Black Tuesday - Blacker Week

photo: cafe, deux magots, st germain

In Saint-Germain-des-Prés - the Deux Magots
café on Sunday.

Dazed In Paris

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 17. September 2001:- Despite serious events elsewhere in the world, the weather keeps on happening in Paris even if it isn't much to write about. Especially not newsworthy are coming highs predicted to be around 16 or 17 degrees - about 60 F - which will be a bit low for October.

Generally, there will be winds from the northwest, making daytime temperatures seem lower, and low nighttime temperatures are expected to be about nine degrees in places in France where Paris' general warmth doesn't add a couple of extra bonus degrees.

'Café Life'

Black Tuesday - Blacker Week

Instead of worrying about not having written an 'Au Bistro' news column for last week's issue, I spent a good part of my 'weekend' last Tuesday writing replies to readers who have written to ask me about the value of their 'original' artworks attributed to Maurice Utrillo.

About 16:30 I became aware that this activity had been going on for some time and had become boring. So I turned on the radio, to the non-stop music station known here as 'FIP.'

It was not broadcasting music, but it must have been on for several minutes before I realizedphoto: liberty flame, alma that its quiet mumble-mumble was not about any 'bouchons' on the Perifreak! - but was a new version of Orson Wells' 1938 broadcast of 'War of the Worlds.'

I deduced this from the rapid-fire phrase that included the information seeming to say that the World Trade Center buildings in New York had been 'wiped out.'

Still, this had gone into my subconsciousness, and it was only when I went out for a clip-job to Claude's hairdressing salon and talk parlor that it bubbled up to the forefront while I was ambling down the street.

On arriving, I heard a radio on in the back of the shop near the guitars and walk-in shampoo station, so I went back there to hear pretty much the same show that FIP had been broadcasting.

Neither I nor anyone else in the salon seemed to have really taken this in. For the remainder of the time I was in the joint getting clipped, the conversation followed its usual course of general nonsense.

TV Takes Over

'Sense-fiction' stopped at 20:00 when I turned on my TV set to France-2's TV-news - which may have been going on for some time already. By this time the station's news service had had five hours to put together a 'report' - which was not interrupted by any TV-weather news during the following two hours and 30 minutes that I watched it.

Once again we were shown what it means to be the world's number-one ranked 'super-power.' Its reality widely exceeds any dreamed up fiction. The line had been crossed into a horribly terrible nightmare.

Dazed In Paris

For Wednesday I had a long-standing date with Metropole reader and club member, Dana Shaw, to go over his 1955-era route to school in Paris. I neglected to phone to confirm this on Tuesday evening, but he called me on Wednesday morning to say that he wanted to go through with it.

I had already been out to get some key Paris newspapers and take photos of other front pages, and used up all the time I had to do a minimal 'Au Bistro' column, mostly devoted to what little there was for a Paris 'angle.'

This was supplemented by a New York reader's emailed first impression, which I tacked on to the end of the column. The result was uploaded to the Internet and I was just able to meet Dana on time for our 'tour.'

Similarly, I felt that going ahead with Thursday's scheduled club meeting needed to be done, if for no other reason than the impossibility of canceling it.

I wouldn't have been surprised by a no-member turnout. And I wasn't surprised either that existing members, plus two new members, did attend. Even though I think we were all a bit 'dazed,' the meeting followed its pretty normal routine of not being too serious.

For the rest of the week, authorities in Paris decided to cancel or put some events on hold - while other completely unforseen events took place - such as several memorial services. For some details see this week's 'Au Bistro' column.

Reactions

My own:- Nobody deserves this tragedy.

Email from Lebanon:- "We have been shocked like the rest of the world for this international tragedy. On behalf of the Lebanese people, we express our deepest sympathy & solidarity. We would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the families and victims of the horrible event." Sender's name withheld by the editor. Available on request.

For those who sent personal messages, thank you for your thoughts.

Needless to say, bushels of spam emails continued to arrive non-stop.

New Metropole Photos

New Metropole large-size photos are on show again this week, with this link to the photos on the photo / image page. This is not to say these photos are 'super,' it is just to say there are two new ones.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

Last Thursday's meeting had less than its usual number of unusual 'firsts.' One quote did stand out though and it was, "Will Rogers is younger than Mark Twain."

To bring yourself up-to-date on the important subject of other interesting 'quotes,' you canphoto: fiat 500 of the week still read this meeting's medium-length 'report' in less than four minutes, more or less.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 20. September. This day will be another fairly ordinary day even though it will be a club day on which Saint-Davy's Day will be acknowledged in Paris this year.

Metropole readers and intentional club members can learn a lot more about this free club by reading 'About the Club,' which is handy for finding out the reason for the club's existence, its meeting time and location and so on, and other true facts such as being free.

Café Metropole Club Anniversary

The club's meeting numbers are still a bit skewed, but the very first meeting was held on Thursday, 14. October 1999. This year the 14th is on a Sunday, so I propose that the club's 2nd anniversary be held during the meeting on the Thursday before, on 11. October. The meeting on the following Thursday, 19. October, will be the first in the club's third year of life, but no particular celebration is planned for this monumental event.

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' hasphoto: chestnut lane, champs elysees 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 'Things Happen.'

'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, nearly anytime.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 5.38 - 18. Sept 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Expo At the Hôtel de Ville' and the 'Au Bistro' news column was titled, 'Three Months' Prison for Bové.' This issue had one feature, titled 'Shopping For Sights On Haussmann.' This issue's update for the club meeting on 21. September turned out to be the 'Flower of the Week?' report. The week's 'Scene' column was a shopping listphoto: sign, avenue franklin d roosevelt titled 'Music, Dance, Theatre, Photographs.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Can I Take the Métro?'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 4.38 - 20. Sept. 1999 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Freezing and Starving' for no particular reason. The 'Au Bistro' column was was headlined 'The Government Can't Do Everything.' This issue had two features, titled, 'Jacques Melac's Grape Harvest' and 'Boulevard du Techno.' The 'Scene' column was titled, 'Les Champs de la Sculpture.' There were also the usual four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the musical caption of 'Techno, Wino.' Tweet!

The 'Count-Up/Down' - Version 38

As an exception this week, there is no new 'count-down' news mainly because there is no current 'count-down' being counted up or down.

The Euro's Dwindling Count-Down

The number of days remaining this year is 105. This is the number of days left until the 'euro' currency introduction day on Tuesday, 1. January 2002 at 00:01. On this day, you can say 'hello' to Europe's brand-spanking-new uni-currency.

'Euromania' is twisting itself upphoto: sign, avenue du president wilson into an onrushing tornado.. If you plan a visit before the end of the year, do not be surprised to witness European newspapers and TV acting gaga about it - while most civilian citizens are giving it a big ho-hum. This will become unnecessary after 1. January, of course, because then they - we - will have to actually handle the stuff.

For fun, some places will be selling baggies containing 100 francs-worth of real euro money, sometime in December. Although 'real,' it will be unspendable until 2002.

Learn more about the new European-style money by taking a look at the French government's 'Euro' Web site for whatever it has to say about the arrival of the euro slightly more than three months from now.

This site probably has images of the actual currency because the new banknotes were publicly displayed at the European Central Bank recently.
signature, regards, ric

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