Bigger Yawn Than Last Week

photo: cafe chez tony, rue ourcq

Where was I? Oh, yeah - this is Tony's place,
in the Rue de l'Ourcq.

Metropole Gives You a Week Off

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 16. July 2001:- The weather is rotten, damp and cold. There may be nicer ways to say this, such as it is 'not much below normal' for this time of year, but I'm not in the mood to beat around wet bushes right now.

Goodness knows we are not 'owed' good weather in summer, in the same way that we expect winter weatherphoto: sign, sous le gris, la plage to be wintry, and accept it without too much grumbling. And you know, if it gets really bad, then we congratulate each other for surviving it.

But this kind of grace does not apply to summer. It is one thing to say 'whew! it's hot today' and quite another to put on winter clothes in the privacy of our homes before going outside in July.

East Paris is full of positive signs.

Yes, you are right - I am taking this as a personal affront. I have dozens of black and white photos here, of Montparnasse in the '20s, showing hundreds of people sitting around on café terraces, under the shade of awnings - while the street beyond the shade is blindingly white.

Where are those summers when we need them? For that matter, where is that summer of 1976 when I arrived here and it cooked up in May and stayed that way - until I went down to Cassis near Marseille, for a freezing, drizzly two weeks in September?

Metropole Pauses for a Week

The tirade above is partly because I have to take next week off - which will be classed as a holiday regardless of the weather - which is, in fact, forecast to be rotten, damp and cold.

I know that you may have accidently picked this very same week to visit Paris. If we run into each other, we can both complain about it together.

But I suggest looking at this week's 'Scene' column instead, like I intend to do, and choose itsphoto: fiat 500 of the week undercover attractions, even if they are no more exciting than riding around in the métro all day long.

No week with a big yawn is complete without its 'Fiat 500 of the Week.'

On Thursday, there will of course be a Café Metropole Club meeting, which will be followed with its usual 'report' being put online - containing its new 'City of the Week,' 'Quote of the Week' and all the rest of the usual stuff, which is not usually so usual.

This will be followed, after a whole week, by the club meeting on Thursday, 26. July, which will also feature the meeting's 'report,' and etc. etc.

Then, after what may seem like two weeks to you, but will only be one week to me, the regular edition of Metropole will show up here again, on Monday, 30. July - in some selected time zones.

Café Life

This sort of 'life' was a bit skimpy last week. For a while the weather forecasts were a tiny little bit optimistic and I was planning a whole Bastille Day tour - evening of Friday, 13. July, the parade on Saturday, and the fireworks at the Tour Eiffel on Saturday evening.

I had my fingers crossed so hard for this that I missed overhearing any of my café colleagues mention any plans for all or any of these fêtes.

So it is only today that they have been bothering to tell me about all the fun they had at the firemen's 'bal' somewhere down the Boulevard Saint-Michel, and how it was advertised to go on until four in the morning.

I think this means that it is high time I had a bit of a holiday. Ordinarily I don't cross my fingers, so I had no way of knowing that doing so causes deafness.

Is It 'True' What They Say About Paris?

Readers have been sending me more strange stories, involving what is supposed to be 'true' about Paris but is mainly fantasy. But with next week's issue that isn't going to be, I feel that these should be examined a bit more carefullyphoto: convenience for dogs before being given some airing.

Therefore, 'thankYou' for what you've sent so far. Quite a collection of these items is being stored carefully here, and you can expect this odd feature to reappear.

If 'they say' it's a 'dog's life' in Paris, then look at this snazzy - and free - convenience facility.

For sending in 'finds,' as with the occasional Email features, you will be given credit for your eagle-eyes. The only 'fact' I will require is the name of the source, if you have it. If you don't have one, then the item will go into a subsection with the title of 'Is It a True Rumor?'

No New Metropole Photos for You

While 'Ed's' new monitor got tuned in - to probably be as good as it will get - 'Ed' himself got tuned out, after having only one half-hearted tour in half-decent weather last week.

The offer of new Metropole's large-size photos therefore stops on the spot where it was some weeks ago, while this link to the photos on the last offered photo / image page continues as a carry-over.

In theory - and getting ever more theoretical - each week one or two 'best' photos - or a cartoon - will be shown on this page. The large versions of these images are for sale. If you see another one you like in any issue since last summer, ask for it instead.

More details are on the most recent 'Photo' page to appear in Metropole. Check it out. Any suggestions, advice and comments, will be welcome.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

Your club's meeting last Thursdaywas a success more than just modest. I was settling in for another semi-no-show meeting when six new members rushed into the club's café and insisted on joining it on the spot. Doug Fuss rejoined the club after a stint in steamy Savannah and even the server-lady, Linda Thalman, showed up, somewhat damp.

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