Paris' Dim News

photo: bistro la jacoune

On the edge of Paris' 11th arrondissement, the
bistro La Jacoune.

Bouchon, Eviction and Suspension

Paris:- Sunday, 15. October 2000:- During this past week there was the usual sortphoto: paris sidewalk of news in France and in Paris; robbery, corruption, storms, violence, hate, accidents, murder trials, floods, sports - all of the sorts of events usually ignored here - because there are other abundant sources of 'news.'

Even if not re-reported here, I want to assure readers that 'news' did happen in France and in Paris during the past week. So much of it that it has filled many hours-worth of TV-news time and many editions of many newspapers.

Becoming a common sight in Paris - glistening sidewalks.

Below you will find Metropole's weekly selection, which is chosen entirely by chancing on what seem to be interesting stories that reflect - dimly - life in Paris.

Kinetic Bouchon

Last Tuesday morning, physiotherapists - 'kinéthérapeutes' - from the Hauts-de-Seine department staged an 'opération escargot' which began on the Perifreak! with 50 or 80 cars creeping along at snail-racing speeds.

The creepers swung into the area of La Défence and jammed everybody up until 9:30. But by then the Seine's quays were blocked and all of west Paris was at a near standstill.

At its height, traffic authorities estimated the jam to be 139 kilometres long overall, and two hours later it had only diminished to 119 kilometres - which is higher than normal for a Tuesday in Paris.

The physiotherapists were protesting, throughout France, because the government has forbidden these health professionals to raise their tariffs to match rising costs.

In fact, the national health insurance has lowered reimbursements to patients by three percent, which has had a depressive accordion effect on the overall revenues of the 'kinéthérapeutes.'

The equivalent word for 'kinéthérapeutes' in my big dictionary is physiotherapist, but an explanation of what they do may be useful.

In France, if your back has 'locked up,' your regular doctor will pass you on to a 'kinéthérapeute' - called 'kiné' for short - and this professional will examine your situation and suggest a varying number of treatment sessions.

In my own case, for the few times I've needed these hands-on treatments, the number of sessions required always came out to be less than predicted. Instead of having some needless sessions, it was possible to save the unused sessions still allowed by the original prescription.

These could come in handy after a particularly hardphoto: shop rue birague day of trekking around some salon in winter in Paris, collecting a couple of kilos of useless brochures. A little visit for a session with the 'kiné' would iron out the kinks.

Brief busts of sunlight cause window-shopping in the Marais.

If I remember correctly, an average session cost 25 francs; and a lot of this would be reimbursed after a series of sessions. Having a crook back restored to comfort is priceless.

I'm sure there are people around who abuse the service of these professionals, but my experience has been that treatments are so soothing that I wouldn't mind having a prescription for a years' worth of sessions.


Today, the Jewish Martyrs Memorial Committee will be assisting at a ceremony which will rename the Rue du Grenier-sur-l'Eau as the Allée des Justes.

This is part of a large state project, supported by the city and the region - to cost 80 million francs - to enlarge the Centre d'Etude et de Recueillement Sur la Shoa - which also seems to be named the 'Mémorial du Martyr Juif Inconnu' - in the 4th arrondissement.

For the project, the 20 inhabitants of the buildings at 12 and 14 Rue du Pont-Louis-Philippe, have been relocated elsewhere in city housing.

However, the Grenier-sur-l'Eau restaurant, located at 14. Rue du Pont-Louis-Philippe, has been offered the location of the shop located at 3. Rue du Pont-Louis-Philippe.

For 25 years this has been the prestigious photo gallery of Agathe Gaillard. Last June she received an eviction notice to quit the premises at the end of December.

The property company that has been given the delicate job of assembling the property for the memorial, for relocating the residents and offering new premises to the restaurant, does not have an easy task.

Apparently this restaurant is a favorite of Ville de Paris councilors and higher administrators. In Gault-Millau's guide of 1988 the restaurant had a rating of 12 out of 20, 'coeur de rumsteak' was recommended and its elaborate decor was a 'merveille.'


After a three hour meeting on Thursday evening, the members of the RPR Federation of Paris voted overwhelmingly to suspend Mayor of Paris' Jean Tiberi from its membership.

Upon arriving at the meeting, Mr. Tiberi pronounced three words, "Tristesse et douleur."

During the tense meeting, voting began with the leaders of the RPR in Paris who polled 69 to 3 for expulsion. Ordinary members of the party were then called upon to vote, which they did; with 192 for exclusion and 36 against.

Outside the meeting Tiberi supporters cried, "Les soviets sont à Paris."

According to Le Parisien's report, Mr. Jean Tiberi will continue his run for re-election as mayor of Paris as a candidate of the 'Divers Droite.'

The RPR's official candidate for the office of Mayor of Paris is Philippe Seguin, who was nominated by the RPR party some time ago. The municipal elections are next spring.

Web Life:

'Web Life' is just as mysterious to me this week as it was last. I think I lack a magpie's mind; to me the 'jewels' remain unspotted - and all I see are annoyances of various sorts.

These include slow loads of massive pages - not forgetting Metropole's own 'Scene' page! - and information organized to be as confusing as possible.

The latest wrinkle is squeezing more out of screen real-estate withphoto: stairwayn maison victor hugo type so small that it doesn't display properly. Anything below a nominal seven-points is unreadable, even if the monitor's screen has very high resolution.

If you can over-ride the page's default type-size by increasing its size, then you blow its layout out the door. For Web sites with 76 items on their 'front' pages, this is not layout but chaos.

The stairway in the Maison de Victor Hugo - without any of his surrealistic touches.

I've seen Metropole on non-standard display units. These show that all the code-guides I've added to hold the layout in place, can be totally over-ridden. The result is headlines 'over there,' captions metres away from their photos and other horrible nonsense.

Behind every web page there is a supposedly 'standard' code, which is called HTML. This is concocted by a worldwide committee; to suit a lowest common denominator which is deemed to be acceptable to all.

It would probably work fine, except that the software wizards who build the browsers we all use think that 'standard' HTML is too restrictive - so all of the browsers treat HTML a little differently.

All I can say is, 'Nice going guys!' Instead of a World Wide Web we have AOL-Wide-Webs, Microsoft-Wide-Webs and an alphabet-soup of other Webs. All that's lacking is the animal crackers.

URLs: You Can Help

Since you are operating from longer distances than I am, you depend more on the Web for your Paris information. If you have good URLs and you are willing to share them with other Metropole readers, send them in and I'll place them in this spot with a 'thankyou' for you.

The first of these 'thankyous' goes to Scott McBride for sending in a map locator for Paris. If you want to know where your hotel is in relation to everything else, just put in its street name and this Web site will turn up a local area map for you pretty quickly.

The maps are clearly readable and show some local shops as well as standard public services such as post offices and métro station locations. What they may lack is an indicator of address numbers, which can be necessary for long streets that traverse two or more arrondissements.

World Wide Poll

From Wednesday, 15. November until Saturday, 18. November, a worldwide poll will be conducted in eight languages, to find out what it is like to be a human being on the eve of the new millennium.

photo: arcades, place vosgesThe poll which is modestly called PlanetProject, has been organized by 3Com, whose president Eric Benhamou wants to know about the haves and have-nots in our electronic age.

More sunlight and shadows under the arcades of the Place des Vosges.

Even with the eight languages, the poll can only reach the half of the world's population that can speak them. Still, it is one of the most ambitious polling projects ever attempted.

This planetary poll will seek to gather some idea of the values and beliefs of the world's population. Poll responses will be analyzed by the Harris Interactive polling organization and I presume some results will be posted on 3Com's Web site sometime after the poll has been concluded.

This seems to be a positive and pioneering project that is only possible because of the existence of the World Wide Web, so I suggest that everyone who considers themselves to be an active member of mankind, take part in it.

French Snoring

If you, like many people in France, snore in French and want to know what you can do about this terrible affliction, tune in your browser to SOS-Ronflement which will inform you of remedies for this 'maladie.' If you don't snore already, but pick it up while on a visit here, this site can also tell you about local 'sleep labs,' where snoring can be treated - presumably while you sleep.

The Unfficial Weather: Now Between Summer and Winter

Météo France is featured again because of extraordinary rains beating against the southern Alps, which are causing widespread damage including the cutting of roads and rail lines. Otherwise 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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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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