"I Wish Everybody a Happy 2002!"

photo: group of the week

Too big to fit all of their names in, here's the club's
'Group of the Week.'

More Gala Club Anniversaries

Paris:- Thursday, 4. January 2001:- Unlike last week when a nice-weather club day followed a crummy-weather Wednesday, today's weather is neither better nor worse than Wednesday's - which wasn't too bad at all.

In fact, and I'm not making this up, there is actually one real person sitting on the Corona's terrace with a face uplifted to the sun's somewhat feeble January rays - as if the Quai du Louvre in Paris was some sort of higher-class alpine spa where lack of snow is of no importance.

The rest of 'not making this up' is mentioning that there is exactly one person doing this, and the terrace's other dozens of tables and scores of chairs are completely empty. It is some solar fanatic, weak-sun or not, no doubt.

Inside the club's host café, which is known far and wide to one and all as La Corona, the inter-holiday crowdphoto: pamela bateman present during last week's meeting is no longer in evidence. This is probably because we have all arrived in the 3rd millennium after a very long period of time in the 2nd one.

The world didn't come to an end, and everybody who was in Paris for the event, has probably gone home to wait 999 years and 361 days until the next chance.

Pamela Bateman is not the club's only member from Webster Groves, Missouri.

This means that the club's secretary can take repossession of the club's area in the café's 'grande salle.' Well, part of the club's area. The other part has two Italian couples in it, waiting for their cafés after having had a sizeable lunch - and they don't appear to be potential club members, judging from their lack of leftovers.

In fact, I have my doubts about any club members appearing today. Maybe after Valentine's Day. It's okay though - I have the whole 'grande salle' in which to park my ailing leg in comfort and safety.

Until about 15:05 that is. This is when Simone and Ira Poretsky show up for their first-anniversary club re-visit, just a bit over 51 weeks after they joined the club. They decided to pop over to Paris from San Francisco, to see how it is doing before heading for Chile.

Actually, I might not have the timing right, due to my scrambled 'report' notes. I think it may be that Pamela Bateman is the first to arrive, from Webster Groves, Missouri - and I am sure the club has other members who have also come from this St. Louis suburb.

Pamela looks through the official members' booklet and doesn't come across Webster Groves - but after digging deep I find it was the 'City of the Week' at the 22. June meeting last year, when Nicole Martineau and Charles Fremont joined the club.

I may be forgetting a lot these days, but Webster Groves is somehow unforgettable, unlike today's notes. This means that new member Michelle Royston succeeds in getting Berkeley, Californiaphoto: ira's beard of the week put up for this week's 'City of the Week' without even knowing about the distinction.

Older readers and other fans of Americana may remember Berkeley's fame as the birthplace of the 'Free Speech Movement' in the early '60's, which indirectly led to President Johnson showing the world his operation scar - much like I've shown my leg getting buzz-sawed out of its cast elsewhere in this issue.

Ira Poretsky hinted that's he'll try for 'Beard of the Week' next year too.

The other reason for Berkeley becoming this week's 'city' is due to all the other participants at today's meeting already being members, and they are not few either.

Not in order of arrival today, they are Berta and Scoop Maginniss, Anne Morton, Mark Kritz and Charles 'I Voted for Lower Taxes' Eitel - who insists in hanging out in this high-tax country where he can't even vote.

I see 'Paris Turf' sticking out of Scoop's pocket and Berta is quick to say, "He won 208 francs yesterday - and has high hopes for today too!" A minute later she adds, "We don't keep track of what we've lost though."

As chance would have it, three of us have beards. Since I am disqualified because of being the impartial club's secretary - Ira gets the 'Beard of the Week' award - for having let it get even longer than it was last year.

Tourism subjects come up - which is not always the case - when Charles asks, "Where is that museum where Jim Morrison is buried?"

Pamela, who is Berta's sister, is a big Paris-cemetery fan, so she knows all about Jim Morrison's grave at Père Lachaise. She says she had it on her list of 'must-dos' and when she visited the grave, it was strewn with joints, love beads and there were 'lot's of people around.'

This makes Charles remember that this particular museum has a guard specially detailed to send lost souls to the right grave.

After Ira tells us he gave up on racehorse betting in Paris after the time he tried to place aphoto: michelle royston bet on 'hair' instead of a 'horse,' the subject of France's 'mad-cow' frenzy is raised by Simone.

While Michelle, who is in Paris to take a Cordon Bleu cooking course, listens carefully - Berta blithely describes the wonderful time her party had eating a huge slabs of Châteaubriand at Bofinger. "It only cost 900 francs for four," she says.

Michelle Royston probably didn't realize there would be so much food-chain chat at the club.

My notes contain a number of other quotes that aren't worth repeating because I failed to record their second halves. This means that today's meeting is at an end - I mean, what could "The Greek guy who married - " possibly mean?

Ira fills in this blank neatly at 16:55 by saying, "I wish everybody a happy 2002!" Charles follows it up with his own, "I'm still working through 2000."

There it is - this week's 'Quote of the Week,' just five minutes before the smoking light is lit. What a squeaker!

Repeat Shopping Tip

Paris' Winter Sales - 'Soldes d'Hiver' - begin next Wednesday, on 10. January - the day before the club's Thursday, 11. January meeting - and continue for six weeks afterwards. If you hit them on the first day, you can show off your prizes at the club's meeting on Thursday. We will 'ooh' and 'aah.'

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Actual real historical details about your Café Metropole Paris Club - as opposed to plain word-of-mouth - in Paris, can be found on the 'About the Café Metropole Club page,' which is about your club and is accessible here, and from each issue's 'home' page.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

But if you choose to skip the 'about the club' stuff you have to read this, because it is about the next Café Metropolephoto: leftovers of the week Club meeting. It will be held on Thursday, 11. January 2001. If you are in Paris it will merely be Saint-Paulin's Day - which will be followed by Friday, which will be an ordinary one as usual.

And now for another stunning 'first' - the 'Leftovers of the Week.'

The café La Corona meeting place will be open just as it will be on every Thursday of the new millennium. The time for your club's meeting will again be from 15:00 to 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - 'CET' for short and not 'EMIT' - which is also known as 3 pm to 5 pm elsewhere.

The club's usual secretary will be taking notes during the coming meeting as is becoming habitual again. Since the date for it falls after New Years is over and after 2001 has gotten fully underway, the meeting may be one of Paris' few lively events - judging from today's meeting.

The café's location is:

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

A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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