Birthday Party of the Week

photo: 1st club birthday cake

Blowing out one 'bougie' was easy; cutting the rose
into 16 slices wasn't.

Next Year: the Club's 2nd Birthday

Paris:- Thursday, 5. October 2000:- For the grand occasion of your club's first birthday, I've gotten Claudio to give me a whisker-trim on the cuff. He's an avid club fan, but he can't come to meetings because he has to stay in his hair salon, serenading the ladies under the hair dryers.

The boulangerie ladies have concocted a birthday cake for the club and toss in one blue 'bougie' for free. They gave me a choice of four colors to choose from. La Corona's management has said it will provide plates; as a gift to the club.

Yes! Club members! It is the big day; the one for the meeting that marks the first birthday of your own Café Metropole Club - the only 'real' club in Paris for the readers of this online magazine, Metropole Paris.

So today I am not going to bother with the weather, which is not worth talking about anyway. In mounting excitement I ride the métro down to Châtelet, just bursting to tell other passengers I'm carrying a birthday cake made especially for club members.

I think I should get to the club a bit early and I do this. Club members must be even more excited, becausephoto: group one nearly a half-dozen have already taken over the club's area in the café - which is a good sign.

Non-panoramic view of some of the members present today; partying.

However this does not allow me time to arrange tables and get the vital date facts into the member's and the 'report' booklets. All I can say is 'to heck' with the regular setup, and since it appears as if 15 or 16 members are present, the party never gets organized in its usual PiPaPo fashion. 'To heck,' I say.

First there are Natalia and Tom Yanul from Chicago. They are early because they are early because they are with Irina and Valery Stevenet and they have an early train to catch to get back to Boulogne-sur-Mer early.

Tom has brought his big home-made panoramic camera, which is the one he parks at Paris' Bibliothèque Historique, which is the same as the big home-made one he parks in Chicago. As America's Last Banquet Photographer, he is naturally interested in 'big affairs' - such as this first birthday party for your club.

As I am sorting this out, all the other party people arrive pretty quickly; so I'm not sure of their order because there's no place for me to sit down and observe the proceedings. At the same time, the new members do not fill in the member's booklet in order, so it's no help.

Robert von Maier is from San Diego. He has converted himself from being an writer on underwater affairs into writing about cars, and there just happens to be a very big International Auto Salon on in Paris right now.

Richard Miller says he's in Paris to see the new Porsche at the auto show too, while Cheryl Sylvester says she merely intends to play and eat and see museums and look at antiques andphoto: club party table all the rest of the stuff she "hasn't done yet." She has already noticed that Paris is not like Fairfax, Virginia, for example.

I should mention here that I've drawn a sketch of a 'portrait' gallery with everybody's name under their sketch faces. When this is pretty accurate, more people come, and the people who were sitting at one end of the tables, move to the other end.

Today's meeting set Guinness' record for most tables in use.

At the same time the member's booklet is moving slowly from south to north. The server-lady Linda Thalman and her side-kick, Adrian Leeds, do not lessen the confusion much. Luckily I know who they are. Quite a bit later, long-time member Doug Fuss drops by too, but not from inspecting Polish salt mines.

Cheryl Sylvester says she comes to Paris for 'U. T. T. P.' And, she adds, "L. B. F." This comes out as 'Usual Trip To Paris' and 'La Belle France,' and then she continues with the subject of 'vice.'

At the other end of the table Jude Wood has sneaked in from New Zealand by way of Paris. Before I can find out more about this, Betty and Jerry Blizin - 'I'm not Greek' - tell me all about the Greek sponge divers who used to operate in their home town of Tarpon Springs, Florida.

In memory of other east Florida members, Tarpon Springs becomes today's 'City of the Week' because it is somewhere near Pompano Beach.

Shirley and Walter Pappas totally upset my applecart by not being Greek either, but by being from Falls Church, Virginia. This I confirm from the few notes I've made, because the members' booklet never gets close enough for them to write anything in it.

Walter knows the origin of the name of the 'Kir' apéros he and Shirley are having. "Named after the deputy mayor of Cassis during the war, because he hid all of the Cassis vital for 'Kir' apéros somewhere near Dijon. His name was 'Kir.'"

Tom shows us his big panoramic camera but takes a panoramic photo with a much smaller camera, 'because the big one takes 30 minutes for an exposure.' Taking pictures of an thousand people at a banquet is no easy matter; as I know from my club experiences involving fewer than 100!

Walter tells Adrian she shouldn't review restaurants because 'sometimes they're off,' as if it's Adrian's fault. Atphoto: group two the other end of the tables the car nuts are dreaming about 356 'bathtub' Porsches, and another member says "Paris is so inexpensive!" This is news to me.

A view of the north end of the table, after some members switched ends.

What is not news, is the possibility that Robert, "Stood in front of the Bugatti at the Salon for 30 minutes." Then I hear the second part of the 'Paris cheap' quote. It is, "Compared to the Bay area."

Jack! I've nearly forgotten Jack Lampert. He's come late, but maybe before today's waiters Monsieur Ferrat and Patrick have brought the cake out, and he has told me he's from Saint Louis, Missouri - and Paris! - and Pompano Beach too! What a small world!

Blowing out the cake's single blue candle seems to be my job as club secretary and I do a credible job of it. Trying to cut the two-toned chocolate affair into sixteen equal parts turns into a gooey shambles, and the slices are nearly impossible to pick up and shove onto plates. What a mess!

It looks so awful, or fattening, that I get to gobble up three slices - or their crumbled equivalent - by myself. It's 17:00, the party is over, and members of all sorts file out while Monsieur Ferrat cleans up the mess.

Obviously the quote of the week would be "Paris is so inexpensive!" if your Café Metropole Club's first birthday party hadn't been such a success. Instead, it is, "I can't wait for the club's next party," no matter what its excuse.

To all members, new and long-time, absent and present, I thank you for making today a success, even if it has been a bit more confused and gooey than usual.

Your Cards and Emails

These have continued to arrive. Your welcome efforts will not be wasted because I intend to assemble them into a follow-up feature for the next edition of Metropole. This feature will be illustrated with some more photos from today's party, and will link back to this report and to the first 'Cards and Emails' feature that is in this issue.

The Club's Birthday Party: Next Year

The Café Metropole Club will have its second birthday party next year on a Thursday, on the occasion of its 106th meeting. Mark this in your calendar even if there is no International Auto Salon going on then in Paris.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

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

For actual real historical details about your Café Metropole Paris Club - as opposed to plain 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.

M. Ferrat, left, holds tray under cake, carried by Patrick, right.

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, 12. October. In Paris this is Saint-Wilfried's Day - and I am not making this up, again. In case you are wondering why this saint's name is the same as last week's - today's should have been Sainte-Fleur. I beg pardon from all saint's fans.

The whole 'before' of the day remains free for other random activities and will be followed by 'after,' when you can continue these vital tasks.

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 in it isn't free.

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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Waldo Bini