"See? There's Nothing To It!"

photo: priscilla garcia, sign hello bob & edna, corona terrace

Priscilla Garcia, holding the 'Hello from Edna and Bob'
sign on the Corona's terrace.

Another Double-Meeting 'Report'

Paris:- Thursday, 10. January 2002:- It has turned out to be somewhat warmer than Monday's forecast for the week suggested, and the 'partly cloudy' part has been partly a no-show. Therefore I start off for today's meeting without my usual cap - feeling light-headed.

But not so much so that I stay on the Rue de Rivoli for the regulation distance. It is properly clogged with Winter Sales shoppers and they all seem to have tunnel-vision and over-sized elbows.

To get leveled, I check out the parrots in the back of the petshop that faces the alley-like Rue Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, but they all ignore me. Sunny light floods the Pont Neuf as I pass it, and most shoppers are inside Samaritaine rather than lounging around outside it.

The entire length of café terraces onphoto: new menu, corona the Quai du Louvre is empty of sun-bathers, and so is Le Café Lodi when I stop in to say hello. Intensive shopping can be bad for some businesses.

At La Corona, the New Years' and other greets are passed all around. The club's café is wide open for business and it looks fine, even though there are still some cosmetic renovations still to come.

A couple of civilians are sitting in the club's reserved area so I go outside to catch a sunny photo of the terrace. While I'm doing this a lady steps out of the quay-side door, holding a sign saying, 'Hello from Edna and Bob Bradley.'

The Corona's new menu 'look' with its new 'euro' prices.

I know this lady - she IS a club member! - but the sign confuses the dickens out of me, because I can remember the Bradleys as being club members too.

Total confusion is a perfect way to start a club meeting, but I decide to get rid of it quickly by asking Priscilla Garcia who she is.

She doesn't mind answering at all and this makes the puzzle pieces come together with the club meeting on Thursday, 24. May 2001, when she joined the club along with Ray Garcia.

We pretty much have the café to ourselves after the last of the luncheoners clear out. The winter's low sun is blazing in, the heating is on, it is comfortable - and Priscilla keeps getting blinded, and we keep edging in and out of a constantly moving narrow shadow thrown inside by one of the window frames.

Priscilla has been living in Paris for about two years - and not seeming to miss California too much. But there are still some thing that puzzle her about Paris.

For example - 'Why is it necessary to jump out of the way of motorcycles charging down the sidewalks?'

The answer to this is relatively simple - some of these motorcycles are very big and powerful. Why their drivers can't go around the block to avoid going the wrong way on a one-way street is a mystery though.

Since I have picked up a lot of New York lore since the last meeting, I tell Priscilla that unnecessary honking there can cost a $350 fine, but everybody does it with gay abandon.

Not only this, all police cars, ambulances and fire trucks are equipped by 'Star-Wars' warning devices, that make foreign people like me want to lie flat on the sidewalk and cover my head. Priscilla says California is very backward in this department.

Another thing she wonders about is why there are different length lines at cashiers in department stores that arephoto: 2 empty cafes having Winter Sales. I don't know the reason for this, but I suggest that she avoid the '10-items-or-less' so-called 'express' lines because everybody thinks they are faster.

Two Paris-sized thimbles, which held about $8-worth of café before being emptied.

She says her supermarket unfairly switched the 'delivery' checkout to another cashier without warning her, and let her stand in the wrong line for two hours before telling her she was in the wrong line.

The next thing she wants to know about is the 'Galette des Rois.' Specifically, she wants to know why she got a 'good' one from a department store and a 'bad' one from another department in the same store.

These went on sale throughout France last Sunday on account of Sainte-Epiphanie. The 'galettes' are a sort of flaky pie containing gobs of butter, some almond paste and a 'fève.' The lucky person who breaks a tooth on one of these - there is only one per 'galette' - gets to wear the 'crown.'

Sainte-Epiphanie is also on the day I believe Russians celebrate as Christmas. For this and other reasons, I do not know all of lore surrounding the custom, and tend to agree with Priscilla that the best of these 'galettes' may be found in bakeries.

Since we are lacking other members this week, we decide that Priscilla should be 'Member of the Week' - and this may possibly for a 'first' - of which there will be few today.

But I am wrong because when Patrick - today's 'Waiter of the Week' of course - brings a tiny slip of paper that suggests I pay 4.40euro 3 sign for my double-espresso, I think this is truly a 'first' - although it is not a great deal more than the New York price.

Priscilla says she has to leave 'early' - I suspect to try out the Samaritaine's 'Galette des Rois' - but she only does so at about 16:45.

This gives Patrick the opportunity to give me today's 'euro' lesson. This mainly consists of saying my fistful of change is worth next-to-nothing and I should give him a 20euro 3 sign note instead.

I think I have a 10euro 3 sign note,photo: priscilla garcia but I think the 20 is a challenge Patrick prefers, so I let him do it. First, he says, "Give me a 50 cent piece," and then he turns his back so I can't see what sort of slight-of-hand is going on.

Temporarily out of the low sun's blazing rays - Priscilla Garcia.

Then he dumps a wad of notes and coins in my hand, saying, "See? There's nothing to it!"

The only thing 'to it' - he's had a week's more practice than I have, and he can practice with it all day long.

To calm me down he tells me La Corona is the best job he's ever had in twenty years in the business. As the cashier's ticket says, Patrick is the Corona's number one waiter besides being the 'Waiter of the Week' quite often.

He says he prefers La Corona because it has a 'classy' clientele. This makes me quit trying to figure out my handful of dubious money. I decide to go downstairs a see if it really has turned into the 'Versailles' of the waterworks as he claims.

The 'Non-Meeting of the Week'

This was formerly called the 'Rotten News of the Week' meeting due to the warning about it not happening. But club members are daring, intrepid, willful, and determined to have their club meetings in Paris, with or without the club's secretary or the server-lady to keep score.

The following is a 'report' by Maureen and Terry Cooper for the 'non-meeting' held at La Corona on Thursday, 3. January 2002:-

"Without wanting to step on your authority as club secretary, we are sending you the unofficial 'minutes' of the truly 'first' 'non-meeting' in the whole history of the club.

"Weather - cold, 4 degrees - and sunny, about the same as the preceding four days and the following three, until you and the clouds arrived in Paris to spoil things.

"The non-meeting commenced - late? - at 15:15, as we were delayed while admiring the view from the Samaritaine rooftop terrace. A quick perusal of the usual meeting area revealedphoto: drinks, club mascot, 3 jan non meeting a group of five that appeared to be absolute non-members - although we were too lazy to check, so we took positions 'au bar,' to be on the alert for other real members, and to save euros.

Club members unfamiliar with Bongo do not have to return their membership cards - yet. Photo by permission of the Coopers©

"As reported by the server-lady, coins are no longer required for the underground waterworks. (Are there any WC doors that accept both francs and euros?) The meeting was adjourned at 16:00 due to a lack of other members. 'L'addition' was paid in euros, a true club 'first' - if it counts.

"In attendance - Maureen and Terry Cooper, usually of San Francisco. Another couple appeared and asked the patron about the club meeting. They were informed that there was no meeting, but that a 'non-meeting' was occurring immediately to their right. They smiled and left. Again, we were either too lazy or too slow to get their names, but clearly they were not regular - or careful - readers of the weekly club reports.

"'Barman of the Week' - not sure, but may have been Patrick. 'Drinks of the Week' - Beaujolais rouge and Sancerre blanc. 'Mascot of the Week' - 'Euro' the monkey, formerly known as Beaujolais Bongo.

"We send our best wishes to you and all club members for 2002!"

Secretary's Note:- Patrick, today's 'Waiter of the Week' confirmed the account above during today's meeting, somewhat before the above 'minutes' and photo of Bongo reached me via email. Maureen and Terry Cooper are members who joined the club during the Thursday, 16. November 2000 meeting.

The Combo-Stereo New York-Paris Meeting(s)

Readers can catch up with the most recent exciting club news by reading about the historic meeting inphoto: corona exterior New York City. See this report concerning the merely fantastic 'Big Apple of the Week' meeting, which was coupled to a stereo meeting in Paris.

La Corona has new external lights too, but the days are getting longer so you'll have to stay up later to see them if you don't come next week.

This was the first club meeting held outside Paris and was also the first meeting ever held in New York City. The turnout of new members and long-time members was stupendous. My thanks go to all who attended and also to the staff of the Rue des Crêpes Café, who helped make this meeting a success.

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

The New Year's Winter Sales have begun and continue until Saturday, 16. February, whether there is anything cheap left or not. These present a good chance to unload your collection of francs, or an opportunity to try out Europe's new euros for the first time under stressful circumstances.

The Next Meeting - At La Corona!

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 17. January - because it is a good old Thursday again - and it will be held at the Café-Tabac La Corona.

This coming Thursday will be just another fairly ordinary Thursday sort of day called Sainte-Roseline - or Saint Rosie for short - which is not any kind of holiday in France, yet.

See the correct address for this at the bottom of this page, proceeded or followed by all the date and time and multiple métro-stop names, which nearly everybody knows already.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can learn as much as you need to know - or more! - about this club if you think this could 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

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

The club's secretary, sometimes known as 'missing' will be making some 'report' notes during the meeting. This is not particularly serious, but you should write your names correctly in the members' booklet if you don't want your names mistaken for somebody else's.

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 not be accepted, as usual.

Your comments, casual or completely from-the-cuff, will be enjoyed 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.
Metropole Midi © 2014
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