Lucky Poster Tour

photo: cafe colonnade

For occasional minutes, Paris was like this last week.

Better Than Grumbling?

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 23. April 2001:- There isn't much worth saying about last week's weather in Paris. Some trees and other plant life in the city seem to be unaware of it though, and there are buds, blooms and much of the grass looks spring-green.

This week's weather is forecast to be just as unstable as last week's, but the average daily highphoto: wet sidewalk on the avenue temperatures should be solidly over 10 degrees and even getting close to the 'averages' for April.

'Weather' is artistic like so many other things in France, so the TV-weather news forecasters never actually give any concrete figures for historical 'averages.'

On my own local avenue, taken 20 minutes before the above photo.

If the temperature seems low to you, it may only be philosophically 'low' - perhaps even worth a poem or a song, or even a whole musical, like 'Singing In the Rain.' If you like musicals in heated theatres, this is better than grumbling.

Café Life

The Micro-Climate Canyon

I have mentioned before that my rear courtyard is like a canyon with its own micro-climate. This is, most of the time, a 'climate' which is more extreme than Paris' average climate - which is the one I have outside my windows facing the street.

When it is windy, it is more windy in my courtyard. When it is cold, rainy and windy, my courtyard is like a bad day somewhere near Iceland. When it is like this, I close the rear of my apartment and stay out of it.

In the courtyard there are a collection of old garbage cans and miscellaneous pots, plus some unfired brown clay pots, filled with plants and small bushes.

Since I spend most of my time in the 'average weather' section of my apartment, I am sometimes surprised when I go out to see the plant pots that have been wrecked by the violent winds in the courtyard.

This has been happening a lot lately. Each time, after a few days, the plants get re-potted, inphoto: garbage can flower pot ever-larger pots. Somebody - certainly the building's concierge - seems to be fighting a losing battle.

Yesterday, I noticed a new crop of extra-big brown clay pots. 'Aha!' I thought - these will be heavy enough to withstand our local hurricanes.

Larger ex-garbage cans do not get knocked over - but there aren't enough of them for the courtyard's whole plantation.

One of these new pots was empty and I decided to find out how heavy it was. But it was not heavy at all, because it is plastic. These are the triple solution - they look like brown clay, they give their plants lots of room, and they are unbreakable.

They also explain the half-dozen plastic bags full of gardeners' earth that are stacked up in the courtyard. Our courtyard is about to become an all-weather jungle.

'Idle-Time' In Paris

Most of the time I find posters on my travels during the week.The week before last was a 'holidays for posters' week, when the previous week's models had been 'held over' - unfortunately, not due to 'popular' acclaim.

But in a normal week, new posters are put up on Wednesdays. In some weeks - because of news-magazines, I guess - there is a small selection of new ones appearing on Fridays. Occasionally by Sunday, if I am a bit short I can do a local tour and fill the week's poster 'quota.'

The ongoing forecast for last week's weather did not propose any whole or partial days of anything remotely like clear skies - so I was quite surprised to have chosen a bit of Wednesday between weather fronts at the same time as I came across a lot of new posters. I got the 'quota' for the week, with spares.

One reason for this, is the Ville de Paris is re-running a highly ironic and very graphic series to remind regular Parisians that Parisians who are blind, in wheelchairs, or are under the age of two, cannot avoid picking up 'canine dejections.'

Ironic, because the posters' texts suggest Parisians should be thankful somebody else is going their work for them.

With the full poster complement on hand and one thing and another, I had little reason to go out and get wet and cold. By yesterday though, I needed to go out just to 'go out.'

Luckily, this coincided with a forecast for slightly better morning weather, which had prolonged itself intophoto: paris, station tourisme the afternoon. I saw enough new posters to triple the weekly 'quota' but ignored most of them because only four will appear in this issue.

The city recently asked residents if they wanted it to be a 'station de tourisme.

Other residents and visitors were out too, taking an advantage of the weather slip-up. The artists were showing off their stuff at Edgar Quinet as they do every Sunday. Most of the - closed-in - terrace seats in the cafés on the Boulevard du Montparnasse were full.

My tour, not 'working,' not to get posters, was a reminder that a main 'idle-time' occupation in Paris consists of just walking around. This is what I did and saw many other people doing, neither more nor less.

Metropole Offers Its Photos

The offer of Metropole's large-format photos continues with a new photo / image page, which is included in this issue.

In general, one or two 'best' photos - or a cartoon - will be offered each week. Many of Metropole's weekly crop of other photos will match the 'best' one for interest and quality. If these are not specifically 'offered,' it does not mean that they are not available.

This project is operating without impersonal 'Internet-robots' to handle the transaction. This means that th process depends on personal emails. This also makes sense because the photos have been taken with you in mind.

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