The Big Apple of the Week Report

photo: new york club group

Today's 'Café of the Week' required a photo-blitz to
produce any image of the whole 'Group of the Week.'

New York/Paris:- Thursday, 27. December 2001:- Getting to today's club meeting is a bit more complicated than usual because I have to start out with the 'E' train from downtown Queens to get to the Lexington Avenue subway in Manhattan to go down to uptown's 77th Street - which I may explain later.

But first, regular readers and club members will want to know about today's weather in New York. All I feel like saying is it is colder than yesterday's, but is probably warmer than tomorrow's will be. It is much colder on avenues than streets, because of uptown, downtown and the east and west of Fifth Avenue situation.

The sky is blue and squirrels are at play on the dry streets with sidewalks like aslant-slabbed junior ice floes. If it were not for the windy avenues it could be paradise, if very yellow egg-yolk colored taxis are your favorite color..

Anyway, I can't tell you about the Rue de Rivoli situation in Paris today but I can say taking one of the colorful taxis from the east 80's down the island and across to the west 15's could have been done some faster way, with probably only a half-dozen subway transfers.

As most people have known for weeks, today's Café Metropole Club meeting is taking place photo: sign, rue des crepes in the Rue des Crêpes, which is somewhere in the Chelsea area quite near Greenwich Village - and it turns out to be a pretty real café, where I arrive early in order to take its photo while there is still light enough to do it.

Inside, just beyond an antique Paris busstop sign, I find club members Linda and Jim Auman - who told me how close this is to New Jersey because it is opposite the 8th Avenue side of the Port Authority bus terminal, which I last used as a shortcut in 1964.

Within a very short time many more members arrive - somewhat before the meeting's begin-time, which causes some complications with the arrangements for the world premiere launch of the Café Metropole sparkling wine, which arrived here yesterday. I only got the labels glued on just before the meeting, and I have been warned it might be a bit 'lively.'

Paul Kelley, from Bristol Connecticut has come here - "Just stopped by to see if the club really exists," he says, while also saying he is not the musician Paul Kelly. Sheila Archer from Brooklyn really does believe in the club, but has comephoto: marilyn burke by for a preview before showing up at a meeting in Paris later next year - which is pretty soon now.

Almost on top of these new members, George Broadhead arrives to get his membership card signed by the club's secretary - in person! - but he's forgotten to bring it. As a consolation he shows me his mint-condition 1940 Countess Mara tie. I show him my 2001-model New York yellow taxi tie and we're square.

No club meeting is complete without Marilyn Burke and the 'Gang from Jersey.'

As more club members arrive, the café's interior layout gets reorganized. It has legit marble-topped café tables and proper terrace chairs - and it has crêpes too. Greg Holt tells me he is really going to Prague and Paul Susi tells me how to spell his name again, while Paul Babbit tells me Arkansas is not quite as interesting as New Jersey - or is it the other way around?

Without warning Jerry Schlemowitz from Brooklyn is also present, saying he can't come to meetings in Paris because of all the treasures he has been finding in Bavaria.

Jerry - even Jerry! - is overwhelmed by an influx of Burkes from Menton, Nice, New Jersey and other points of the globe - many named 'Tom' - all led by Marilyn herself - who used to be in almost weekly attendance at the Paris meetings. Oops! I see now one of these Burkes is really Bob DeAngelis from 'New York.'

This makes it a tossup whether the 'Name of the Week' should be Tom, Paul or Bob. Since this problem can't be solved at the keyboard of this deadly PC - at 03:30 EST in the AM - so I propose Paul's Bristol as the 'City of the Week' because I can spell it. Everybody else wants to vote for Manhattan, but it is club tradition not to hold meetings in the 'City of the Week.'

While most of the members are eating crêpes and drinking imported house plonk, Mike, who is the boss of Rue des Crêpes gently opens one of the sample bottles of the Café Metropole sparkling wine before its label falls off. Nearly photo: cafe metropole sparkling wine everybody has a sip of this even though it won't be available for some months - sort of as a sneak preview.

The idea of Metropole having its own wine is a simple one. Instead of paying a subscription fee to read Metropole, you can drink it instead. But it is too soon to say much about this now. The stuff has to age a bit and the labels have to get off the drawing board and out of a real printer.

The Café Metropole sparkling wine caused a sensation - for its label.

What a stupendous meeting! It started almost an hour ahead of time and rolled along into overtime so far I will probably get into trouble for exceeding France's 35-hour workweek while well and truly offshore.

But I can always say 50 percent of this was caused by using a PC. Only five percent can be attributed to the mid-town gridlock, and on this I got the bonus of seeing Central Park South on the way.

Marilyn Burke says she thinks club meetings should be held monthly in Manhattan.

Today's Club Meeting In Paris by Linda Thalman

With Le Parisien (.79euro 3 sign ) and Paris Match (2.21euro 3 sign ) as reading material in case nobody showed up, I settled in to a 6-space booth in the club's area. I was surrounded by non-club members speaking English, Spanish, Portuguese and other tourist languages.

I'd barely managed to skim the Parisien when Berta and Scoop Maginnis turned up - long-time members they are.

We got acquainted and then new member Patricia Philbin arrived. She hails originally from San Francisco, but is living in Paris at the moment.

Scoop and Berta have been here for a couple weeks and are enjoying their new apartment in the 16th and Berta had a super brochure maquette that she's having printed to promote renting out their flat when they aren't in Paris.

I've got signatures and the emails for the sign-ins on a pretty Paris postcard as I didn't have the official club book.

Drinks of the week... well, Patricia had a beautiful vin chaud, there werephoto: paul kelley, shiela archer two cafe cremes and a nice serving of cote de Rhone on the table. No onion soup, though the table beside us had at least six poulet/frites servings.

Paul Kelley and Sheila Archer have many glasses waved at them for unknown reasons.

Almost forgot - we were at the La Corona! Not much seems changed in the club area except the floor tiles, perhaps the ceilings had a new coat of paint but the waterworks are totally revamped and lovely... no more one-franc pieces to pay to 'wee'!!

The waiters were as attentive as ever -- Patrick was there, but serving in another part of the cafe. I don't know our waiter of the week's name, but his English is very good! He sorted out orders and drinks for all the non-club members around us with flying colors.

No 'Photos of the Week,' as I don't have a digital camera, but Patricia had a gorgeous purse in black and of triangular shape that should be a future 'purse - handback/backpack style purse'- 'Of the Week'!

Quote of the week is from Berta - "Ric still hasn't mentioned my Trocadero cat story!"

We ALL missed you - waiters, club members and non-club members!

Paris' 2002 Winter Sales - In Euros for the First Time Real Soon

The New Year's Winter Sales begin on Wednesday, 9. January and continue until Saturday, 16. February - when francs go out of circulation and euros become Europe's unique currency.

Now For the Rotten News, Yet Again

The 'Be Kind to Club Secretaries' association has stated quite clearly that the Café Metropole Club is allowed to not have a meeting anywhere in the world on Thursday, 3. January 2002. The first meeting in the new year will be one week later, on Thursday, 10. January 2002, and it will be held in Paris at La Corona.

Followed By Really Good News

The next club meeting will actually be on Thursday, 10. January 2002, and it will be held in Paris at La Corona, for a change. The usual details are below.

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.

Date, Time and Location of the Next Paris Meeting

First off, the coming meeting will be onphoto: new york group two a Thursday again. It is also the day with an unknown saint because I don't have my handy all-saints calendar handy in New York - but otherwise it is not any kind of a holiday in France.

The backup 'Group Photo of the Week' shows members having fun if you look closely.

The following day - next week - will not be an ordinary Friday, because it is called 'Saint-Paulin' Day. If Fridays are a favorite day of yours, make the most of it - it'll be the last one this year. Er, next year that is.

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

The club's secretary, sometimes known as the '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 himself.

Be sure to have a new 'Quote of the Week' handy 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 ignored, according to the usual rule.

Your comments, casual or complete slip-ups, will be cheered 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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