Only At This Club

photo: group l->r, dennis, eva, alena, dinny, michael

Today's 'Band of Five' - Dennis, Eva, Dinny, Alena and Michael.

Dinny Moyer Meets Dennis Moyer

Paris:- Thursday, 13. December 2001:- Our usual 'Azores High' has taken some time off, possibly to have a holiday in South America, and the northwest's Greenland and Iceland areas are temporarily out-of-order, so the rest of this week's weather is being brought to us courtesy of the weather folks in Moscow.

No doubt this is great news for fresh-air fans. For residents and visitors to Paris, the coming days will display some bright blue skies and nothing as a temperature. That's right - nothing, null, zero - will be the 'highs.'

To cope with this I suggest dressing warmly but loosely, and be sure to have an métro daily pass ticket or Orange Card handy. This will enable an order of march along the following lines - walk between two métro stations, and then ride the métro to the next one.

If the outside air seems extra bitter, don't hesitate to ride the métro for two whole stations before being brisk on the street again.

Under grey skies that are not holding any heat near the ground, I get through the hordes of out-of-town Christmas shoppers on the Rue de Rivoli and go out of my way to go past La Corona, to see how it is doing.

The owner, Monsieur Naudan, spots me peering in, and we do a quick tour of a totally unfinishedphoto: club food? construction site. He wants me to see the shambles of the new refrigeration downstairs too, but it is clubtime again. Nevertheless, he assures me La Corona will be ready for next week's club meeting.

Whatever the substantial 'Food of the Week' was, it didn't last long.

At Le Café Lodi, I stop at the bar to moan about the weather with the club's petite waitress, Alexandra. As I am doing this Michael Curtis introduces himself as a new member from Saint Louis, Missouri and I invite him up to the club's slightly raised area in the rear of the café, and offer him the chair closest to the radiator.

Which he wisely takes. But it is only a minute or two later that Dinny Moyer arrives - without any motorcycle lid - and she is closely followed by Eva Lee from Tranquility.

Alena from Prague, who knows all about sitting close to radiators, arrives soon after and Michael moves over, but not that far away from the source of heat.

Eva says she has been to the American Express bank near the Opéra. There, she says, they will issue traveller's cheques in euros in exchange for francs until 31. December - and at the official rate.

It must be because of the weather and the relative warmth of the café, but everybody is quite jolly - although at first the tables seem to be hosting a collection of water containers.

Eva talks everybody except the club's secretary - who is in the office writing this instead - into going to a jolly self-service place called the 'cave of bone-marrow' for dinner.

This causes Dinny to happily order a pot of white wine, and somebody notices an orphaned glass of red, that Michaelphoto: balloon of calva ordered to go with his 'Food of the Week' because he thought it was white. When it turned out not to be yellow, he orphaned it.

There is a fair amount of talk about euros - about how old banks with their vaults on the second floor are having them cave in due to the double-weight of two kinds of coins.

Dennis is working his way through all of France's traditional drinks. 'Calva' is a current favorite of his.

Then Dinny tells us about some animals she saw in Nebraska - "The state that takes days to get out of, and when you're out of it, it looks the same!" - but this farm talk is slightly beyond of the Paris frame of reference, and besides kids read these 'reports.'

Everybody agrees that Nebraska is like this, but nobody can say where it is for certain. Mostly, they can pinpoint where it is not. It is not in Montana for example.

About this time Dennis Moyer turns up to become a member. For the first time in the history of the club, two members who are not related to each other or anybody else at the meeting, have nearly the same names - which are pronounced the same in French.

However, Michael takes our minds off this curiosity of a 'first' by telling us about Missouri voters electing a dead senator - with his wife acting as living stand-in.

Isn't there a saying, that if it happened in Missouri, then it must be true? But at the meeting I forget to ask this because Dennis has been Christmas shopping, and decides to show us his wonderful 'finds.'

He shows us the finger puppets he got, while mentioning all the circuses he's seen lately. He has a smallphoto: bird peeper, dennis wooden trumpet-like bird tweeter too, but isn't sure which bird it is supposed to sound like. He has a crank-operated music box, which plays the 'March of the Flowers,' from, he says, "The Nutcracker."

"Poot!" 'What bird does this sound like?'

But the absolute marvel is the genuine blinking-light belly-button 'plug.' "You glue it in, I think," he says. All of this stuff come from the toy shops in the Passage Jouffroy, just off the Boulevard Montmartre.

After this illuminated 'nombril' gizmo, I find I can take no further notes. The meeting's time is up anyway, so we all troop out, bundled up to the ears, and idle our way along Amiral de Coligny to a joint called the 'Fumoir' - which turns out to be reasonably full of smoke and some real hard-core cocktails.

When these are finished and the gasps over the tab for them dies away, the remaining club members aim themselves towards the bone-marrow cave - and whatever further adventures are available in that part of the chilly 15th arrondissement.

Saturday is 'Euro' Day

This coming Saturday - the day after tomorrow, or tomorrow even - banks in France will be selling demo packets of brand-new euro 3 signuros for the first time in the history of the planet.

I am pretty sure these will cost 100 francs, which will give you 15.24euro 3 sign in Europe's new currency. This seems like a reasonable price for a valuable souvenir, unless it is 100euro 3 sign - which will set you back 655.95 francs.

Just remember one thing - if you spend any euros before 1. January, your change will be in francs, which will put you back where you started from.

Keep In Mind - Paris' 2002 Winter Sales - Will Be In Euros

For Christmas shopping, all of Paris' 'grands magazins' will be open on the Sundays of 16 and 23. in December. All other stores in Paris will be open on these Sundays too.

Early in 2002, the New Year's Winter Sales begin on Wednesday, 9. January and continue until Saturday, 16. February - when francs go out of circulation. Then 'spring shopping' is scheduled to start, after you are good and broke.

Some Odd Bobbets of Club News:-

All in all, all of it is 'good' news, but to avoid confusion, I'm putting it in boring chronological order.

Next Meeting - Back To La Corona!

After seeing the state of La Corona's bar tonight, it is hard to believe that this café will be ready and willing to be the Café Metropole Club's 'home' clubhouse again next Thursday, 20. December - but I have been assured today that this will be so.

As much as members have enjoyed the true Paris café-like charms of Le Caféphoto: corona bar, week before reopen Lodi, it will be good to return to our semi-reserved part of the 'grande salle' - where we will be able to sprawl all over 30-odd available seats and behave like proper clubpeople.

This is what La Corona's bar looks like today - not what it will look like next week.

I have also been assured that Patrick, the club's popular 'Waiter of the Week,' is anxious to serve club members again. He will be making sure that there is enough onion soup for all.

See the correct address for this at the bottom of this page, preceded by all the date and time and other information everybody knows already.

Details for the Meeting In New York On 27. December

After the club's meeting in the Café La Corona next Thursday on 20. December, and after doing this meeting's club 'report,' the club's secretary is going to fly from Paris across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City.

On the following Thursday, 27. December, one of the club's meetings will be held at the Rue des Crêpes café in New York City. This club meeting begins at 5 pm, or 17:00. Here is the exact address:

Rue des Crêpes, 104 - 8th Avenue, Manhattan, New York City 10011. This location is between 15th and 16th Streets on the east side of 8th Avenue. InfoTel.: 212 242 99 00.

New York's public transport system is not quite so simple as Paris' métro, so readphoto: club belly flasher the following carefully. Everybody knows New York better that the club's secretary, so these details may be skipped if you've already memorized them.

This photo - probably - speaks for itself. Nobody with an air-tummy should be without one.

There are at least three access possibilities. First with the 'E' train - to the 14th Street station, at 14th Street and 8th Avenue, with another exit at the corner of 8th Avenue and 16th. Second, with the 'F' train - at its 14th Street station, at 14th Street and 6th Avenue, with another exit at the corner of 6th Avenue and 16th Street, with a two-block walk west to 8th Avenue. And finally there's the No 1 train - at its 18th Street station, at 18th Street and 7th Avenue. This will involve a one-block walk west to 8th Avenue and then over to 15th Street. Whew!

The Club Meets In Paris On 27. December - As Usual

This will happen because the server-lady, Linda Thalman, has graciously agreed to host this meeting, so it will be held at the regular time in the regular café, La Corona.

This will mean that your Café Metropole Club will be having meetings in both Paris and New York on the same day. The Paris meeting will be at least six hours ahead of New York's, so Linda will forward the names of members for inclusion in the meeting(s) 'report.'

Because of the time difference, the club's dual-meeting 'report' will go online somewhat later in most time zones - because the club's secretary has no control over these.

Do not miss this historic chance to become a 'real' member of the Café Metropole Club during its first transatlantic dual meeting. While you are at it, don't forget to tell all your friends about this major 'first' to be provided by this 'virtual' online magazine, 'Metropole Paris.'

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can learn more than you need to know about this club if you think this will improve your appreciation of Paris - by reading 'About the Café Metropole Club' - which also explains exactly where to find the club in Paris and the day and time of the meetings.

You will also be able to find out that you can easily become a member of this online magazine's free and real club in Paris, by simply coming to a meeting. On Thursday, 27. December, you will be able to become a member in New York too. This will be another true club 'first' so don't miss it.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

First off, the coming meeting will be on a Thursday again. It is also the annual day known as Saint-Abraham, which is not any kind of a holiday in France.

The following day - next week - will not be an ordinary Friday, because it is called 'Hiver' and it will be the shortest day of the year. If Fridays are a favorite day of yours, make the most of what there is of it - even though the following and final one will be slightly longer.

Your club's meeting time will begin at 15:00 and cruise along to 17:00 in Europe'sphoto: prisim of calva Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'OZOZ' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in zones without 'Euro-type' 24-hour time.

Alena found a prisim - this is what one 'Calva' looks like with it.

The club's secretary, sometimes known as 'Ed,' will be making some 'report' notes during the meeting. This is only an idle club pastime - and not a 'rule!' - except for the secretary.

Be sure to have a new 'Quote of the Week' ready or come with your own 'City of the Week' if it is a new one, or even haul along any other 'Things of the Week.' New 'rules' will be scorned, as usual.

Your comments, casual or completely off-the-cuff, will be 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, if they happen to be written here.

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.
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