"Walked 'Miles' To the Club"

photo: l->dana, jerry, jan, ed, kim, doug, sue, linda

Today's group, on the terrace of the club's café,
pretending not to be miffed.

Perpetual Summer Becomes Temporary

Paris:- Thursday, 30. August 2001:- The return of Paris' weather to normal has already been mentioned in this issue, so there's no reason to beat this poor horse to death. The temperatures today are some degrees below 'normal' - no matter what you may read, see or hear.

This is not the case underground in the métro. The métro has a 'memory' for surface weather, and it lingers on down here in the depths - slightly humid, slightly used, more than a bit warm.

On the Rue de Rivoli it seems as if the summer sales only ended yesterday, and the back-to-school shoppers are here already. I hate to say this, but places that are showing 'cheap chic' are showing black threads again.

This started out several years ago as grey-flannel-with-pin-strips, then it got all grey, then the grey got darker. I don't think this year's degree of black can be surpassed. It is blackest-black.

If this fades one dot, whoever wears it will be instantly out-of-date. I fear that cleaners will do a poor business between now and next year.

This funeral fashion observation is not apt forphoto: pedometre the beginning of a club meeting, so forget I mentioned it - unless you want to be at the height of under-25s fashion in Paris this fall.

To be perfectly accurate and aboveboard about it, Kim's pedometer indicates 1.84 miles.

Member Dana Shaw has beaten me to the club's area of the café La Corona by about two minutes, he says. He is 'du monde' as Patrick, who is not the 'Waiter of the Week,' has put it during my passage through the café's bar area.

Two minutes later it is the turn of new members Kim and Ed Hurwitz to turn up and announce their willingness to walk 'miles' to join this club. They started out in Sanibel, Florida some months ago, but today they have only walked from Saint-Mandé, out at the eastern edge of the 12th arrondissement.

In fact they have walked 1.8 miles according to Kim's portable pedometer. According to my 'Norma' circular calculator, this amounts to 2.9 kilometres in Europe.

But according to my map, its scale and my ruler, the distance is something closer to 5.4 kilometres, as birds such as pigeons fly - if they fly in straight lines. Paris streets are not even this straight. Alors, voilà - this pedometer is the 'Thing of the Week!'

Before I can voice my suspicion that the pedometer is short-counting its 'miles,' Sue and Jerry Bump arrive from Lago Vista, Texas.

Sue says, "We just walked five miles!"

"More like one and a half," Jerry says.

That's right, members and all readers - without ever having met each other before this meeting, all of today's new members are fiends for walking lots of miles!

This is even though I see from the notes I've made that Kim and Ed's 1.8 miles has been modified to - "Since lunch." Not all the way from Saint-Mandé in other words.

Even Sue and Jerry scale back their walking fever to, "We don't really want to walk all the way from Saint-Ouen to the Porte d'Orléans." They'll settle for just getting as far as the Seine, which is about halfway.

About five minutes before Sue and Jerry arrived, Kim went to the waterworks department of La Corona. When she returns she says, "The waterworks are an experience."

Without saying exactly what this 'experience' consisted of she says, "I have a rating system for toilets - from one to six stars."

Everyone agrees that 'one-star' toilets in Paris are not as common as they once were. Her 'six-star' rating goes to washroom facilities that have everything plus something for drying hands.

I think there are levels beyond this, and if each one is worth a 'star,' then some establishmentsphoto: teapot of the week in Paris must be worth about ten stars, because they have shoeshine chairs too, as well as Thai music.

The 'Very Hot Teapot of the Week.' Believe me, I touched it and it fried my fingers!

Ed - not me - but Ed Hurwitz, tells me about the Hitchcock exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, which he also says is air-conditioned. This is normal in most museums, but it doesn't matter this week, because the air outside is air-conditioned too.

He says it is 'terrible.' Not the air-conditioning, but the exhibition. According to the theory of it, Hitchcock snitched all of his ideas from other films, other sources - and these are on show.

Well, the truth is, artists do not work in a vacuum. The first cave painters copied each other. Imagine, being down there in the dark, with really lousy candles - does anyone think Jack ran all the way up to the surface just to get an idea of what a deer looked like - or didn't he just copy Fred's, which was right there on the cave's wall?

Doug Fuss's excuse for arriving late at today's meeting is that he has spent the day with a locksmith, getting a new lock for his door because the one he had, locked him out for no reason at all. It worked fine from one side but not the other.

With this, everybody compares their weird European keys - but this is not worth mentioning.

Sue wants to know 'where to buy stuff.' The short answer to this is not all that easy because there is various kinds of 'stuff' in Paris, and about a quarter-million places to buy it.

Sue and Jerry have rented a furnished place for the time it will take Jerry to teach some Sorbonne students about an ecolo-poet named Gérard Manley who died in 1889, was first published in 1918, was popular in the '30s and is now getting famous for lines like, 'Long life the wilderness yet.'

According to Sue, the furnished flat has 28 antique chairs in the living room, over a dozen in the dining room, at least a half-dozen in the kitchen - but has no microwave and no washing machine.

It sounds like the opposite of my place - no chairs, and with the microwave and the washing machine not plugged in.

Meanwhile, Linda Thalman the server-lady, has long since arrived, and while I'm learning about the curious workings of the Sorbonne 'Nouvelle' - Paris 3 - with its 'Institut du Monde Anglophone' - Linda says the 'Tip of the Week' is how to make perfect popcorn.

This comes from Sue too and it goes like this - put the popcorn in any handy freezer you have, for at least a week, and then pop it. "I'm going to try it!" Linda says.

Here I've nearly forgotten the 'Group Photo of the Week' and I surprise the new members by harassing them to go out on the café's Quai du Louvre terrace. They are so miffed they give me five clear shots of themselves.

Linda finds out the 'Waiter of the Week' is Vincent, who denies it. "This is supposed to be my day off," he says.

While the various 'additions' are beingphoto: other drinks haggled over, I learn that a medium-sized coca 'light' with 'glaçons' costs 40 francs. And I thought a double-café cost a fortune. La Corona is practically giving them away!

Before I leave, after nearly an hour of overtime, it is my turn to visit the café's waterworks. On my way out I hear muffled yelling, and the lady who oversees the waterworks situation is yelling back, "Turn on the light!"

Most of the other 'Beverages of the Week' were quite a bit cooler than the teapot.

When I give the scene a passing glance I see the waterworks lady noticing that the door is not, in fact, locked. She yells, "The door is not closed!"

Whoever has been trapped inside, most likely in the dark because the door was not locked, seems relieved to be released from the toilet's total blackness - by opening the unclosed door. I wonder if Kim took this lock-the-door-to-turn-on-the-light feature into account when she assigned her star-rating to it.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

If you are so inclined, you can find out quite a bit of other stuff concerning what this is about by reading the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page - which will also tell you where to find the club in Paris and the day and time of the meetings.

Read some of the 'About' page to also learn that you can become a member of this online magazine's club in Paris, by simply coming to a meeting in order to ignore all of its expired 'rules,' which have been discontinued for quite some time now. More recent 'new rules' have also been discontinued.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The next Café Metropole Club meeting will be held on Thursday, 6. September, which the first of only four Thursdays this month. It is also the annual day known as Saint-Bertrand's Day, in Paris at least.

The following day will be another Sainte-Reine's Day, which will be perfectly ordinary. Other than this, the day will be Friday as well, except it will be the first one in September. Make the most of it - there will only be three others this year.

The café La Corona meeting place will have its doors open wide as it has on all other weeks with Thursdays or Fridays. Your club's meeting time will begin at 15:00 and continue until 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - whichphoto: todays group is 'CET' for short and not 'TARD' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in zones without metrical time.

When left to their own devices club members do pretty well without 'Ed,' thank you!

The club's secretary, temporarily known as 'Ed-in-suspension,' will be making a few 'report' notes during the next meeting but this is not worth one gram of your attention. It is just a club ritual that he can't give up.

Have your new 'Quote of the Week' ready or bring your own 'City of the Week' along for consideration or even invent any other 'Things of the Week.' Anything is eligible. Having these items on hand may be significant enough to get them mentioned in a meeting's club 'report,' like this one.

Your carefully chosen or idle chit-chat will be welcomed by the other members present - and all readers of this online magazine with the free and real Paris club deal for readers who 'just want to be' members, and don't mind 'reports' about its meetings full of insignificant 'firsts.'

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.
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Waldo Bini