...Continued from page 1

Alexandr was the family's greatest collector, and he lived in Paris from 1771 to 1778. All the following Stroganoffs were dedicated collectors too, and the palace and its contents was opened to the public in 1914. Came the revolution in 1918 and the collection was nationalized, and spread around various worthy institutions.

On show here, are objects from four of these - some of which were also on show in Portland in 2000. A fair number of the items are French in origin, and I suppose this may explain why this exhibition is lodged in the Musée Carnavalet, which is mostly full of Paris' historic objects.

It is all very fine, very rich, stuff. In the old days there were fewer rich people, but they did their best to get the finest of the finest - unlike rich people today, who set up tax-dodging foundations in order to get their hands on current production.

After seeing the ultra-huge bowl of green malachite, supported by three gilded figures, my mind went kind of blank last Wednesday until I found a shortcut back into Carnavalet's regular collection of more ordinary, more interesting, Paris' objects.

'Les Stroganoffs,' until Sunday, 2. June. Except Mondays and certain holidays, from 10:00 to 18:00. At the Musée Carnavalet - Historie de Paris, 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Paul or Chemin Vert. InfoTel.: 01 44 59 58 58..

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

To acquaint yourself with last Thursday's club meeting, read the club's true first 'Club Mutiny' report.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 14. March. Thisphoto: flooded speedway, right bank will not be identical to last Thursday because every week has a brand-new one, with this particular one having a Sainte-Mathilde's day.

The right-bank's speedway last week, before the Seine began to drop.

Metropole readers with an urge to become real club members can see the few details available about this free club by speed-reading the large-sized fine-print on the 'About the Club' page. This page still needs its pre-updated map to be restored even if the updated one it has isn't terribly out-of-date.

How to join? Simply by being here! Being here on a Thursday is better.

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.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 6.11/12 - 12. March 2001 - This issue started with the week's Café Metropole column, titled, 'About To Go Missing' - already, yet again! - and the 'Au Bistro' news column was titled, 'Historic' Win for Left In Paris.' This issue had one feature titled 'Paris 'Thephoto: fire alarm post, sapeurs, pompiers Nearly 'Best' Café.' This double issue's first update for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 15. March was called the 'First 'Urban Legends' Report.' The 2nd update on 22. March was titled the 'Crawfish Are Fit to Eat' report. The week's 'Scene' column was titled 'Two Weeks Worth, No Less.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, "Attention! Fingers!" The on again, off again 'Photo Page' appeared, titled 'The Passage des Marais.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 5.11 - 13. March 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled '5 Years Online.' The 'Au Bistro' column was titled 'Here Comes the Queen Mary II.' This issue had three features, titled 'Exhibition: Front-Page Freedom,' 'The Whipped-Cream Strawberry-Topped Deep-Fried Mars Bar' and 'Music, Rum, Music, Sun, Fun and More Rum' by Linda Thalman. The Café Metropole Club update for this issue on 16. March, was called 'Cuba Libre' At the Club.' A club page announced, 'Not Bubbleware, Champagne.' The 'Scene' column was very exciting again with, 'Fous' In Fayetteville Help Replant Versailles.' The usual four 'Posters of the Week' were viewable too and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was completely philosophical, with 'Don't Monkey With the Press.'

This Year's Struggling 'Count-Down'

There are only 295 days remaining in this year. This means the 'euro 3 signuro' currency has been around for a whole 70 days and as of a couple of weeks ago, it is France's and Europe's only currency, except for exceptions.

Many 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 was on Tuesday, 26. February - which is, as you will surely note, now past. John also proposed counting-down to Alexandre Dumas' - the elder! - birthdate.

Now Jim Auman has come along and congratulated Metropole on having a 7th birthday while adding the Dumas name, so I will add his mention of Alexandre Dumas too this week. It could catch on.

Jim writes, "Another possibility for a count down - the year 2002 is the 200th anniversary of Alexandre Dumas père, who was born on Saturday, 24. Julyphoto: sign, rue sevigne 1802 at Villers-Cotterets.

"Although his son is better known, Dumas père is the author of the 'Trois Mousquetaires,' which according to the 21. February edition of L'Express, is the second most widely read book in the world after the Bible. Another countdown is the date of the possible transfer on Dumas' remains to the Panthéon this autumn."

From today, Dumas' birthdate is 162 days off. About the 'possible' body transfer in the autumn, the number of days until this happens is a bit cloudy, so the number to remember, at least until tomorrow, is 162.

Okay, readers! I want every one of you to get at least 93 percent behind this 'Three Moustaches' countdown. It may not change your life, it may not change your perception of Paris, France or the French or the quality of 'frites' here. The idea is to have a honest countdown with a real person - who happens to be dead, but is still a best-selling author - without tricks or flim-flams.

Set your watches, turn over your egg-timers, tune your video-recorders, get a red marker to 'X'-out days on your calendars, and start counting- down now!
signature, regards, ric

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