Who's Afraid of the Institut Pasteur?

photo: cafe terrace on champs elysees

For those willing to make the trip, try the outdoor dining
on the Champs-Elysées.

Toilets - For All of the Public?

Paris:- Monday, 5. November 2001:- Some residents living across the Rue du Docteur-Roux from the Institut Pasteur in the 15th arrondissement would rather not know what is going on across the street.

Other residents are quite happy that the famous research labs are so close, and residents in other quarters are pleased they live near hospitals.

The Institut Pasteur does not manufacture drugs for public sale however, so residents have to be content to watch the 'Sante Publique' vans arrive with their cargos of suspect packages and envelopes for analysis.

At the institute, two of its four entries have been closed, and all-over security has been increased. The 1000 scientists and 1500 other employees that work at it have all been issued with electronic ID badges, which are programmed to allow entry into three levels of security areas.

Inside the institute, researchers are happy to have created a vaccine that has been effective for mice contaminated with anthrax.

This work has been in progress for ten years as a general scientific exercise, because until now there has been no particular demand for it.

Meet the Mayor

Some of the mayors of right-wing arrondissements see Paris' mayor Bertrand Delanoë's wish to tell Parisians what's been going on downtown - like he promised to do during the election campaign - as being part of his campaign for re-election.

For this reason, they insist that republican principles must be maintained, and Bertrandphoto: conciergerie, quai de l'horloge, ile cite Delanoë will have to be content to meet the folks in a gymnasiums instead of arrondissement city halls.

In two Socialist-majority arrondissements this will be necessary too, because the local city halls don't have meeting rooms big enough for 600 chairs. You see - sometimes it isn't 'just politics.'

This famous thing is called the 'Conciergerie' and it is on the Quai de l'Horloge

Mayor Delanoë intends to visit all 20 arrondissements by the end of December's first week. In each he is expected to speak for 15 or 20 minutes and then handle questions from residents for an hour - or 90 minutes, depending on whether the residents want to complain about the bus lanes or not.

These meetings will also allow the city's downtown crew to gather the mood of the residents, although this must be a secondary reason because they can run into them while riding their bikes on Sundays.

I won't be able to give the local report on one of these meetings until 5. December, when the mayor will be at the 14th's Gymnase Cange. It might take me four weeks to find out where it is anyway.

Toilets - For the Public?

A humanitarian association has sent out questionnaires to 101 towns in France with more than 50,000 inhabitants, to ask if they have public toilets for the use of the homeless, 24 hours a day.

I think the association wants to know if the toilets are free too, but this question is moot if there aren't any.

The president of the association has noted that Paris has not filled in the questionnaire and returned it.

The reason for not doing so may be allied to the exceptional security measures in force at the moment, which have resulted in the closure of all the pay-toilets on the streets. In French these are called 'sanisettes payantes.'

Whether free or 'payante,' accessible toilets are hard to find for the homeless between midnight and the early morning hours, and between these hours they also are few and far between for anybody.

The métro only has a few toilets and these are usually only open during the daytime. Other public toilets keep banking hours too. Once most of the cafés close, there isn't much choice.

More Hours For the Markets?

This is a question that will be answered soon. Planned for the next few months, is the opening of the public markets in the afternoons.

There are 78 markets in Paris and 65 ofphoto: interior couple, galeries lafayette these are in open places, usually with coverings that are dismantled after the market closes for the day. Market hours are generally from 7:00 to 13:30.

The 13 covered markets usually close for the lunch-time period and re-open in the afternoons. Many of the covered markets are open six days out of seven. Most of the markets in open places are only in operation two days a week, but a few are only weekly.

Free maps at Printemps, and this free famous sight at Galeries Lafayette.

Customers like the markets on Fridays and on weekends more than on other weekdays. Working customers would find open-afternoon markets handier than the morning-only ones.

From Under the Mattresses

One effect of exchanging national currencies for the euro next year is that it is forcing European hoarders to bring their cash into the light of day.

It seems to me that I read somewhere recently that national finance ministries intend to have a 'no questions asked' policy for a while. The reason for this is an estimate that fully a third of France's cash is stashed in mattresses - and the lords of the money would like to get it into circulation.

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