...Continued from page 1

These come in sets of ten, or in sets of 12 for the first prints pulled. Only 130 sets have been printed, and the 'tirages de tête' series are limited to two series of ten boxed sets each.

These héliogravures are the artisanal type, made from copper plates, hand-printed one-by-one, on two sorts of high-class paper. Each set contains commentaries written by Willy Ronis, in both French and English, and the sets are hand-signed by Ronis. After the 130 sets are printed, the plates are destroyed.

Alain Dhouailly knows Martin, of course, and also knows the Caméra Obscura photo gallery in my own street. He is in the business to know both, but it is still a small world. I'm sorry to have forgotten to ask him what he was reading while he was patiently waiting for serious customers.

About the nearby 'Café Show,' he said he had given café up, with difficulty. Being so far underground, with too much to see, I thought I needed another one.

Café Life's Café Life

The line to get into the 'Café Show' had diminished to nearly nothing when I got to it. After a drab entry area, there was a medium-sized hall behind it. Inside there were nine stands turned into cafés, all with huge lines. Also scattered about were café-drinking areas, with hundreds of empty plastic cups.

The 'Jungle Café' was opposite the entry. It was not actually a café, but a bit of jungle with a helpful young man there to explain it. He said its jungle floor was hard on the feet. After about two minutes I had to agree with him.

When you live in a town with 3000 cafés, it certainly seemed strange to be in a expo place with nothing but café, and places like the Garage Café, the Lounge Café, the Spa Café, the Nectar d'Abyssinie and, of course, the jungle.

Plus this, two lavishly printed brochures containing much more than anybody would ever want to know about café - except that I will keep mine in case I'm ever called upon to be an expert.

I stopped at the info stand as an afterthoughtphoto: empties at salon cafe on my way out. This 'Café Show' has been the first of its kind in Paris, and the young lady told me it had been a huge success - especially on Sunday - and the whole thing was dreamed up by Kraft Foods.

One of the lounge areas at the 'Café Show' after some Parisians have had their café 'tastes.'

If the logos on the big brochure's back page refer to Kraft products, then Kraft is responsible for five brands of coffee sold in France. This was news to me since I've never heard of Kraft here before. None of the coffees, so far as I know, are usually available in cafés in Paris.

I left the 'Café Show' satisfied with it anyway. Not until I got to the métro at Palais-Royal did I remember that I'd forgotten to stand in line for a café. I had another at the Rendez-Vous instead.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

To acquaint yourself with last Thursday's club meeting, read the club's far from first Drowsy Day report.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 28. February. This will not only be the same as last Thursday because every week is brand-new, with this one having a Saint-Romain's day.

Metropole readers with a desire to become real club members can get all of the details about this free club by memorizing the large-sized fine-print on the 'About the Club' page. This page still needs an update even if it isn't terribly out-of-date.

How to join? Simply by being here! You'll find the meeting time and so on, and other true facts such as it being free. This page also contains an out-of-date location map for the club's café La Corona. The map is still good though because the café is in the same place.

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 extended their reservation service for a wide selection of Paris hotels. Check out their wider offers and make your choice long before your arrival in France. Try this one. Other Metropole readers have.

'HighwayToHealth' provides a 'city health profile' for Paris as well as travel insurance. If you have 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' exports 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. Everybody can play this game, nearly anywhere - such as on the vacant lot I saw between the subway exit and the boardwalk at Coney Island.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 6.09 - 26. Feb 2001 - This issue began, as usual, with the week's Café Metropole column, titled, 'Over-Plastered Under-Postered' and the 'Au Bistro' news column was titled, 'Mr. Nobody Discovered In Paris.' This issue had two features titled 'Paris Blondes d'Aquitaine Have More Fun' and 'Looking At Hector Guimard's Places,' done with Linda Thalman. This issue's update for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 1. March was called the 'The Antwerp 'City of the Week' Report.' The week's 'Scene' column was substituted withphoto: salon cafe ticket 6e an email feature titled, 'Members Cite Multiple Bungles.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, "Véritable Basque Béret?"

This Was Metropole Seven (7!) Years Ago

Issue 1.01 - 26. February 1996 - This week's 'Metropole Diary' column was titled, 'The Weather, and the SNCF and RATP Response to Client Relations,' which were unrelated subjects. The 'Au Bistro' column was titled 'Chunnel Rocky Horror Trip,' and was by Tony Brock. This first-ever issue had several features, including 'Dracula Sings; Blood Curdles,' 'Dreaming in Montparnasse,' 'Poste Restant Goes Digital,' 'Internet is a Universal Human Right,' 'CopyRIGHT - Or Else' and 'Online Omlette Makers.' There were no 'Scene' columns or 'Club Reports' in 1996. The first four 'Posters of the Week' were on view and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was merely called, 'Ric's Cartoon of the Week.'

This Month's 'Count-Down' Hits 'Bingo'

There are only 309 days remaining in this year. This means the 'euro 3 signuro' currency has been around for a whole 56 days and as of last week, it is France's only currency.

Three week's ago reader John McCulloch proposed some new count-down topics. His suggestion of Victor Hugo's 200th birthdate need no longer be kept in mind because it is on Tuesday, 26. February - which is, by pure fluke, Metropole's birthday too, as well as tomorrow. No more days to go.

Last week there was a 59-second long time-related date tipped to Metropole by Jay Barrios, that has happened once before but will never happen again. Where were you at 2002 2002 2002 last week?

After giving Wednesday, at 20:02, on 20. Februaryphoto: screenshot, metro 101 2002 such a big build-up, I managed to be on a métro line six train as it left the station at Sèvres-Lecourbe, travelled 470 metres to the next station at Cambronne, and my watch ticked over to 20:03 just as the train came to a halt.

The first Metropole Paris contents page from seven years ago.

This was not where I intended to be. I was probably the only person in my wagon or on the whole train who had any notion of what a momentous event in time took place, mostly between two métro stations.

The time, day, month and year of 3003 3003 3003 will never happen because our non-digital time-scheme clocks out at 23:59:59. Wherever you were last Wednesday at 20:02 - I hope you made more of this 'once-and- only' event than I did - while it lasted.
signature, regards, ric

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