...Continued from page 1

But a 'mile' from First will get you almost to Seventh Avenue. By taking this reckoning around 42nd Street, Manhattan is less than two miles wide.

All of these dubious facts are meant to reassure the visitor about Manhattan's walkability. The theoryphoto: joes shanghai, pell st is wonderful, but the MTA's 'Metrocard' is a better deal. These can be had from vending machines for various amounts of money, and if you buy a high-price card you get some 'bonus' rides.

Here's Joe's Shanghai in Pell Street. Ask for the dumplings. Stand in line for them if necessary.

The 'swipe' cards are also 'refillable,' so you can re-use the card over and over by simply topping one up. They are good on all subways, elevateds, buses and even the Long Island RR if you are adventurous. Transferring from buses to subways is also possible.

The reason for mentioning this is simple. Habit dies hard. I was no sooner on the ground than I embarked on a bewildering series of 'tours' - somewhat like my Paris excursions. The difference was that in Paris I might do one a week - in New York I probably did 12 over 14 days.

Despite this, I did not see 'everything.' If I did see the Lower East Side's Tenement Museum - from the outside - I never got close to the Museo del Barrio, and I still don't know where it is. The number of items crossed off the master list may account for only half of what was on it - and I'm not sure Gus' Pickles was worth the trip, considering the temperatures that day.

Like Paris, Manhattan is bigger than it looks.

'Paris' In New York

Finding this - Paris-like items in New York - turned out to be a poor idea. Being 'French' in New York is somewhat 'in' so there are a lot of signs around, indicating all sorts of 'French' things, including laundries.

In some areas of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, the problem was finding anything equivalent to a café, or an old-fashioned coffee shop.

In Brighton Beach on Christmas Day, I found a coffee place in a Russian cake shop - but was pretty surprised to find the shop's employees pretty surprised to see that I intended to drink the coffee I purchased, while inside the place.

This was after requesting to use the shop's toilet - and being directed to the outside cellar entrance in the sidewalk. At the bottom of the near vertical stairs I had to climb over a week's worth of garbage bags, say 'hello' in Spanish to a couple of startled underground workers and squeeze into a minuscule closet.

Therefore this 'tip of the week' - be sure the use the toilets at the Coney Island subway station, or any of the ones on the boardwalk from Coney Island to Brighton Beach. Also - try not to walk under any of the airborne seagulls.

During my whole stay it was about zero degrees outside, or lower if you count the 'wind-chill' factor. Drinking coffee outside - which is also practically the only 'smoking-zone' - was not practical in this season although I saw many New Yorkers doing it. New York needs a few more good cafés - like maybe 850 more.

Paris' Winter Sales 2002

If you have wisely chosen to skip the pre-Christmas mayhem, the 'Winter Sales' begin on Wednesday, 9. January and continue until Saturday, 16. February, when regular-price 'Spring Shopping' is likely to begin.

The sooner these sales can be gotten out the way, the sooner the 'Summer Sales' can start unloading the 'spring' stuff. The 'between sales' times can be used for normal sightseeing or hanging around in cafés.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

Readers can catch up with the most recent club subjects by reading about the New York meeting. See this report concerning the nearly historic 'Big Apple of the Week' meeting.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 10. January - because it is a Thursday again - and it will be held at the Café-Tabac La Corona.

This coming Thursday will be just another fairly ordinary Thursday-type day called Saint-Guillaume - or Saintphoto: subway musicians, manhattan Bill for short - which is not any kind of holiday in France.

The following day will be an ordinary Friday. If Fridays are a favorite of yours, make the most of what there is of it - even though there will be 48 more of them this year.

No extra charge on 'Metrocards' for subway jazz.

Metropole readers and those wishing to become club members can learn all about this free club by reading the large-sized fine-print on the 'About the Club' page, one more time.

It explains how to join, 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 café La Corona, which still shows the location of the club's back-up café, Le Café Lodi.

Metropole's Affiliates

The following product or service providers have chosen Metropole because their offers may be of value to you and I agree with them.

'Bookings' has a reservation service for a wide selection of Paris hotels. Check out their offers and make your choice long before your arrival in France. Or, if all the other hotel booking services are 'sold out,' try this one. Other Metropole readers have.

'HighwayToHealth' provides a 'city health profile' as well as travel insurance for potential Paris visitors. If you've signed up for these services before you need them suddenly you will benefit from them. I hope won't be the case, but 'Things Happen.'

'Petanque America' imports quality Obut boules from France and will ship them to you anywhere in the Americas - which will save you the effort of carrying them all the way from Paris. Be the first on your block to introduce the game of pétanque - or boules. Nearly everybody can play this game, nearly anywhere, nearly anytime.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 6.01 - 1. January 2001 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Hello! New Millennium!' The 'Au Bistro' news column was dropped for the usual reasons. This issue had one feature, titled 'Why I Moved Here.' This issue's update for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 4. January was called the "Happy 2002!" Report. Thephoto: euro cash ticket week's 'Scene' column was titled 'Not the Same Old Thing' and the Scene 2 column was headed, 'The New Years That Was.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'The Café of the Year.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 5.01 - 3. January 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Yippee! We Made It!' The 'Au Bistro' column was glumly titled, 'The Catastrophes Continue.' This issue had two features, titled '1999 - 'Bug' Hits Countdown Clock' and '2000 - Forty Tons of Fun.' The Café Metropole Club introduced tips for lost readers, titled, 'Directions To Your Club' and then was followed up by the club's 6. Januqry update 'report' which was presented as "If You Like Modern Art." There were no 'Scene' columns for the week's issue. The four new 'Posters of the Week' were on view and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the non-interactive caption of 'We Can't Hear You.'

Last Year's 'Count-Down' - Is Over

There are 358 days remaining in this year. This means the 'euro 3 signuro'photo: mta metrocard currency introduction day on Tuesday, 1. January 2002 at 00:01 has exceeded its 'good-until' date.

MTA's 'Metrocard' is not an ad for this magazine, but a handy item in New York.

Your online magazine about Paris is in the market again for another, new count-down subject. Any reader or club member who feels like it can suggest anything at all just so long as it doesn't start with 'euro 3 sign' and end with 'o.'

Finally. Happy New Year to everybody wherever you are!
signature, regards, ric

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