Rain In Paris

photo: cafe le bouquet

My number one rest-stop, before, during and
after my 'flânneries.'

Is All the News There Is

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 18. March 2002:- Basking in sunbeams is over. It may return in May or June or July or next autumn, but it is over here because Easter is getting close enough to drive the Azores high bonkers. It is not cold yet though.

Paris has nearly had its first full day of rain - not drizzle, not showers, not fizzy spray - and it will be complete in about 46 minutes when it is midnight. This is supposed to be the first of three days of it.

The city has not been drought-stricken so this is hardly necessary. When I went out for a café earlier, it was blowing in my face. Getting rain in the face is rare as well as disagreeable. Coming back was lots better.

What is predicted after the three days of rain is not worth mentioning, so I won't mention it.

What I will do is mention this week's 'Scene' column. It contains more than a few ideas for things to dophoto: shop, cycles gitane inside. There is also an article, a sort of book review, about walking around aimlessly. If it had been raining like today when I did it, this feature wouldn't be included in this issue.

Where my bike will get overhauled if I ever decide to ride it.

In case you've forgotten or never knew, this weekly magazine is concocted by pure chance and freakish accidents, sometimes of nature. Even though I work here I never know what's going to be in it next.

I hardly know what is in this issue either. There are several items I know aren't here. I 'lost' a parade and got in a proper snit about it.

I decided not to got to the outer reaches of the 17th arrondissement to get a true 'first' for the issue merely because it is a long way to go for one photo, even though I planned to shoot the loggers doing their tricks in the trees near the Champs-Elysées on the way back. Loggers sports are rare in Paris, even during tree-fête week.

The real reason I didn't do this was because the loggers thing was on overcast Sunday - but not on Sunday night's TV-news! - and the other was a Saturday thing, but better to do in the early morning, which wasn't in my datebook.

Now I've confused myself. Was it Saturday that I 'lost' the parade, or was it the week before? If I am going to do a lot of walking around aimlessly, I should try to remember to be literary about it and write notes on used métro tickets.

Didn't I write this before? At least I remember this started out with rain. It is still raining.

Walk Around Aimlessly In New York

Last week I mentioned here - I am sure about this too - that I'm going to New York again. If you need to know why, the reason was written here last week. If you read it last week you probably don't want to read it here again this week.

But as a reminder, I will include this - on this visit there will be no list of 49 sights to see. There will be no 'list' at all. My aimless visit to New York will include two Thursdays though. If Café Metropole Club members feel there should be meetings, then there will be. Write to me with suggestions.

Be warned, however, that my main intention is to catch up on sleep I have missed out on since Friday, 21. December 2001.

Easter In Paris - the Club, More than Usual

At the same time in Paris, the jolly and green-thumbed server-lady Linda Thalman has agreeably consentedphoto: cafe resto le beliere to host the Café Metropole Club meetings at the café La Corona on Thursday, 28 March and Thursday, 4. April. She has done this because she honestly enjoys club meetings.

Her notes from these meetings, as brief as they might be, will be transformed into 'reports' that may be Transatlantic in nature. New members can expect to be properly inscribed into the members' booklet, even without the presence of the club's secretary.

Daguerre's folkloric Belière, saved from the wreckers but maybe not from fame.

The club may be 'more than usual' because Paris is not known for balmy weather at Easter. It is known for 'last gasp of winter' type weather - so planning to spend a couple of hours on a couple Thursday afternoons in a comfortable café won't be the worst idea in the world.

'Café Life'

Metropole's Wine Label

Readers who have been paying attention without any intention to do so may recall that there is a 'Café Metropole' sparkling wine waiting to emerge from the wings, to step onto the world's stage.

One reason it is 'waiting' is that it is waiting for its label. Sketch versions of it were shown on last week's cartoon page even though this is not a joke.

Several readers and club members took up my suggestion to 'vote' for their favorite label or labels, and I am really grateful for this.

Paul Babbitt wrote, "I have to say, I like all the wine labels, though I most like the label in the upper right-hand corner. I might change my vote if the pictures were bigger, or if I had a better monitor. Is this the proper forum for voting?"

On the same day, Jadine Brown sent an email with the message, "All the labels look good. What color is the bottle?"

Two days later Dinny Moyer wrote, "I like the two on the left. Nice drawings! Who says you can't have more than one label anyway?"

I think I've missed out one or two other emails, but the kellermeister himself wrote, "I like them both. I'll run these by Paula and my daughters and get back to you."

Allan Pangborn did this and emailed the following day, after getting a revised version of the bottom-left one. "Paula thought the Café Metropole logo overpowered the drawing. I gotta go buy a car now."photo: shop, paris accordeon

While Allan was out doing this, George Broadhead emailed from New York or Hollywood, to say "I prefer the 1st, top left label over the other three. They are all very good. Nevertheless, the first would look great on a bottle of wine."

The left bank's official accordion headquarters is on Daguerre too.

Paul Babbitt also mentioned that this 'Metropole wine thing' was confusing him a bit, so I should explain a bit about what is going on here.

Long-time reader and Café Metropole Club member Allan Pangborn is a professional in the wine-making part of the wine business. A couple of years ago while he was in Paris doing about six week's worth of 'flânnerie' and visiting pals in Champagne, he came up with the idea of 'Café Metropole' for a sparkling wine he intended to make.

For this he has built an entire government-inspected winery over the past year. Some short time after last season's grape harvest the first batch was cooked up and subsequently put into champagne bottles.

For my New York trip, we pasted together a quick-and-dirty label, and he sent a six-pack of the new wine to New York. This was tested by club members at the meeting there on 27. December. The wine was fresh from a transcontinental shake-up by an airfreight outfit, so it was not 'quite right.'

This situation is completely different now. The bottles, lying on their sides, have been turned by hand regularly for months, and are nearly ready to go out the door. Before they can do this, they need their definitive labels - and the government wants to look at them first.

When the label is okay and approved, it will be this magazine's 'house' brand of sparkling wine, made with the champagne method byphoto: pelops, greek fast food Allan who has being doing this sort of thing since graduating from wine university in California a long time ago.

Continued on page 2...
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