The 'Church of the Week'

photo: le cafe lodi, new awning

Since checking out Le Café Lodi a few weeks ago,
it has acquired a new awning.

If Only the Churchlady Knew!

Paris:- Thursday, 8. November 2001:- Club members who don't bother reading the regular weekly edition of 'Metropole Paris' won't know that this magazine begins with a weather 'forecast,' which hints at the likelihood of coming weather in Paris.

Last Monday's version said this week was going to be like a 'sandwich,' with some baloney sandwiched between two slices of white wonderbread.

The source for these forecasts is TV-weather news, and I expressed doubts about the amount of 'baloney' - and the possibility that the second slice of bread might be absent.

Now for the update. The first slice of bread was thinner than predicted, the 'baloney' was thicker, and the second slice of bread showing up is really doubtful, but if it does it might be on Saturday.

The 'baloney' started a day early, yesterday. For Thursday - today in fact - last night's morephoto: member, ann snow up-to-date TV-crystal ball said this morning's low would be 11 degrees, and this afternoon's high would be six degrees. This morning's huge fall of rain came earlier than expected, but the day's low-high has been right on time.

Ann Snow is first to find and join the club at the club's first meeting in its temporary meeting location.

What can we learn from this? For one thing, winter must be here if 'highs' can be lower than 'lows.' Second, wet weather wear is no longer sufficient. You should add 'warm' to whatever you intend to wear. The jolly 'Indian Summer' Paris had this year is history.

This has caught most of the leaves on the trees largely unprepared. Some took advantage of their locations to turn color, but the rest have stupidly stayed green. Their fate will be to turn grey and fall off in soggy clumps, like bits of tattered sponges.

This has also caught today's first new club member by surprise. Ann Snow came to Paris hoping the leaves would be gone already, so she could photograph the Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre church.

Ann came all the way from Lawrence, Kansas to do this. For this disappointment alone, Lawrence becomes the 'City of the Week.' Never mind that other new members and all 302 existing members cannot find today's club meeting in Le Café Lodi, even though it is only 44 metres from the club regular café meeting place.

But I guess it is just as well that there are only two of us in the new meeting place. We can test the chairs for comfort, test the tables for stability, and appreciate the background music without having to listen to a lot of club members shouting about the 'Waiter of the Week' for not anticipating their burning thirsts.

Also we can test the light in the new club area for its suitability for the 'Group Photo of the Week' and other important clublife snapshots. This light is horrid, by the way, and only returns a fifty percent semi-success rate.

On arrival Ann says, "I'm late because of jetlag." Actually, it isn't jetlag at all, but the wind along the Seine almost turning her umbrella insideout and carrying her off into the river like 'Mary Poppins.'

The next thing to do, is fix up the secretary's notion of geography in Kansas. For example, Kansas University in Lawrence is not to be confused with Kansas State in Manhattan, Kansas, which is also known as 'Aggieville.'

The 'Animal of the Week' - do you remember that last week's was the crocodiles in Oz that eat outboard motors? - is 'beefalo.'

Ann says these are nearly as dangerous as domestic buffalo, even though they are 'domestic' too. Youphoto: ed's first lodi cafe don't have to worry though because the half of Kansas west of Lawrence is very unpopulated and some of it hasn't even been explored yet because it is so boringly flat.

The secretary's first official double-jolt café in the revovated café Lodi.

Finally I find out that Ann isn't jetlagged at all. She just says this because she doesn't want anybody to know she stayed in her hotel bed this morning because it was raining to beat the dickens - which is the same reason the club's secretary did the same thing in another arrondissement.

Another reason is that her hotel in the Quartier Latin is named after a famous fountain pen, called Mont Blanc. In itself, this is not a valid reason for visitors to loll around. The real reason is this hotel's dining room- in-a-cave has a breakfast parrot for entertainment.

"It quacks like a duck and bites like a dog," she says. This is a shame, because we have already chalked up an 'Animal of the Week' - although the club could stretch things a bit by having a 'Quacking Bird of the Week.'

On her second visit to Paris, Ann intends to stay focused on the Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre church. On account of the leaves on the trees she hasn't even had a good look at it yet, and already she knows much more about it than Michelin's 'Green Guide,' which is four times more informative than me.

She intends to go to Paris super-huge Bibliothèque Nationale parked in the 13th above the Batofar and the other dance barges, and look for the 'one book in the world' that explains the church's 'triforium' - which was sort of a unique gallery, which just happened to disappear a long long time ago.

To get there, she intends to use Printemps' model 1999 free map. Looking at it, I now see why Crocodile Nigel dragged me over there to get a new one. Ann's map is too gaudy to read, and the 'you are here' spot is right on top of her church.

Ann has been in Paris maybe 24 hours, and she has already made a swift inventory of the church's surroundings.

"Have you seen the Quasimodo guys?" she asks. "What happened to the fountain with the three stags heads?" Have I seen the relief in the Rue Galande on or near the cinema?

This, she says, shows the legend of Saint-Julien, with him and his wife being rowed across the river by a leper wearing a thing with a hood, wearing a bell, and with maybe an optional halo.

I must confess I may have not ever seen this remarkable sight and ask her what she thinks ofphoto: group photo of the week the shop window with the two or three-year-old Christmas tree and decorations there. But it is impossible to sidetrack Ann with true but irrelevant counter-questions.

Ann watches 'Ed' making a technically impossible 'Group Photo of the Week' using mirrors.

"Was there ever a 'Wallace' fountain in the Square Viviani?" she wants to know. We do agree there might have been one there, but it may have been removed so that replicas could be made from it.

Around 18:00 Ann notices that it is nighttime outside. This makes me notice that this meeting is an hour into overtime. Luckily no other new members have managed to find the temporary meeting place in Le Café Lodi, so we pack up and leave without fuss.

Outside on the Quai du Louvre, the street is packed with traffic like it usually is, and it seems very chilly or extra damp. The Samaritaine department store is lit up from bottom to top with violet-red neon. It must mean that Halloween is over. That was fast.

La Corona's Renovation

On the way to the club today I happened to meet Madame Naudan from the café La Corona. Its remodeling work has started on time.

She told me that the plan tophoto: lodi games, patron cheri put in a new, wider stairway to its cellar has been scrapped for 'administrative' reasons. This means that the club's regular café will re-open for regular club meetings sooner than forecasted.

In addition to framed Imperial Russian bonds for decor, Le Café Lodi has a 'games' area.

Without firm dates, I now figure that to-become members and signed-in club members can count on La Corona being open for meetings - possibly as soon as Thursday, 6. December. Watch this space for the definitive date. Until I know exactly, I will leave the original re-open date below.*

Temporary Location, Vital Dates

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club, on Thursday, 15. November, will be held nearby in Le Café Lodi.

This means that club meetings will also be at the Cafe Lodi, on Thursdays, 15, 22, and 29. November and on 6. and 13. December.

While La Corona's important renovations are in progress, attend club meetings at Le Café Lodi, which is located at 24. Quai du Louvre. It is about 44 or 60 metres away from La Corona, towards the Pont Neuf, next to the pet shop. See the map on this page.

After La Corona's renovation, the first meeting to be held in the regular and by now hallowed club café will be on *Thursday, 20. December.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can learn lots of other stuff about this club if you really feel you must - by reading 'About the Café Metropole Club' - which also explains exactly where to find the club in Paris - usually - and the day and time of the meetings.

You will also be able to find out that you can become a member of this online magazine's free club in Paris, by simply coming to a meeting, while ignoring all of its expired 'rules,' which have been abolished. They are abolished because 'no rules' is the club 'rule' now.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The next Café Metropole Club meeting will be held on Thursday, 15. November, which is really on a Thursday again as usual. It is also the annual day known as Saint-Albert, which is not any kind of a holiday in France, except for all people named Albert.

The following day will be an ordinary Friday, called Sainte-Marguerite's Day. If you like Fridays, make the most of it - there will only be 7 more of them this year.

The Café Lodi meeting place willphoto: club location map be open as it is nearly every week with Thursdays, with few exceptions. Your club's meeting time will begin at 15:00 and amble along to 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'PLTU' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in zones without numerical 24-hour time.

The temporary club location's temporary map.

The club's secretary, known as 'Ed' sometimes, will be making some 'report' notes during the coming meeting. This is merely a regular club ritual - not a 'rule!' Everybody except non-members remembers that all club 'rules' have been abolished.

Bring a new 'Quote of the Week' or come with your own 'City of the Week' or even drag along any other 'Things of the Week.' New 'rules' will be disqualified on the spot. Any other darn things are eligible.

Your comments, thoughtful or even historic, will be eagerly received by the other members present, if they happen to overhear them - and by all readers of this online magazine, if they happen to read them.

The club's temporary location-café is:

Le Café Lodi
24. 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.
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