"They Gave Each of Us a Franc!"

photo: the club's area of la corona

The club's area of La Corona after 17:00 today.

And Lots of Unanswered Questions

Paris:- Thursday, 11. January 2001:- The odd-even, nice-bad weather pattern broke apart a while ago, giving way to wetter random weather fronts coming from the southwest out of the Atlantic, to produce rainy days every 12 or 21 hours.

These damp or wet days have little effect on Paris - unlike west France which has suffered from considerable flooding, especially in the Bretagne - where flood levels are dropping, just before the next wet front arrives.

In Paris, floods are more of the shopper type, with the beginning of the six-week long winter sales that started off with a boom yesterday.

The Quai du Louvre's sidewalks are glistening when I come carefully along to the club. Berta and Scoop Maginniss are waiting for me in the club's section of the café Corona, andphoto: berta maginniss they shoot all I've written above to smithereens - except for the flooding in Brittany part.

"Wasn't it nice weather yesterday?" Berta asks. To me it was overcast and I gave up on it when the drizzle started to look like it was getting serious.

Berta had good weather yesterday - but I didn't.

But Berta assures me this was not the case as she and Scoop wandered west on the 7th arrondissement's long Rue de Grenelle for some reason or other on Wednesday.

They were also at the Galeries Lafayette for the beginning of the winter sales, and say they were disappointed not to see any riots - unlike the pre-Christmas shopping chaos they saw there.

Of course, last night's TV-news showed me the opposite - without saying exactly where the 'Soldes d'Hiver' video clips of maddened shoppers were filmed. Berta says there were big lines in Passy, waiting to get into the chic sort of boutiques there.

We are all in the same town and obviously out of synchronization. My last try to get in tune is to ask Scoop if he found any nags worth picking in today's races on the Riviera, at Cagnes-sur-Mer.

'No,' he says, he didn't bet on Waterproof Pellini in the 5th race. He filled in the betting tickets and went downstairs to the PMU to play them, but changed his mind because the odds were so poor there was not much to win against a fair amount to lose.

Obviously in no hurry to be on time, Mark Kritz wanders in before the roll is called, and distributes giftsphoto: scoop maginniss like Santa Claus because he is going back to Santa Cruz.

The Maginniss' are going back too, to Aldie, Virginia. For this reason the club talk is less wild than usual. Mark tells us how to find shipping boxes on garbage heaps, and describes a large heap of garbage he saw on the Champs-Elysées.

Scoop changed his mind about the odds on Waterproof Pellini in the 5th.

In passing he also mentions getting his métro ticket checked by controllers there - which is fairly rare. Scoop then shows us his weekly ticket. He has forgotten to write its vital dates on it and left off its Orange card number. This is a serious double-faute! Scoop is unaware he has been riding around lawlessly for weeks.

Back to shipping boxes - getting them from garbage heaps or the post office is so complex that the great idea bubbles up in the others for me to store all of everybody's Christmas purchases in my cave - until next Christmas. I could charge club members a special rate of a dollar per month or something.

This leads Scoop to almost complain, "We come here with questions and leave with more questions than answers."

If I had the club's non-rules handy, I'm sure I could quickly find the section on unansweredphoto: jennifer russo rogers questions, but they aren't handy so I have to leave this sort of question unanswered too. This kind of leaves my personal score for today at 13 to nothing.

If this sounds kind of mopey I guess it is because club members really like being in Paris and they seem to get kind of sober just before they are about to leave. Just as I feel a bit sober, contemplating the coming period of few new members present, which will likely last until about Valentine's Day.

Jennifer is today's only all-new member - signing in here

This is when today's two sunbeams arrive. One of these is last week's Michelle Royston - this week with her friend, Jennifer Russo-Rogers from Phoenix, Arizona.

How lucky can the club get? If Jennifer hadn't come, then Phoenix wouldn't have become today's official 'City of the Week' - and no other hometown would have got close to it, because they've all had the distinction before.

Both Michelle and Jennifer are taking courses or seeing demonstrations at the Cordon Bleu cooking school. Jennifer runs a catering service in Phoenix and Michelle works in her father's restaurant in Albany.

I don't usually mention details like this but I think it might be important for Americans to know where their young cooks are coming from. This month's fresh specialties according to Cordon Bleu - January's squashes!

The two are going on a tour of Champagne, and a lot of other tours of Paris - plus they are going to some restaurants of course, to eat some souvenirs.

Scoop has fond memories of the Golden Gate Fields racetrack in Albany too, just so long, he says, "As you can find some unbreezy spot." This is followed by more unanswerable questions - such as, is the balloon still flying down at the Parc André Citroen?

Everybody agrees the big wheel at Concorde is still up and spinning and Berta recommendsphoto: michelle royston its stability. "I lost my guts on the roller coaster at Santa Cruz," she says.

Too bad Mark Kritz has already left the meeting, because, except for the roller coaster, everybody thinks Santa Cruz has a fine, old-fashioned amusement park. Also, Mark fails to get his photo in - or even taken.

Michelle tells us where Albany is - but Scoop knows already.

Some sort of club 'first' is achieved after Michelle and Jennifer each come back from their excursions to La Corona's waterworks downstairs.

"The waiters are real friendly here!" one says and the other adds, "They gave each of us a franc piece!" - which is more than good enough for the 'Quote of the Week.'

Right here I need to forget my abject embarrassment for forgetting to mention the need of a franc-piece for ladies, and at the same time salute La Corona's waiters for being so thoughtful - especially Patrick, who has been today's 'Waiter of the Week.'

Repeat Shopping Tip

Paris' Winter Sales - 'Soldes d'Hiver' - began yesterday, on 10. January, the day before the club's meeting today - and continue for six weeks to come. If you hit them soon, you can show off your prizes at a club meeting on Thursday. We will 'ooh' and 'aah' at your boxes too.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Actual real historical details about your Café Metropole Paris Club - as opposed to plain rumors - 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 Metropole Club meeting. It will be held on Thursday, 18. January 2001. If you are in Paris it will merely be Sainte-Prisca's Day - which will be followed by Friday, which will be an ordinary Saint-Marius' Day.

The café La Corona meeting place will be open just as it is every Thursday of this 3rd millennium. The time for your club's meeting will continue tophoto: berta's space specs be from 15:00 to 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - 'CET' for short and not 'ZMIT' - otherwise known as 3 pm to 5 pm elsewhere.

The club's usual secretary will be making 'report' notes during the coming meeting. Since the date for it falls after New Years is over and before Saint-Valentine's Day, the meeting may be one of Paris' few quieter events - judging from a feeling I have.

Of course, if fewer members are present you will have a greater chance to make your 'Quote of the Week' or be from the 'City of the Week' - so long as I am not asleep.

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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