No 'City of the Week'

photo: group of the week

In photos of big groups everybody comes out smaller in Web-sized photos.

How About a 'Hat of the Week' Instead?

Paris:- Thursday, 20. September 2001:- The customary weather report can be skipped this week because there has been no change since Monday, although there may be a bit of sun peeking at Paris in the near future.

Like last week, the métro has few passengers and the Rue de Rivoli is not teeming with shoppers. Most bicyclists I see seem to be cops-on-wheels, and I assume these are all over the city.

Before leaving the underground I buy a copy of today's 'Le Monde,' and to be on the safe side I pick up a copy of the underground paper, 'A Nous Paris' too, just in case there is a memberless meeting today.

On the way in to the café La Corona, I ask today's 'Waiter of the Week' - who is Patrick - last week's 'Question of the Week,' but he insists he doesn't know the answer. Then I collar the café's 'patron,' and he guesses an answer - which you will find below in this column - because this week's club business comes first.

This happens to include Paul Baker from Chicago, Illinois, and most recently from Maisons-Alfort where he went to find out that the Fragonard Museum isphoto: paul baker, monoprix cap closed on Thursdays and Fridays. Please note this vital fact. For those who don't mind going to closed museums, Paul points out, "It's only a one-ticket ride!"

Here is Paul Baker with his 'Hat of the Week.'

Paul went out there because he works at the Field Museum in Chicago - which has old rocks and bones, like Paris' Museum of Natural History in the Jardin des Plantes. Paul says the Paris version has 'spooky music.'

Then, in a big rush, the club's area in the café fills up with members Sue and Doug Fuss, and Dinny Moyer. And here is where my notes get hopelessly scrambled, because somebody asks where Berta and Scoop Maginniss with their 'seven trunks' are - and I think it must be Betty or Jerry Blizin - you surely must remember the Blizins from Tarpon Springs, Florida?

But my notes do not say when the Blizins arrive, and before I can do much about figuring it out, Berta and Scoop Maginniss do arrive, but without their 'seven trunks.'

Scoop says everything got past the airline inspectors okay - everything but his nail-clippers. He also says he hasn't brought 'Paris-Turf' today because he hasn't found the nearest off-track bettingphoto: wine of the week café nearest the Maginniss' new apartment yet - and besides, there's no 'quinte+' tomorrow.

Both of the Maginniss' are excited about the new apartment. They were at the Drouot auction house yesterday getting half a truck-load of furniture, and it has been delivered today. They were at BHV too, and got some appliances there. Tonight they intend to stage an attack on the handiest Ikea outlet.

The 'Wine of the Week' shortly before it evaporated.

James Maginniss has also slipped in here, with a to-be new member, Sam Conley from San Francisco. Doug Fuss tries to figure out how many members are present, but nobody will keep still and he gets no total.

Patrick, the 'Waiter of the Week,' is so engrossed with rolling up knives and forks in napkins, he fails to hear shouts for more 'Wine of the Week' - or is it my 'Café of the Week?'

Paul gets his attention by yelling 'Monsieur' medium-loud. Then, with Patrick alert, everybody pretends to pose for the 'Group Photo of the Week' which gets blitzed as usual by the café's interior color scheme, which turns all winter photos into yellow and red gore.

Although Paul has been in Paris several times before, he wants to show off his discoveries. His prize is a billed-cap with no logo or other advertising on it. "Only just over ten bucks!" he says triumphantly. "Got it at Monoprix."

It is, of course, the 'Hat of the Week.' I hope this will make up for the lack of a 'City of the Week' and all the other mistakes and omissions here.

Without waiting for the meeting to be over, Dinny asks the 'Question of the Week' for the secondphoto: end table group week in a row. "Why is café served in consommé tureens?"

In a way I object to this on the grounds that last week's 'Question of the Week' has no definitive answer yet. But before I can use my voice for this, Paul asks his 'Question of the Week.'

Another angle on today's 'Group of the Week.

"Does anybody know the name of a restaurant that serves 'pommes dauphines?" He explains this question by saying the restaurant where he had them before is closed.

The combined brain-power of the entire group cannot equal this question, although it grapples with it mightily. Nobody, in fact, has ever had 'pommes dauphines' in a restaurant.

Last Week's 'Question of the Week'

Even though it was in the club's overtime period, Dinny Moyer posed the 'Question of the Week.' She asked, "Why is a 'demi' only 25 cl?" She was referring to the common name and uncommon measure of draft beer served in cafés, bars and restaurants in France.

Club member 222 Ed Hawco offered the following explanation via email - "The answer to the 'Question of the Week' is obvious once we realize that abbreviation is to blame for the confusion. A 'demi' refers to a 'demi-verre,' not a 'demi-litre' - a 'verre' being generally a half-litre. But of course you knew that already, and were just teasing us."

But I knew no such thing, so I asked Marion Nowak, the club's 'Expert For Nearly Everything,' partly because she happens to be a club member. Her reply -

"It's absolutely obvious! You know that in Franconia the standard glass for beer, the 'seidel,' contains a half-litre. As one can easily tell from the similarity of the names - Franconia = France - these have common ancestors.

"When the part of the tribe that went west settled in France, they got 'lache,' because France and Paris were so beautiful and they had so much wine and the girls and no more working, and so on. So instead of drinking the normalphoto: coffee tureen amount of a half-litre they drank only half as much which gives a 'demi' in French and as the standard for beer was a half-litre, a 'demi' of that makes 0.25 cl.

A typical French 'consommé tureen' of café.

"More seriously - and especially for club members - but not too far from my nice tribal theory, I would think that 'demi' doesn't refer to 'verre,' but to 'pichet' - or maybe 'chope?' - which still very often means half a litre. If you order 'un pichet de vin' for example, it's not unlikely that you'll get half a litre. And a 'demi' of that - why, it gives those funny-sized glasses of beer served in Paris."

Let's give our hearty thanks to Marion! But to make really sure I also asked the patron of the club's café, La Corona. His answer, paraphrased, was, "A 'demi' is half of a 'chope anglaise."

This is not a good answer even if it includes the word, 'chope.' France's first kings came from Germany, and I think they brought beer with them. Look at all the 'brasseries' there are in Paris today - and these are nothing compared to the number there used to be.

Since today's new member Paul Baker had been visiting the closed Fragonard Museum earlier today, I asked him last week's 'Question of the Week' too.

He said, "Maybe it's from 'demi-tasse.'"

As a last resort I turn to my antique 'Nouveau Petit Larousse.' It says, 'Verre de bière qui équivalait primitivement à un demi-litre.' In other words, a 'demi' of beer has gotten 50 percent smaller somehow.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can find out minor other stuff concerning what this is about - if you really feel like it - by reading 'About the Café Metropole Club' - which will also explain exactly where to find the club in Paris and the day and time of the meetings.

You will also be able to learn that you can become a member of this online magazine's club in Paris, by simply coming to a meeting, while ignoring all of its expired 'rules,' which have been abolished. Other 'new rules' pop up occasionally, but they are suppressed without mercy.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The next Café Metropole Club meeting will be held on Thursday, 27. September, which is not on any Friday this year. It is also the annual day known as Saint-Vincent-de-Paul's Day, in France and the DOM-TOM at least.

The following day will be Friday as always happens in an usual week. Make the most of it - there will only be 14 more of them this year.

The café La Corona meeting place will be open as it is on all other weeks with Thursdays or Fridays. Yourphoto: berta, sue, scarf, patrick club's meeting time will begin at 15:00 and continue until 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'OTOG' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in zones without metrical 24-hour time.

Sue Fuss watches Berta Maginniss whirling into her scarf, just before whirling out the door.

The club's secretary, known occasionally as 'Ed,' will be making some 'report' notes during the next meeting. It is merely a 'ruleless' club ritual, like doodling.

Bring a new 'Quote of the Week' or come with your own 'City of the Week' for consideration or even fabricate any other 'Things of the Week.' Any darn thing is eligible. Having these on hand may be significant enough to get them mentioned in a meeting's club 'report.'

Your thoughtful comments, invented or not, will be heartily received by the other members present - and all readers of this online magazine with the real and free Paris club for readers who 'just want to be' members of some club in the only city in the world known as Paris, France.

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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