...Continued from page 1

Many of the photographers concerned are among the best in the business. Bill Gates is known as a tough customer, but many of these photographers have risked their lives to get their photos, and get them into the world's leading magazines.

It may come down to who has the most to lose, but one thing is certain - a photo-agency without photographers is like a roll of blank film.

Victor Sfez's gallery continues to show the works of the 42 photographers mentioned above. The address remains in this week's 'Scene' column.

Christmas 2001 - Fin

On the moist sidewalk, underneath my window, the last sad discarded Christmas tree, abandoned this evening in a pool of dried-out, pale green needles.

photo: fiat 500 gets parking ticketThe Amnesty - Part XVIII

In anticipation of the presidential amnesty usually accorded by the newly elected, or re-elected, president by way of a favorable vote by a joyful and elected or re-elected parliament, Fiat 500 drivers are busily collecting their parking tickets and holding off on paying the fines.

One of Metropole's favorite 'Fiat 500s of the Week' gets one more parking ticket for its 'amnesty' collection.

Info About Euros

There is now little more than a week to go until the euro will replace the franc completely in France. You can say goodbye to francs on Sunday, 17. February.

All prices within the euro-zone countries in Europe are now posted in euros, just as if you are visiting one foreign country with a bunch of different names - all having a common currency you have never seen before if you aren't from any euro-zone country.

Details about trading-in old francs for euros appeared in earlier issues. For additional information concerning deadlines for cash, cheques and other tips, hit this link. For some common 'euro' prices, see the 'Au Bistro' columns in recent issues.

Internet Life

Photos of Jazz

Alan 'Is It True?' Pavlik has tipped this Web site named Mephisto Photo as a source for buying quality photo prints of famous jazz stars. Mephisto has been around since 1985, but only opened up this Web site in November of last year. It has about 600,000 original photos in stock, dating back to 1955.

Long-Range Winter Sales

Here's Alan again. "I mentioned [at the club meeting] that one used to be able to shop at Printemps via the Internet with the help of some young person in the store on rollerblades, with a webcam attached to his or her helmet, showing you 'the goods' so to speak.

"Even to one who lives in Hollywood this seemed a bit over the top. An urban legend? We do not have such services even on Rodeo Drive, although there is a fancy store there called Boul'Miche.

"For those who cannot make it to Paris for the winter sales perhaps virtual shopping at Printemps via the web is an alternative? Or is this really semi-virtual shopping as it involves a real person on site in Paris?"

I don't know if this is really 'true,' but I did try the Web site on Sunday. The Webcam shopping hours are from Monday to Friday, from 10:00 to 19:00, Paris time.

Winter's Re-Runs

It is winter in the mountains somewhere outside of Paris. If the northern Alps area seems tempting, you can find out more about them from the Alps-Sensations Web site.

For general high-altitude thrills, I think Hiver.Com has had plugs here in past years, without them ever sending me a New Years card to ensure that I put one in this year.

Winter Weather Alerts

This service from your friends at France-Météo gives warnings about near-term violentphoto: quai de horloge, ile de la cite weather that might be dangerous to your health, or, on a lesser scale, cause you some discomfort if you happen to be at sea without an anchor or up a snowy mountain without a flask.

Winter sun, batting the right bank, bounces back to the Quai de Horloge on the Ile de la Cité.

On the mountain front, you should be aware that this year's crop of snow is not plentiful so far. According to TV-news reports, avalanches are just waiting to happen to those they haven't already happened to. 'No-go' areas are 'no-go.'

Paris, with its amply warm degrees and generally light breezes does not qualify as a 'dangerous weather' area. It is not even an exciting weather area. The alert service is mainly for central, eastern and southern arras of France that regularly have more extreme weather than the Ile-de-France region.

If you are curious or want to know more about France's winter weather, give the Météo-France Web site a hit, for its short-range forecasts. The warning-prone 'Vigilance-Météo' area is on the page's top left.

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