The Search for High Heels

photo: cafe petit fer a cheval

Cool fall, warm café, in the Marais.

Unmentionable Weather Mention

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 26. November 2001:- Last week I wrote here that it is crummy weather season. It continues this week, with only a few rays of hope for the better on Wednesday - which is so far off that it is kind of unlikely.

This is what 'crummy' means - in Paris temperatures seldom go below freezing and in the coming week are unlikely to go much above 10 degrees, which is about 50 F. The 'crummy' part is the dampness, which comes from the northwest when the northwest is not overly dominated by Arctic weather.

Add a bit of wind to it or a bit of rain, and these above-freezing days are pretty miserable. In Paris this is not actually a bad thing because there are a lot of cafés and restaurants, as well as lots of museums and other inside sights to see.

The leaves that have been hanging on trees for an extra-long period are now starting to seriously fall off, probably on account of boredom. They make little patches of autumn color when lying on sidewalks shiny with rain.

'Café Life'

Late 'Future' and No Shoes

I was just about to photograph one of last week's posters on the street when I noticed its dates were for the weekend just past. It advertised a 'brocante' sale near the Mairie of the 3rd arrondissement. This event was given little notice in the city's own magazine, and I overlooked it until I saw the poster.

My recent 'administrative' chores had dragged into Wednesday, and the only other subject onphoto: brochante, paris 3, fri 23 nov my plate was looking for the truth, for the 'Is It True' feature in this issue. This involved walking around and looking at shoes, so on Friday I decided to look at junk and antiques in the 3rd while looking for high heels too.

At the brocante in the 3rd - what you are looking for is here.

As far as high heels are concerned, I only saw one shop window full of them, at a semi-wholesale place that had wandered a bit east out of its proper district. That was my major photo-op and I passed it up, because I was sure I was going to see some shoes on real feet.

You are probably thinking I've got a really soft job. 'All he has to do is walk around looking for new high-heeled shoes and tatty antiques.'

Well, the further I walked, the more desperate I got. According to what these ladies have written, everybody in Paris is wearing high-heeled shoes or boots, but where are they?

I only barely noticed that the brocante sale spread all over the streets around the Mairie of the 3rd was extra huge, with an extra large variety of old junk and treasures - it went on for blocks, and half of the way around the Carreau du Temple covered market.

This northeast corner of the 3rd is kind of antique itself. This kind of brocante sale is also probablyphoto: web bar, rue picardie an annual affair. I looked and I thought, 'where does this stuff come from?' There were articles from the '50s, probably right out of local caves - and unseen since the '70s.

One of Paris' oldest 'cybercafés' is also a cultural centre.

For I know that next time around there will be just as many stands and they will have just about the same variety. Is there an inexhaustible supply? There may be. You can find out for yourself next year, sometime around the fourth weekend in November.

However I did not allow myself to be distracted by gaudy trinkets, and I kept on looking for those shoes and kept on doing it through the Marais, all the way down the Rue Vieille du Temple until I came out at Rivoli, to see the BHV's fancier than usual Christmas decor.

Paris' Christmas, Winter Sales 2002

All of Paris' 'grands magazins' will be open on the Sundays of 8, 16 and 23. in December for plain Christmas shopping. They are also tying to fit in one more Sunday - possibly the 2. December - but they may be forced to conform to the last three Sundays only, because all other stores in Paris will be open on these Sundays too.

But if you have to skip the pre-Christmas rush, the Winter Sales begin on Wednesday, 9. January 2002 and these will continue until Saturday, 16. February, when regular-price 'Spring Shopping' starts. Try and buy as much as you can as soon as you can so 'Spring Shopping' can start earlier.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

You can catch up with last week's club subjects - which included not one but two astonishing 'firsts' - by reading this meeting's digest of a 'report.'

Before you stop reading now because you are sure you've read this before - there is some more 'new' news too, and it may concern you. See 'Location Alert 49' below.

Meanwhile, the coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 29.photo: parking metre chandlier November, but not at the café La Corona. See the 'Change -Location Alert 17' below. See it again even if you've read it before 16 times.

Next Thursday will not be just another ordinary Thursday-type day called Saint-Saturnin, not because it is the fifth Thursday in November, but because of the bishop of Toulouse, who was martyred about 250 AD.

If the parking metre won't take euros, expect it to be 'on sale' next.

Metropole readers and those wishing to become club members can learn oodles more about this free club by looking at the 'About the Club' page which explains how to join it, its meeting time and so on, and other true facts such as being free. This page also contains a location map for the club's regular café, La Corona, which is in temporary suspension.

Café Metropole Club Change-Location Alert 17

The coming meeting, on Thursday, 29. November, will be held at Le Café Lodi. Other weekly club meetings will be held at this café on the Thursday of 6. December and are projected for the Thursday, 13. December too.

The club's regular café La Corona may have its renovations completed ahead of time due to a change in its staircase plans. While 6. December may be cutting it fine, expect the club meeting on 13. December to be in La Corona.

Le Café Lodi is located at 24. Quai du Louvre. It is about 60 metres away from La Corona, towards the Pont Neuf, next to the pet shop. See the map on the special club pag in a recent issue or take a look the last club 'report' with the changed map, showing the location of Le Café Lodi.


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