption of 'Season Ticket' because it was the best I could invent on short notice.

Metropole Paris' Nearly Solo Countdown to 31. December 2000:

Relentless reader Paul Babbitt only skims this section to see if it contains a thrilling contest for him to enter. Paul need skim no further, because there is no contest this week, which incidently marks the 21st issue of the year. This proves that whining that nobody but contest contestants speed-read this had paid off. I need write no further.

'Moreover' is a word just as silly the word used here last week, so I will clip the rest of this too. 'Clip.'

Now back to our regular but equally mindless 'countdown' program: this 'new' countdown will last only 366 days, minus the 143 days already gone. The official reason for doing this is to give the Tour Eiffel a new chance to 'hit the zero' once and for all. This is a re-run countdown for thousands of count-down fans who missed shouting 'Zéro' - its French spelling - on Friday, 31. December 1999 when Paris' Tour Eiffel countdown display blanked out with only minutes left to go.

If you don't happen to be a count-down fan, then you have probably already skipped reading this. But I warn you that if you have - you may miss the next ultra-exciting contest, which will be reserved for vigilant readers.

There are only about 223 days left to go until the 3rd Millennium. For really perceptive readers, this figure is again correct, I guess. The thing I like least about the count-down is calculating the days gone and the days-to-go each week. I do this by adding seven to the number in the paragraph above and subtracting a like amount from this one. If the number was 10, it would be easier.
signature, regards, ric

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