'Phone Call of the Week'

photo: terrace col coligny, la corona

View number 38 of the café La Corona.

News About the 'Café Metropole Club'

Paris:- Saturday, 24. June 2000:- If I hadn't been reading four-year old Paris statistics for the first 50 minutes of last Thursday's club meeting, I would have noticed that La Corona's 'grande salle' had at least 86 empty seats free for members. There was me, the club's secretary, and the club's waiter, Monsieur Ferrat.

If you think you've read this before, you are almost right. The only difference between the beginnings of the last two meetings of your club in Paris, was the different sets of new members who turned up to distract me from my heavy reading.

I know - I'm supposed to sit upright, looking perky and alert, smiling and winking at everybody in the 'grande salle' who may be a member-in-waiting. But this is hard to do for more than eight or eleven minutes when the room is empty.

Eventually Nicole Martineau and Charles Fremont did arrive; huffing and puffing a bit after a fast trek from the Musée d'Orsay. Most members just wander over from the Louvre across the street, to arrive calm and refreshed, but - hey! - Orsay is okay too. Providing you are sporty.

The club's new members came from Webster Groves near Saint Louis, Missouri, before they came from the Orsay. While everybody agreed Webster Groves should be 'City of the Week,' nobody thought to make Louis 'Saint of the Week.'

Nicole said, "It is a classic suburb," on account of it having been designated as such by a CBS-TV documentary in 1964. The TV company remembered what it had done and came back 35 years later to see what was new.

Whatever it was didn't make 'Anything of the Week' because neither Nicole nor Charles could think of anything new. Or maybe they did, and I didn't hear it.

Charles had a similar story. He last visited Paris - three times in one year! - in 1963, which wasphoto: charles, nicole 37 years ago. The only change I remember him mentioning was missing the impressionists in the Jeu de Paume in the Tuileries, and having to cross the Seine to Orsay to see them.

Thursday's new members, from right to left; Nicole Martineau and Charles Fremont.

The couple started out their Paris trip in Florence, in Italy. After seeing the sights there they took the Eurostar-Italia 'Rialto' train to Paris, without reservations. As people with reservations got on they had to keep finding unoccupied seats; but they sat down all the way to Paris. Don't try this in July!

Half an hour after the new members' arrival I was called to the phone in the bar of the café. The caller was Badger, who was attempting to join the meeting in progress, from some suburb near London.

Badger became the 'Caller of the Week,' but did not manage to sign the members' booklet. All the same it was a genuine 'first' of sorts. I wonder if the club will be as exciting when it have all the 'firsts' it can get - sometime around 2009.

The club meeting broke up at 17:30 because Nicole and Charles had to leave to get ready for an evening of dining in the Quartier Latin at a well-known typical brasserie. I got the idea Charles had been waiting 37 years to try the place out.

In 1963 he liked the looks of the place, but the prices on the menu were a bit high. They probably still are, but Charles has been saving up for a long time for this meal.

About the Club

The Café Metropole Club is a meeting place in Paris for the readers of the weekly online magazine Metropole Paris - which is this magazine you are reading - who are in Paris on a Thursday and are in the vicinity of the club's café at the right time on the right day.

Readers of the online magazinephoto: neo classic kitsch decor who have not had a chance to attend a club meeting can become members of the club by inducting themselves into it in the privacy of their own homes, no matter where they live.

First-time visitors who can find the club's café can sign the unofficial members' booklet, to become members. Generally, this has no negative effect on your universal rights as human beings or as readers.

Neo-classical, or neo-kitsch; it is our club's spiffy decor.

The club has a long and colorful history and a great number of signed-up members after 37 whole meetings; including the ones with no members present.

The club is informal. There is no 'club poem' for you to learn. The club's unwritten and unofficial rules state quite clearly that the club has no 'dess-code.' There is no unofficial secret handclasp or 'high-fives-sign.' Non-readers of the online magazine can also become members. This has happened, usually by accident.

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