'Crowd of the Week'

photo: club group

From left to right - the 'Crowd of the Week.' Nellie and
Don are in the foreground.

Next Week: the Club's 1st Birthday

Paris:- Thursday, 28. September 2000:- The weather is like early November, except the leaves are still on the trees. On the day of the big train strike, everybody is in Paris except those trying to get to it via the SNCF's commuter trains or the RER from Versailles.

There will be no dazzling sunlight in the club's café today. There may not be enough light at all, but I decide not worry about it because there may be no members to photograph.

This state lasts a whole 15 minutes. The café's waiters make a minor fuss about pointing Terri Minami and John Lawton towardsphoto: john lawton where the club secretary is sitting. John apologizes for not coming last year. He says he was hung up with the Y2K thing.

Everything was going okay he says, "Until we starting wondering about 'Leap Year.'" Apparently 'Leap Years' only happen on centuries with three zeros. Finding out stuff like this makes being the club's secretary worthwhile.

After last years' 'Y2K' fix, John Lawton didn't say what he is fixing this year.

The couple come often to Paris from Mount Washington, which is a Los Angeles suburb and headquarters of the 'Self-Realization Association.' This has nothing to do with Professor Greb's 'World Improvement Association,' which is still going strong in Chico.

"What are the patches on the Pont des Arts?" I say they might be used for anchoring the Little Big Horn sculptures when they are on the bridge - which is a fact I'm supposed to know because I am club secretary; but really, I'm only guessing.

Just as our drinks arrive, so do Dannye and Lew Powell from Charlotte, North Carolina, and they order bowls of café too. Dannye says they have been looking for the Armée du Salut, in the 15th, "Off a big street starting with 'M' and a small street starting with 'C'."

John guesses right away that they should have been in the 13th. As for me, I always think the Boulevard Massena is somewhere near the Gare du Nord.

Otherwise, Dannye thinks her McDonald's map is really handy. "Does France have orphans?" she wants to know. We get to discuss this possibility a bit before Paul Binkley arrives from 'LA CA USA,' closely followed by Nellie and Don Smith from Seattle.

Don is already a club member, but I completely forget to get Nellie signed up as a new member. Consider yourself 'signed up,' Nellie!

This all happens pretty suddenly, and when Diane and Livio Broccolino follow shortly afterwards, onephoto: dannye, lew powell of the clever club members says it is the 'Crowd of the Week.' Everybody looks at the camera twice, for the group shot to prove nine members are present.

As good as the McDonald's map may be, Dannye and Lew study a real map for clues to streets named 'M.'

The Broccolino's are well-dressed because there were impressing some restaurant's doorman at lunchtime and not especially because they are from Baltimore, Maryland.

Everybody wants to know how strikes function in France. Before I can explain that residents here would like to know too, I realize we have too many cities, so the 'Vote of the Week' is organized.

After quite a few abstentions and modest shows of hands, Charlotte, North Carolina wins the 'City of the Week' distinction handily. I'm not sure it hasn't won this before.

"If it has, then it can be the first city to be 'City of the Week' a second time," someone suggests. I think this may be the 'Quote of the Week.'

Livio tells a story about riding in a Paris taxi. When it stopped at a light a clochard camephoto: terri minami up to say something and Livio rolled the window down.

"Je suis clochard," said the clochard.

Livio says he thought this over for a whole two seconds and replied, "Je suis un Américain." The light changed to green and the taxi continued its journey.

Terri may have been the author of the wonderful quote, "If it has, then it can be the first city to be 'City of the Week' a second time,"

This puts the club time into 40 minutes over the hour. Everybody has paid and there's no chit left for me. It has been a good club meeting all the same; and everybody has said they will be back - someday.

Just as I'm about to dive into my métro entrance on the Rue de Rivoli, I spot the new model 'C' entrance over at Sainte-Opportune, which is the one I couldn't find last week. I try it out and it works fine.

"Paris is even quirkier than Metropole lets on!" has been added to the member's booklet by Dannye Powell. I only mention this because it is probably true because only a Café Metropole Club member could possibly know this.

The Club's Birthday Party: Next Week

The Café Metropole Club will have its first birthday next Thursday, on the occasion of its 53rd meeting. This will be a time for modest merrymaking and the occasion of a low-key 'fête' - provided some members are present.

Not much planning for this unique event has actually happened, but some members have beenphoto: paul binkley sending welcome emails. The Corona's management has promised to lend a plate to the club when I show up with the birthday cake next week.

This may be small but visible, in keeping with the club's 'free' nature; but also because it only has to support one candle, or as they are called in Paris, one 'bougie.' If it is too small, we can get reinforcements from a nearby cake shop.

Paul Binkley told other members about surprises he found in the Rue Saint-Denis in Paris.

This will not be an unique event to miss. Even though I do not expect that there will be any accordion music or dancing - the club's waiters will be formally dressed. As they usually are. Members need not do this, even if you have been to a fancy lunch.

Thursday, 5. October - is the date for your club's 'fête.'

Both members and members-to-be should plan to be present on this 'Once-Only Ever' occasion. If you cannot come yourself, try to send any sort of stand-in. If this too is impossible, send another greeting to fellow club members.

These will be presented at the meeting - if we are not having too many 'Things of the Week' votes - and will be recorded here or in some other suitable location, provided they arrive in time. Ready, set, and send in your emails soon.

Put on your party hats, folks!

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

To find out about the club's year-long history since its historic beginning, you should consult the 'All Past Issues' file, which provides links to all past issues with 'Club Reports.'

For actual real historical details about your Café Metropole Paris Club - as opposed to plainphoto: diane, livio broccolino nonsense - in Paris, please read 'About the Café Metropole Club,' which is about your club and is accessible here, and from each issue's 'home' page.

Diane and Livio Broccolino were not at all uneasy about being better dressed than the club's 'Waiter of the Week.'

This 'about' page contains all the details of the free membership, the free members' card and the other free unofficial non-rules concerning the club and other free but needless information - none of which you really need to know and are unlikely be quizzed on, unless you have temporarily remembered all these details in order to avoid looking at this page.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The date for the club's next meeting is Thursday, 5. October. In Paris this is Saint-Wilfried's Day - and I am not making this up. The whole 'before' of the day remains free for other random activities and will be followed by 'after,' when you can continue these vital affairs.

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 during its official hours. If you get a fair offer to be elsewhere, turn it down cold.

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.
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logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini