...Continued from page 1

The lifting and hauling might not have been much work in comparison what he's done so far, but it's kind of a good feeling to have contributed some lugging to something this week.

Poster Doldrums

After the previous week's 'bikini wars' and last week's riposte by Aubade's roundy-round models, Paris' poster scene settled into a week of doldrums with only new ho-hums plastered around town.

I don't think this is entirely accidental. There is a whole business area that includes having an event, deciding to do a poster for it, booking space for the poster's display, and getting it hung up at the right time - in the best places if possible.

In the course of this, the calendar gets a glance - so Christmas crêche posters don't go up in June, for example. I know of an 'orphan' poster panel, that still has its Christmas crêche poster on display - but this was in Metropole when it was in season and if it is re-run you'll think I'm nuts.

Last week's calendar said that the week was short - from Wednesday's traditional new poster day, to Thursday's Ascension Day holiday which was the first day of a long weekend for many in France.

Many posters reflect actual news, in the form of the week's magazine covers and some of these are newsmagazines. The spaces for these posters have to be booked in advance too - long before magazine editors know if their magazines are going to have exciting news, or any news at all.

If all the factors governing last week in Paris were put into a hamburger grinder, all you would get is a low-beef high-fat variety. This, the posters reflect. Some weeks are rich and some are not.

While there are some fairly good events posters underground in the métro, most of the métros big posters are equally boring. Part of this is due to the portable telephone industry and France's new Internet sites. These two are taking a lot of space to say next to nothing without being particularly inventive about it.

Paris Plage

Without any relationship to being freezing cold, I have been closely following the weather forecasts for signs that the time has come for Metropole's annual 'Paris Plage' feature, which is supposed to show the city as a perfectly feasible beach resort.

Predictions for Friday's temperatures turned out to be correct - a day after being very incorrect on Thursday - but the predicted sunshine didn't quite make it to earth.

Nevertheless, I started out with the good intention of doing the first beach report of the season, at the Gare Saint-Lazare, forphoto: sitters, opera steps purely technical reasons. For some reason I don't quite understand, I did not reach the Seine until three hours later - when I rode the métro under it.

Paris Plage was temporarily installed on the steps of the Opéra on Friday.

For this reason the nearly annual 'Paris Plage' beach resort feature is not in this issue. In its place you will find something about how not to end up on the Avenue de l'Opéra while walking from Saint-Lazare to the beach.

Café Metropole Club's 34th Session

The low point of the 34th weekly meeting of the 'Café Metropole Club' was not the absence of any sort of club members but the near lack of any 'Anything of the Week' awards.

This was due to the club's rule that prevents the club's secretary from declaring a regular weekly meeting the 'Non-meeting of the Week.' You can read about it on last Thursday's 'Club 'Report' page.

But if you think you might just skip it, the club's next meeting will be on Thursday, 8. June. If you are in the mood be sure to see this week's 'Club News' page anyway.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 4.23 - 7. June1999 - The week's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'Chaos Surprisesphoto: defense d'afficher Parisians.' The 'Au Bistro' column was titled 'The Other Big Strike.' This issue had one feature, titled 'The One-Day Tour of Everything.' 'Bet On Longchamp' was the subject of an email from Cindy Walsh. The 'Scene' column had 'It's Festival Time Again!' There were four 'Posters of the Week' with an extra page of European election posters. Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Don't Come Back.' Why not?

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

Issue 3.23 - 8. June 1998 - The Café Metropole column had the redundent title of: 'Cascades ofphoto: rue main d'or sign Visitor Info,' which may have been a lead-up to the 'Scene' column. The 'Au Bistro' column was titled 'How France Gets Ready for the World Cup.' Before you read this, remember that France won this Cup - a year later. This issue had one feature, titled 'Me and Monte McGee and Monte McGee's Dog.' For footballing sportsfans there were 'Links For World Cup: Ready, Set - Duck!' Several readers contributed to an email feature about 'Picnic Tools.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' as usual. Ric's Cartoon of the Week was had the alarming caption of 'Not In My Wineglass!'

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

Due to lack of interest in this section, it is hereby suspended. No popular acclaim during the week asked for its reinstatement

There are only about 209 days left to go until the 3rd Millennium. For really picky readers, this figure is correct. On account of this section being suspended, the number of days gone since New Year's is uncalcuable.
signature, regards, ric

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