'Yawn of the Week'

photo: pre-club lunch, terrace corona

The remains of pre-members' club lunch on
the Corona's terrace.

The 'Report' of the 47th Weekly Meeting

Paris:- Thursday, 24. August 2000:- The city is showing me what it can be like if the Atlantic weather depression sits off Portugal, and its counter-clockwise swirl paints a spray of hot air across Spain and France.

Ahh, but its warm. The sky is clear, the leaves are still green and the shadows on the sidewalks beneath them are warm grey. The light is reflecting every which way with yellow predominating over blue.

My route to the club today is through the Quartier Latin, where the shadows are more black and white. On the Rue de Seine, it seems shut down. Some cafés and many galleries have signs on their rolled-down shutters saying 'see you on 31. August,' which is also a Thursday, in case you want to note the day.

The Pont des Arts is like a planked desert. The city's sunbathers prefer the Seine's right bank quays. Lessphoto: pamela serious ones are camped out on the downstream tip of the Ile de la Cité, under the willows. The breeze is from Malaga.

Two prospective club members are sitting at a pre-club, after-lunch marble-topped café table on the Corona's Amiral Coligny terrace. Before saying 'welcome to the club' I check out the membership potential of the other terrace, on the Quai du Louvre side. Looks like nil.

Nearly the first time in Paris; Pamela Eckhart at her first club meeting.

The reason I know the couple are to-be members of the club is because one of them is Norman Barth, who I've met before. He demonstrates to me that finding the Corona's 'Grande Salle' is not as easy as I thought.

To the left of the bar, there's the sign pointing in the right direction but it seems to be pointing at a door with 'privée' sign on it. You have to go further around to the right before the 'Grande Salle' opens out.

I thought I had thoroughly explained that in case of difficulty all you have to do is say, "Ou est le club?" at the bar. 'Club' is pronounced 'cloob.' Remember?

In the 'Grande Salle' there is easily enough room for 100 members. At the back, I line up the tables like soldiers and then the chairs and place myself in the centre.

When Norman and his companion Pamela Eckhart come in, they take the seats the furthest away, as if I'm not still half-deaf from Canadian pool water. I cajole them into cozying-up closer together.

Pamela is from San Diego, California; where Norman used to live before he moved to La Jolla. Thisphoto: norman second city becomes the club's 'City of the Week,' and since San Diego county is so interesting and varied, it becomes the 'County of the Week' - the first to ever get this newly-minted distinction.

Only somebody who knows Paris as well as Norman Barth would order spaghetti at La Corona.

Did you know that more hummingbirds live in San Diego County than - I forget where - and the county has the nation's record for number of Indian reservations? Dogs are also allowed to swim in the water there without leashes, just so long as they don't touch any sand!

And all my life I thought San Diego County was mainly famous for its southernmost city of Tijuana. Norman wonders what it would be like to sneak across the border at night, into Mexico, even though, he says, "We have lots of space in America."

Apparently, because of the anti-dog discrimination, dogs have two beaches of their own. "Dogs just go crazy," says Pamela, "They're free-love zones for dogs." One of these beaches is even named 'Dog Beach.'

Marion Nowak shows up, after I thought she was safely on her way to Köln. Norman and Marion trade tall stories about the excellent quality of Franken wine, which is a bit hard to find outside of Oberfranken.

Marion has a pastis when Patrick the waiter beings it. She mixes it the proper way, so it is a drink lighter than wine. I get a huge whiff of anis from it. Smells like France.

Norman reminds us all that today - or tomorrow, officially - is 'Paris Liberation Day' - the day in 1944 when General De Gaulle walked down the Champs-Elyséesphoto: marion to the overwhelming acclaim of Parisians.

The reason I have met Norman before is because he is the producer of 'The Paris Pages,' and we worked together throughout most of 1995.

It is Pamela's first real visit to Paris. For Norman, Paris is a home as often as he can get here. Next Thursday Marion leaves for good - except for being on the Paris-Köln direct express line.

With her back to the light, Marion gets pasted with dots of lens-flare.

As Marion's husband Stephan said, "Köln - Paris; Four Hours Six Minutes" Stephan is not present today because he looked at the calendar, which told him to finish his thesis before the end of the month.

Another no-show is the server-lady, Linda Thalman, who decided to remain out at the Cadillac Ranch today because of a flat tire that wouldn't repair itself.

It is really hot in Paris today; 30 degrees or slightly over. Norman yawns. I feel like yawning too. But if I do, then the 'Yawn of the Week' will become plural. So I finish my Orangina instead. No café today; not until later.

For tomorrow - Friday - Paris is supposed to add two more degrees. Then the nearly customary weekend storms are predicted to follow.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

For those who have no idea what the above may be about, details about the Café Metropole Paris Club in Paris are on a page called 'About the Café Metropole Club' - photo: club drinks, orangina, ricardaccessible here, and from each issue's 'home' page.

This 'about' page contains the details of the free membership, the free members' card and the other free unofficial non-rules concerning the club and how it freely operates or doesn't operate. You probably need to know more about the club, so please look at this page, unless you already know too much.

Some of today's club drinks, lined up like a line of pétanque boules.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The date for the club's next meeting is Thursday, 31. August. This is Saint-Aristide's Day in Paris. The whole rest of the day will be time enough for school-supply shopping. The café La Corona meeting place will again be open like today - and the time for your club's meeting remains from 15:00 to 17:00 - which is also known as 3 pm to 5 pm.

Come to the next meeting just as you are - especially if you are bored silly in Paris and need a place to yawn.

The café's location is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny - or - 30. Quai du Louvre, Paris 1.
Métro: Louvre-Rivoli or Pont-Neuf

A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini