Exciting New 'Tip of the Week'

photo: club group of 12

All of today's members, except Amber Cardone who
is behind Elizabeth Krekorian.

Bring Batteries to the Catacombs

Paris:- Thursday, 15. February 2001:- In Monday's 'Café Metropole' column I went far out on a limb to pass on a TV-weather news prediction of good weather arriving this week. All I can say now, it is pretty unusual for a three-day long-range TV-weather forecast to be correct, but it is.

We are having the 'nice weather in Paris week' today. We had it yesterday, and we might have it tomorrow. It is not the 98-percent-fine that sometimes happens in February, but it is darn close enough.

It almost seems to be a shame to hold an indoors club meeting. Fanatics of the D-rays are arrayed on the tip of the Ile de la Cité, on the Pont des Arts and below the footbridge on the right-bank quayside,photo: drink clink and they are rightly grilling themselves.

And this is what comfort-grillers are doing on the terrace of the Café Metropole Club's café La Corona, while café waiters scurry around bringing them glass-fulls of refreshments. Even though it is all too good to be true, it is true.

While I am recording this with the camera, Edgar Ladouceur from Ottawa, Ontario, catches me in the act. It is exactly 15:00, and this means it is club time again.

A spontaneous 'clink-drink' is restaged for the photo by all hands.

Edgar is in town for the Salon de l'Agriculture, a bit early, because he wants to sample some French agricultural products that are served by restaurants. He comes for this every year, and to see the beautiful cows.

We are no sooner settled than Erica Gonzalez and Al Riley are volunteering to become club members. They are from Chicago, but Al tells me he found out about the club by looking for 'pétanque.'

He found it - the pétanque club - in, "Champaign! - from Chicago it is 170 miles straight south." He says it like 'Champagne' and it is the home of the University of Illinois.

Charles Eitel has come in. He is still trying to talk his wife into getting some miniature house dog, and they went out for a walk so he could point samples out. But, "Whenever you're not looking for them, they're everywhere - but when you are -"

I might as well say right here this meeting gets out of hand quickly, because five already-members clock in, and seven brandnew members sign up for life.

Elizabeth Anne Krekorian comes from Chesterfield, Missouri - as a kind of advance scout for Shirley Lindsay, who nobody except other club members who live nearphoto: non booze, light St. Louis has met yet - but who is already semi-famous in Paris for relentlessly looking for a particular painting by Maurice Utrillo.

Since all of the following new members are all from New Jersey, I declare Chesterfield, Missouri to be the 'City of the Week' closely followed by pétanque-playing Champaign, Illinois.

One of the 'Drinks of the Week' is not Orangina.

Now, from New Jersey, the club has new members Amber Cardone from Monclair, Maryellen and Joseph Nizza from Ridgefield Park, and Chris Powers from Teaneck. Already-members Eileen De Micco and Marilyn Burke, both from New Jersey too, are responsible for this invasion from Jersey.

Another already-member arrives, who I have not met before because I was on holiday. This is Schuyler Hoffman from Seattle, who runs an outfit called SkyVue Paris Adventures, which is a tour service and not a flying club.

Before I get everybody up and squeezed into a sun-free corner of the café for today's group photo, I need to know if Charles is growing a beard - or threatening to do so as a way of getting a dog. Or instead of getting a dog, as he claims.

Charles says he can't get beyond five days, and Edgar says he's got to get over the 10-day limit. Al says he's thinking of growing one too, and while he's thinking about it thoughtfully, he counts himself and the other members and says, "You've broken the record! Thirteen members!"

I point out that I am only the club's secretary - so there are only 12 members present. But Al, unlikephoto: club group 2 many members, has read the 'About the Club' page carefully, and insists it is a record number.

The New Jersey side of the club - unstaged for the week's 'group photo.'

Al and Edgar then discuss favorite baseball, basketball and hockey players who are no longer playing. Elizabeth wants to know, "Is 70 old?" Edgar says he's seen restaurants that have steak-frites on their menus - pure 'bio.' Charles says the fashionable restaurant 'May Ray' is over-rated.

As a tip, he adds, "To visit the catacombs, you need batteries for your flashlight." He also says he buys his in the US where they are much cheaper.

This is obviously the 'Visitor Tip of the Week.' If the catacombs are on your short visit-list, bring all the batteries you think you'll need, especially if you have a generous baggage allowance and strong arms.

Don't let it be said this club is totally useless. Why, today alone we have tour guides, a good tipphoto: exit drink for pétanque players if they are 170 miles south of Chicago, and an illuminating idea for the old bones fans.

Despite all this good stuff a small army of New Jersey members leave early, possibly to get some air. This is also a kind of way of saying I can't possibly begin to record what 12 people have been saying all at once together for two hours.

The state of refreshments by the time today's meeting ends.

About 30 minutes after the meeting is over, Charles, Erica, Al and I are standing on La Corona's Quai du Louvre terrace as the sun slants lower towards the west - dotting 'i's and crossing 't's - until it is time for Erica and Al to head west, towards a mellow sundown in Paris.

The Final Repeat Shopping Tip Used To Be Here*

*Now it is not.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Historical details about your Café Metropole Paris Club, all of them memorized by Al Riley - as opposed to concocted 'reports' - in Paris, can be found on the 'About the Café Metropole Club page,' which is about your club and has a link here, and on each issue's 'home' page, in case you forget the one here.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

Ignore the 'about the club' stuff if you dare but you should read this about the next Café Metropole Club meeting - it will be held on Thursday, 22. February 2001 - which is actually next week.

Regardless of whether you are in Paris it will be Sainte-Isabelle's Day anyway - which will be followedphoto: exit members, corona terrace by Friday, which will be just another ordinary Saint-Lazare day, even if you aren't going anywhere near the train station.

The westward, sun-going-down view of La Corona's terrace today.

The café La Corona meeting place will be open as it is every day and every Thursday. Your club's meeting time will be from 15:00 to 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - 'CET' for short and not 'FABUF' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm otherwise.

The club's usual secretary, which is myself, will be taking some 'report' notes during the coming meeting. New club members with new conversational subjects will be highly welcome. Bring a 'Quote of the Week' or a new 'City of the Week,' or even a 'Record of the Week' so long as it isn't 3891 dentists who would be members.

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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