A Bungled Issue?

photo: cafe au pere foudlard, les halles

In the room-temperature shade, no awnings, and
topless cars.

Blame It On the Weather

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 28. May 2001:- The weather gripped the city in its hot clutches during the week just past, and the TV-weather people started talking about temperatures 'above' normal for this time of - blah, blah, etc.

Now that they have shot up even more, the forecasters have dropped this phrase while making predictions of numbers over 30 - for southern France.

Paris is doing fine, with highs above 25 degrees forecast for the next few days, with a bit of cooling expected next weekend.

The 'clouds' in this picture are exactly that - clouds. Not many days have been completely free of them. By next weekend cloud cover over northern France might be pretty general.

Since I have been able to shed heavier coats and thermal underwear, even while inside my naturally ultra-cool apartment, I am not going to complain about this.

Bungled Issue?

I may think I am responding favorably to the fine weather but a look at the time and the list of unfinished regular Metropole features leads me to think I have bungled something here.

In this issue there is no new 'Photo of the Week' page. The reason for this is mentioned below. Being just beforephoto: cafe cadran the end of the month has made me decide to drop the 'Scene' column entirely. Even though I have enough material to add 20 percent to it, plus take out the 20 percent that is expired, I think I'd rather just skip it.

In the café Cadran, jazz on the radio in old-time Paris.

I don't know how next weekend's 'Fête du Vélo' will turn out, but it is mentioned in this week's feature on bikes and rollers. If in doubt, check last week's 'Scene' column for the 80 percent of events that are still current.

Café Life

This involved an unplanned 'wandering around with Dennis Moyer' last Wednesday. He offered me lunch and then proposed a stroll and we drifted over to the west side of the 14th arrondissement. The weather was mellow and it was easier to agree to it than think up some impressionistic-historical sort of tour.

Features in this magazine are not usually planned long in advance. Ideas come from anywhere, or no 'ideas' come at all. Last week was one of 'no ideas,' but club members wrote and sparked the notion of doing a bit of research - and this turned out to be more complicated to write than 'wandering around.'

The RATP's Shop

On the way to verify that the RATP's 'Roue Libre' bike service was still operating in its same location at Les Halles, I started out by getting there by using the métro and getting tangled up in its Les Halles exit.

It is not a station I use often. It joins the RER station with three lines to the métro line four, and if you add in the connecting link to Châtelet, then there are four métro lines. To save walking through tunnels, you can ride the métro one stop further to Les Halles station itself.

If you ever arrive at this station by métro, be sure to keep your active RATP ticket handy. There are all sorts of ticket barriers within this multi-level station and the ticket you arrived with should get you through all of them.

In what might be a RER part of thisphoto: ratp briquet complex, the RATP has a boutique called 'Objets et Patrimoine.' In it you can find all sorts of inexpensive items relating to the métro - from t-shirts to books and Paris place signs.

The RATP selects its suppliers with care, so much of what is on display is well-designed, well-made, and includes items that are not found in every other Paris souvenir shop. It is possible some items can only be found here.

A Bic lighter, custom-made for the RATP - only 10 francs.

The shop lady was very friendly, even when I asked her to show me 'something different.' She thought for a moment and produced a book titled, 'Paris Sur les Roulettes.'

This book, which is only available in French, details the surface conditions of 3500 kilometres of Paris' sidewalks and street crossings and lays it out in graphic detail with 80 maps. It has a lot of other information, such as the locations of all of Paris' free drinking water fountains.

The real value of the book, which was produced by a non-profit association, is for those who are trying to get around the city in wheelchairs. It is a guide to where you can go with them. It says how high sidewalks are and how wide.

This could be very handy, but also handy for cyclists, scooter pushers and the roller folks - anybody who is concerned with Paris' surfaces in fact.

'Paris Sur les Roulettes,' new and enlarged edition, published by Dakota Editions. 48 francs. At the RATP's 'Objets et Patrimoine' boutique, which is open from Monday to Friday; from 10:30 to 19:30. Paris 1. Métro/RER: Les Halles

Metropole Offers Its Photos

The offer of Metropole's large-format photos stagnates this week with a only the most recent photo / image page linked here. Out of more than 100 photos shot during the week none of them qualified as 'Photo of the Week' this week or any other.

Each week - the one excepted - one or two 'best' photos - or a cartoon - will be offered. Many of Metropole's weekly crop of other photos will match the 'best' one for interest and quality. If you see another one you like, ask if it instead.

More details are on this week's 'Photo' page. Check it out. Any suggestions, advice and comments, will be welcome.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

Last Thursday's club meeting featured the mention of a horse, as 'Wedding Guest of the Week.' New member Larry Nile attempted to convince other members that he was from several cities, 23 states and several foreign countries and somehow became 'John' during the meeting.

If you have nothing better to do, read the 'report' about the club's most recent meeting. It's details are actually more crystal clear than usual, partly due to my failure to keep track of the large numbers of new members present.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 31. May 2001. This particular meeting will be simply unique because it will happen on - on 'Visitation' Day! If you turnphoto: passage des arts, paris 14 up in great numbers, it will mean my calendar picks strange names for some Thursdays, making them completely unordinary.

The Passage des Arts might be in the wrong arrondissement, but it is okay as it is.

All readers and prospective club members are feebly urged take a look at the current version of 'About the Club,' which is handy for finding out about the club's reason-for-being, its meeting time and location and so on, and other lesser facts such as its' being free.

This page also contains other unnecessary suspended rules about this club in Paris - including its necessary location map - for you, who are either 'Metropole Paris' readers or Café Metropole Club members, or are in Paris for any reason or no reason in particular at all.

If you do fall into some of these categories, but are geographically- challenged, rip the map off your computer screen and glue it into your passport - right beside your membership card.

Metropole's Affiliates

The following product or service providers have chosen Metropole because their offers may be of value to you and I agree with them.

'Bookings' has aphoto: sign, pont neuf, dont want to be a millionaire reservation service for a wide selection of Paris hotels. Check out their offers and make your choice long before your arrival in France.

'HighwayToHealth' provides a 'city health profile' as well as travel insurance for potential Paris visitors. If you've signed up for these services before you need them suddenly you will benefit from them. I hope won't be the case but you can never tell.

'Petanque America' imports quality Obut boules from France and will ship them to you anywhere in the Americas - which will save you the effort of carrying them all the way from Paris. Be the first on your block to introduce the game of pétanque - or boules. Nearly everybody can play this game, nearly anywhere.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 5.22 - 29. May 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Paris Clips.' The 'Au Bistro' column's title was 'The Battle for Paris, Part 44.' This issue had one feature, titled 'An Alley With a Past - Rue Visconti.' The Café Metropole Club issued a general appeal, 'Friends, Paris Fanas, Members!' The club's weekly update on 1. June featured, I think, the 'Movie of the Week.' The 'Scene' column's title was 'Lots Of Music Coming Up.' There werephoto: sign, rue gregoire de tours four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Last Chance Charter,' which was not a re-run of the recent 'Low Chance Charters' cartoon.

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

Issue 4.22 - 31. May 1999 - The week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Underground Bikini War.' The 'Au Bistro' column was titled, 'Springtime For Jacques and Lionel.' This issue' had one feature, 'Art' On Paris' Main Street.' The 'Scene' column was titled, 'Sow Didn't Go; Neither Did Strikes.' One of these is always true. There were also the usual four 'Posters of the Week,' but 'with Warning.' Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'Your Prize?!?' Next thing you know - smileys!

The 'Count-Up/Down' - Catch 22

Metropole's current count-up person Charles A. Lindbergh continues this week because it is the week after the 74th anniversary of his arrival in Paris. He landed at Le Bourget airport at 22:22 on Saturday, 21. May 1927, 74 years and one week ago.

Bill Hilton is still responsible for nominating this 'count-up' person and for reminding me about the anniversary last week. He also calculated that the true count-up total will be 27,035 days and some 12 hours or so - either way.

Meanwhile, a new 'count-down' movement in Paris is really getting to be like a downhill snowball. In this weather, it is gathering speed if not size. The reason - we are in the motion of getting ready for the 'euro's' introduction day, which will be on Tuesday, 1. January 2002.

The number of days remaining this year is 217. This means you still have about 246 days left to trade in your hoard of tattered old FF's for a lesser bunch of brand-new shiny 'euros.'

For those uncomfortable with nearly everything foreign, you are supposed to look at the 'Euro' Web site for reassurance. That the introduction of the 'Euro' is still more than six months away, might be the most reassuring.

Almost everything already carries 'euro' prices on the stickers. Do not worry about this.
signature, regards, ric

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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