'No Trick, No Treat, No Fooling'

photo: neon sign, le corona

Our club's café sign. I don't know why it is spelled wrong.

Important Club Alert

Paris:- Friday, 19. October 2001:- Just after the end of yesterday's club meeting, the 'Waiter of the Week,' Patrick slipped me the word 'renovation.' For this alone, Patrick becomes the 'Waiter of the Month.'

He suggested I wait until next week for details. But some of you are planning on visiting Paris and the club to become members - and you may be coming by sub-sonic hot-air balloon, so it seems to me that I should give you the details about this as soon as possible.

As forecast, the weather today is sloppy, but as usual La Corona is dry. After the usual extensive round of handshakes I discover the café's patron, Monsieur Naudan, in his 'fix-something' clothes and hit him with the 'Question of the Week.'

He is pleased that the 'club' is concerned. Hephoto: m naudan with brochure is also proud of the project to give the interior of the café a new look. In the presence of Madame Naudan he shows me the new chair proposed for the café.

"Look," he says, "You can tilt back on it. It's really stable!"

Monsieur Naudan wonders whether the chair he has picked is really best.

It is also much more elegant, with its bent-wood frame and back, while being lighter than the clunky old chairs. If we ever have chair-fights, the new ones will be handy.

Next he is showing me a glossy brochure full of snazzy café furniture, and madame brings out samples of the leather-like material that will cover the chair seats and all of the booth seats.

We have a regular showing of them all. Out of the six or seven samples, they are tending towards three - all neither too light nor too dark - and none of them are near red or yellow.

The choices are called 'tabac,' 'elephant' and 'antelope.' There isn't a great difference, and what difference there is does not show clearly in the photo. I like the 'elephant' shade.

If you want to make your choice known, just write it down on a postcard, and send it to Mr et Mme Naudan at the café's address below. Mentioning you are a club member will help your choice carry more weight.

The 'grande salle' where the club holds its weekly meetings is not going to see big changes. Howeverphoto: samples, tabac, elephant, antelope the new seat covers will harmonize better with the existing colors, which I assume will be re-painted. The '50s-era neons will be kept

Possible future chair material - from the left, Tabac, Elephant and Antelope. Remember to vote.

The outside of the café will not change at all because your club's café is a 'Site Classé Beaux-Arts' and cannot be changed without Madame Tasca's permission. I bet you had no idea your clubhouse was a bit 'ritzy' did you?

The biggest change will be in the bar area. This has been 'as is' for the past 30 to 50 years and it will be completely redone, although I expect the changes will not be too radical because of the modest changes in the rest of the café. Expect a new bar, café machine, beer taps, tables and maybe a layout change.

Understandably, the Naudans are pretty excited about all of this. They have been running La Corona for the past 30 years, and I believe madame said the café has been in the family for the past 50. For them, it is to quit being a 'sight for sore eyes' to become a classier joint.

The Club's Temporary Location

After explaining to Monsieur Naudan that readers will be showing up to become 'Café Metropole Club' members while La Corona's renovations are in progress, he suggested that we inspect 'Le Café Lodi,' just a few doors away on the Quai du Louvre.

He changed out of his 'fix-it' clothes and introduced me to the Café Lodi's new management, whichphoto: le cafe lodi is in the process of finishing this café's renovation, for its expected reopening on Monday.

The Café Lodi is more modest than La Corona, but should be a suitable short-term substitute.

Le Café Lodi, at 24. Quai du Louvre, has been closed for a year, but has been known by this name since 1969. It is a much simpler café than La Corona, but it has a 'big-enough' area to accommodate club meetings - plus it is completely renovated.

So yes, readers and potential club members, and all 'charter' club members - your club has a temporary meeting location arranged, and you will be nearly the first to sit on its new upholstery - so long as you turn up for Café Metropole Club meetings in it.

The Vital Dates

The last meeting at La Corona before its renovation will be on Thursday, 1. November. The following meeting, on Thursday, 8. November, will be held in Le Café Lodi - see the modified map shown here.

Monsieur Naudan assured me that the café La Corona's renovation will take exactly five weeks - not longer! - but dates are slippery in France. The renovation is scheduled to begin on Monday, 5. November and to be completed on Friday, 14. December.

This means club meetings at the Cafe Lodi will be held on Thursdays, 8, 15, 22, and 29. November and on 6. and 13. December. If these dates are altered, the new ones will be given here - so don't forget to read the club's regular weekly 'reports.' Remembering what you read may be helpful too.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can learn some other stuff concerning what this is about if you really feel you need to - by readingphoto: new club loc map, temporary 'About the Café Metropole Club.' This also explains exactly where to find the club's usual meeting place in Paris - but does not mention the temporary location mentioned above, because it is only 'temporary.'

Here is the map of the temporary new café location. Commit it to memory, then swallow it.

You will also be able to find out that you can become a member of this online magazine's cozy club in Paris, by simply coming to a meeting, while ignoring all of its expired 'rules,' which have been abolished. When other 'new rules' pop up, they are abolished because 'no rules' have been the club 'rule' for some time now.

The Date of the Next Meeting

The next Café Metropole Club meeting will be held on Thursday, 25. October, which is really on a Thursday again this year. It is also the annual day known as Saint-Crépin's Day.

Club member Jim Auman has written to say that the mention of Saint- Crépin's Day 'rattled' his brain-cells, causing him to recall that, "On Tuesday, 24. October, 1415, a writer named Bill Shake-His-Speare claimed that King Henry V of England spoke the following to his troops -"

"...He that shall live this day, and see old age
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:

"...And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they wer not here
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.'"

And Jim has added, "The next day King Henry and his troops crushed the French army and the flower of French knighthood near a village called Azincourt, which is Agincourt in English."

And somewhere in northern France in French. It must a rest-stop on the autoroute, because I can't find it on my map, even though it is supposed to be within the area of 'C-3.'

The Time and Place of the Next Meeting

The café La Corona meeting place will be open as it is nearly every week with a Thursday. Your club's meeting time will begin at 15:00 and stretch out to 17:00 in Europe's Centralphoto: lodi cafe cup European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'OTUF' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in zones without boringly simple metrical 24-hour time.

The club's secretary, now sometimes known as 'Ed,' will be making some 'report' notes during the coming meeting. It is merely a regular club ritual - not a 'rule' - like the idiotic ones that have been suppressed.

Just to remind you that the Café Lodi serves café and all of your other favoite drinks.

Bring a new 'Quote of the Week' or come with your own 'City of the Week' or even concoct any other 'Things of the Week' no matter how farfetched. Any other darn thing is eligible. Having something on hand may be silly enough to get it mentioned in a meeting's club 'report.'

Your comments, thoughtful, silly, profound or not, will be warmly received by the other members present, if they overhear them - and by all readers of this online magazine, providing they read them.

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.

Watch this space for the upcoming temporary café's address - which is only about 50 metres from the above location - at 24. Quai du Louvre.

A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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