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 Thursday was 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.

Even if you are nearly snoozing on your veranda, you can still read this exciting 'report' about the club's meeting anyway, while the ice in your tea slowly melts.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 19. July 2001. This day will be significant because it will be the first club day in 2001 on which Saint-Arsène's Dayphoto: building, rue ourcq will be celebrated, but I think I may have mentioned this already.

Metropole readers and would-be club members are urged take a peek at the current version of 'About the Club,' which is mighty handy for finding out about the club's raison d'être, its meeting time and location and so on, and other important facts such as being free - except for your own drinks' tab - which actually only applies if you attend a club meeting in person.

Another example of east Paris' urban delights.

This page also contains expired rules about this club in Paris - and includes its still valid location map - for you, who are either 'Metropole Paris' readers, Café Metropole Club members - or are in Paris for any reason or no particular reason at all.

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 a reservation service for a wide selection of Paris hotels. Check out their offers and make your choice long before your arrival in France. Or, if all the other hotel booking services are 'sold out,' try this one. Other Metropole readers have.

'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 5.29 - 17. July 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Travel Tales' and the 'Au Bistro' news column was back with, 'Incredible Weather Bombs Picnic.' This issue had one feature about 'Ed's' holiday, titled 'More Trees Than People - Oh! Canada.' The Café Metropole Club's weekly update wasn't, but Linda Thalman reported a "Full House!" for it. This issue's update for the club meeting on 20. July was simply, 'Métro, Clubo, Dodo' - which I assume meant another solo meeting. The week's 'Scene' column was missing altogether. Therephoto: sign, rue de crimee, 1884, 1885 were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'No Smoking, Remember?'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago - Again:

Issue 4.28/29 - 12/19. July 1999 - This was a two-week issue, meant to last two weeks, so the week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Goodbye and Hello To All This' for the second week in a row. The 'Au Bistro' column was titled, 'I'd Walk a Mile for a Baguette.' This issue had no features, due to moving the office into Paris. The 'Scene' column was titled, 'The Last 'Armada du Siècle.' There were also the usual four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'Bastille Day Every Day.'

The 'Count-Up/Down' - Version 29

If you can't remember what this was about, then I hardly can either. To make a long and boring story short, please note that the 'Soldes d'Eté' in Paris do not last forever, and are subject to some kind of count-down - to when they will be over in early August.

At the moment the only other thing going on here is the 'count-down' to the introduction of the 'euro' - the new European-wide mono-currency - that is putting most Europeans to sleep even when they don't think about it.

The 'euro' currency introduction day will be on Tuesday, 1. January 2002 at 00:01 and not even one nanosecond before - so you can forget about buyingphoto: sign,square louis xvi a Carte Orange transit ticket with euros for another 5.29 months, even through the RATP has said its two-zone one will cost 44,35 euros.

[More yawns.] The number of days remaining this year is 148. This means you still have about 197 days left before you should trade in your 'only-in-Europe' change purse full of dull and old FF's for a lesser-sized handful of official brand-new 'euros.'

For those wishing to know more about future European-style cash, you can take a look at the French government's 'Euro' Web site for clear and succinct information about everything except where to get regular French-franc coins right now.

Nearly everything for sale here already shows double 'euro' and franc prices on the stickers. Only after the end of this year will the franc prices comes off, leaving you nothing to worry about.
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