On the Loose, the 'Jersey Four'

photo: danielle, pat, joan, maryellen, clint, marilyn

Today's whole group, outside the Café La Corona.

'City of the Week' - West New York, NJ

Paris:- Thursday, 12. April 2001:- Casual and regular readers may have read here last week that 'spring' happened in Paris about 10 days ago, and since then the traditional weather build-up for 'fake-winter' on Montmartre at Easter has started.

Although, as the club's 'Ed' I have no license to forecast the outcome of horse races or the weather, I can confirm the above astute analysis of the situation here. The temperatures are headed for the cellar and more rain is on the way. The weather will be perfectly traditional for Easter next Sunday in Paris!

I refuse to gloat about my prediction coming true. It is just the way it is here and it could be anybody's fault, so don't blame me. All the Mardi Gras 'Zulu' beads in the world won't change anything.

Just as I arrive in the club's café, Monsieur Ferrat throws the loitering civilians out of the club's area. He says the puddle on the floor they've left behind is merely waterphoto: cassis sorbet, coke but when I accidently stand in it, I become glued to the floor.

Monsieur Ferrat quickly returns with a mop and we clean the mess up, but my shoes still have that icky feeling, like their soles are plastered with bubble-gum.

Café food was ordered early during today's meeting.

But this is soon forgotten. Marilyn Burke comes in leading the 'Jersey Three,' and since she is from New Jersey herself, this makes her group the 'Jersey Four.'

One is Maryellen Nizza, who became a member at a February meeting, and the two new members are Joan Stalknecht from North Bergen and Pat Drasheff from Guttenberg. Maryellen is from Ridgefield Park and Marilyn is from Cliffside Park - which are included here as a handy reminder to save you from going back and looking up all these Jersey places.

Frankly, I'm surprised. I've lived around Paris a long time without realizing all these Jersey people are running around all over the place.

Marilyn fixes one of her eyeballs to one of mine, and this is how New Jersey becomes the 'State of the Week.' The 'Jersey Four' also went to the same high school together - called Saint Joesph's.

Marilyn does the eyeball thing again, and West New York, New Jersey - I'm not kidding! - becomes the 'City of thephoto: beer, cocktail of the week Week' because that is where this high school is located. On top of it, the 'Jersey Four' are 'celebrating' their third annual Easter in Paris together - because they are not in New Jersey.

Maryellen and Joan have birthdays on the same day, some of their sons have birthdays on the same day, today is Maryellen's 32nd anniversary - "It is the 12th?" - and they tell me Marilyn's husband drives the car and acts as the 'token man' - which he will do soon when they head out to invade Normandy.

Today's 'Cocktail of the Week' in all its glory.

Once this vital information is imparted, half of the 'Jersey Four' order purple sorbet, and the other half suggest that a future club meeting be held in Manhattan so everybody in Jersey can swarm across the river to attend it.

They also order small pots of red and white wine and a Coke - Charles is not here today - but they can't figure out what the white sorbet's flavor is. It's probably a Café La Corona specialty called 'white sorbet.'

During a hectic discussion which includes Joan saying, "I saw the Queen Mom, dressed in a tent, getting her shoes disinfected," which causes one of the others to suggest carrying spare shoes - Marilyn tells me, "Where we come from, everybody talks at once and nobody listens."

When I ask her to repeat this because I didn't hear it, she says, "It was the sorbet that made me do it." They give me more examples of Jersey-speak, including, "Push it up!" and "Forget about it!" - with appropriate hand gestures, learned from watching Al Pacino movies.

When stuff like this is going on it takes a certain amount of raw courage to walk up and join the club, but this is exactly what Danielle and Clint Peters from Richmond, Virginiaphoto: corona menu do. That it requires them to immediately order two quick beers from Monsieur Ferrat is no surprise.

Since sorbet is undrinkable unless you've got a lot of patience, I name the beers - which look delicious - as 'Cocktails of the Week' but do not tell anybody. I don't want to get 'walked on,' as Maryellen puts it.

Because the Jersey ladies are still steaming along, with Marilyn saying, "These ladies are my age, but they look much older."

La Corona's bilingual speed-menu makes an interesting read.

"I guess that makes me your only friend," Danielle says. This causes a giant burst of laughter - which I'd rather not put in quotes as "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha" and etcetera.

In a lull, Marilyn has the 'Tip of the Day' which is the information that Easter services in English will be held at the Saint Joseph church in the Avenue Hoche. This is at the corner of Rue Beaujon, for anybody interested.

For the meeting's 'Group Photo of the Week' all get up and troop outside the café with good will, and for a change the camera works pretty good, which makes their effort worthwhile.

Since even having a 'Jersey Four' is a 'first' of sorts, these ladies get their own special photo, for which they dress up a bit so everybody will recognize them back home.

They argue about whether to do the 'Push itphoto: danielle, clint peters up!' or the 'Forget about it!' gestures and end up doing them both, plus Marilyn insists they do the "Doing the New Jersey 'Hey!'" one too.

Following this, the rest of my 'report' note page is blank.

Danielle forgets to tell me Clint dislikes being photohraphed.

My memory merely says that the café got quite quiet after the 'Jersey Four' left to thrust themselves upon an unwitting Paris afternoon, but I faintly remember promises to return.

Somewhere along the way Danielle and Clint have told me that they've been in Paris several times, but not often enough to have seen everything. For example, Danielle is very disappointed to learn that the Catacombs are closed for renovations until sometime in June.

She listens to my theory of never seeing the best things. "Then," I say, "You will always have a reason to return." She looks dubious about this and wonders what needed renovating in the Catacombs.

I don't know. From a passing bus I saw two visitors photographing each other outside them yesterday. More people should remember what they read here - the Catacombs closure was announced in this column weeks ago, I think.

Clint wants me to suggest something 'new' for them to do. I can't remember what I put in the 'Scene' column, and readers who print it out and bring it with themphoto: the jersey four to Paris, can't remember to read it either.

For this reason, the meetings of the Café Metropole Club are always held in the same place at the same time, every Thursday. If they weren't, I'd probably forget to come.

The official club portrait of the 'Jersey Four.'

I have forgotten on occasion that the day after Wednesday is Thursday, so I know that forgetting is something anybody can do. You will be forgiven for it, but I can't afford to take the chance. Not with the 'Jersey Four' on the loose.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Fondly remembered but 'officialy' forgotten former club 'rules' concerning your Café Metropole Paris Club - as opposed a 'Jersey, Hey!' 'report' like this one - can be found on the 'About the Café Metropole Club page,' which is about your club and has a link on each issue's 'home' page, in case you overlook the one here.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

Take a look at the 'about the club' stuff if you have time or skip it if you haven't. You should read the following about the next Café Metropole Club meeting - it will be held on Thursday, 19. April, which is a week from now, just like most other Thursdays usually are.

If you are in Paris or not it will be Sainte-Emma's' Day. The following Friday will be just another ordinary Sainte-Odette's day which I confirmed was on Thursday last year.

The café La Corona meeting place will be open as it is all the time well as every Thursday. Yourphoto: cafe street signs club's meeting time will be from 15:00 to 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - 'CET' for short and not 'BLAT' - and elsewhere otherwise known as 3 pm to 5 pm.

If you see the street signs shown in this photo, you will be close to the club's café.

The club's secretary, which is normally myself in person, will be carelessly writing some 'report' notes during the coming meeting, but do not pay any attention to this because it is pretty slipshod because it is done by hand, with a cheapo 'official' club pen.

Invent a new 'Quote of the Week' or fabricate your own new 'City of the Week' - even though Baton Rouge will be back for another try - or even any other 'Thing of the Week,' if you want to share it, them, with other members - and readers.

Happy Easter to all!

The café's location is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de 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.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini