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Paris Re-applies For 'No Cars' Day

photo: fiat 500 of the weekThe city has submitted its third plan to the Préfecture for next Friday's 'no cars' day. Details are unknown about this plan and it is also unknown if the Préfecture will have time to react to it.

This week's 'Fiat 500 of the Week' will be out of town next Friday.

The first city project was rejected by the Ministry of the Environment and the more ambitious second plan - to close Paris completely - was rejected by the Police Préfecture for being too difficult to implement.

Paris' 'Génitron' - the Countdown Clock

Originally, the Génitron - a bar with spaces for nine digits - was mounted in front of the Musée Pompidou in January 1987. Because of the museum's renovation the Génitron was moved to Bastille three years ago, to where the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir enters the place.

As Le Parisien puts it, 'nine months after entering the 21st century, the Génitron is still there.' In August, its artist-creators thought of auctioning it off in Monaco. As far as Paris is concerned, it has finished its job.

Its location may be unusual, its design may be ugly, but the 21st century won't have arrived until Monday, 1. January 2001 - as most readers of Metropole already know. There's still time to restart the clock and 'get it right' once and for all.

Banners Doom Techno Parade

Le Parisien ran a weeklong promo for the Jours de Patrimoine. This was done with ads so colorful that I failed to notice them because I thought they were 'banners.' Buried within these ads were mentions of yesterday's Techno Parade.

Thus, it wasn't until the lady at my news kiosk handed me Le Parisien's CD-ROM 'Des "Clics" Autour du Patrimoine' with Saturday's paper, that I first 'discovered' the day, time and route of the event.

The third annual Paris Techno Parade ran off yesterday, starting from the Quai Branly near the Tour Eiffel, and meandered its way through the high-rent 16th arrondissement, to the Porte de la Muette.

The parade had a technical hang-up when it crossed the Pont de l'Alma. It set the bridge in vibration and the parade had to stop, to let the 25 motorized displays cross, quietly, one by one.

At 17:00 the parade paused for a 'breather' at Trocadéro, with standing room only. After moving on into the depths of the exclusive arrondissement, residents were seen to be completely unamused by the spectacle.

With its budget reduced by half, there was no big fête at the parade's end, and the estimated 100,000 participants and spectators scattered to any of the 200-odd 'afters' thatphoto: c & a store, haussmann had been organized.

RATP Does a Disney

Any visitor worth their guide-book knows of the 'dragonfly'-style métro entrance, designed by Hector Guimard, at the Porte Dauphine and the slightly similar one at Abbesses.

Shady Boulevard Haussmann, opposite Printemps.

Last year the RATP renovated the one at Porte Dauphine, and while doing it got the idea to make molds of it. Apparently this is a model 'B' and Abbesses is a model 'A.' The most common was a model 'C,' but these have completely disappeared from Paris and only exist in old postcard views.

Using the model 'B' molds and some postcards, the RATP has reconstructed a model 'C' and erected it in the Place Sainte-Opportune, in Les Halles - as a new métro entry for Châtelet. It was unveiled yesterday.

Web Life In France:

The Season of the Grape

If you are a fan of the red, white and rosé juices, you can follow their seasonal progress from the vine to the part where the stout Italian ladies hold their skirts up high and stomp raisins into mush in giant vats.

Even if this pleasant idea is no more than a fiction, the Web site Wine Today is currently watching over the harvest throughout the northern hemisphere, and the link included here should give you the section focusing on France.

Pal's Portal

This is a blind shot, picked up from my favorite French online columnist, who puts out an episode of 'Liar's Chronicles' every now and then. He recently scoffed at the comparative shopping Web sites, that could send you scurrying 50 kilometres to get gas for five centimes a litre less than it costs at your neighboring rip-off station.

Old-timey collections of personal Web sites have been shunted from one free server to another as a result of their one-time homes being taken over by Dot.Coms - so here they are again with their old? new? incarnation which is now called uZine 2.

Present and Past Olympic Games

The Olympic Museum has the history in text, photos and video of the Olympics, plus all the latest developments - including, I suppose - ample presence of all the logos and stadium slogans that add so much to the visual aspects of the games.

In case you are wondering what the Olympics used to look like, the Olympic Television Archive Bureau has a Web site with old films, plus new films showing all the logos and stadium slogans in color.

The 'Official' Weather

Météo France gets another run this week on account of delivering good weather last Thursday and Friday by surprise. This is the official source for France's TV-weather people. If you don't get French TV where you are, you can get the weather from where they get it. Because it is 'official' - meaning: as true as possible - don't expect forecasts to exceed 24 hours.

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