A Smaller, Return-to-Work Issue

photo: manhattan skyscrapers, dusk

High buildings in New York get colorful after sunset.

Smaller Than Imagined

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 8. April 2002:- This issue was well-planned, with consideration for jetlag uppermost in mind. Contrary to this plan, my self decided to continue sleeping instead of getting up at the crack of dawn because it had been up during the previous crack of dawn - thus making some editorial adjustments necessary this afternoon.

This is the reason that the photos shot and rendered for this week's 'Scene' column will not appear as planned, partly because the 'Scene' column has not been written.

No photos - of New York - were rendered for this week's 'Au Bistro' column. No Parisphoto: 34th street subway papers were more than skimmed nor did TV-news receive more than glances. As idiotic as it may sound, this is the reason there is no 'Au Bistro' column in this issue.

A subway train arriving at 34th Street in Manhattan.

This leaves me with about 50 unrendered photos taken around New York, which may be a good thing because this magazine is about Paris - even if I am not here. But now that I am here again, this is a small issue and I hope you will overlook that it is a small issue.

Something Completely Different

Two weeks of no weather reports here have probably left die-hard weather fans a bit at loose ends, having no other recourse but to find accurate but boring weather predictions at various other sources on the Web.

While I was in New York I sought out these other weather sources, in order to have sunshine for baseball's opening season game last Monday at Shea Stadium in the Queens area of the megatropolis.

It was a closely-run thing, with rain and all sorts of other muck being forecast for up to 30 minutes before the game's start, to be followed by 'partly clear' sunbeams for crazed Mets' fans. And so it was. Right on the money.

Meanwhile in Paris, Linda Thalman's notes for the past two club meetings suggested truly good spring weather here - where it was a lot warmer than in New York. These club 'reports' will appear in this issue later in the week - probably about the time of next Thursday's club report.

Without my constant scanning of Paris skies I have to rely on two TV- weather news forecasts, addedphoto: e train to world trade center to the latest predictions in today's Le Parisien. These will be no more or less accurate than other forecasts you read here.

Before getting to the forecast, I will say that today's weather is really great - with a good true blue sky covering the whole of the city - or at least the part of it I can see from the 14th arrondissement. The temperature is supposed to be a tidy 16 degrees too, but feels warmer.

Most signs have changed - but this 'E' train doesn't go to the WTC anymore.

Sunshine with some 'partly cloudy' is predicted for the rest of the week, with temperatures expected to dip a degree or two at midweek, but rising a bit by the end of it. You are supposed to enjoy this while you can, because Le Parisien says 'chaos' will be with us next weekend.

Aimless In New York

If you think I used the above headline here two weeks ago your eyes are not deceiving you. I wish I hadn't bothered to predict my activities there, because - except for skipping the Easter parade - everything else more or less went wrong according to the 'worst case' script I was careless enough to put here.

With no Café Metropole Club meetings scheduled in Manhattan, and no tour list of 49 things to see there, there was plenty of time to waste trying to get a PC to make wine labels.

Unlike three months ago, I arranged in advance to have reliable software on hand. One item of thisphoto: easter pilgrims was a bit new to me and some of its features, while amazing, were amazingly slow. After a day or two of being amazed I switched to an older item, without the amazing features, and it worked better but was still very sluggish.

Pilgrims seen where? On Lower Broadway?

The high points of the visit were assisting at a Seder in Brooklyn during Passover and going to the baseball season opener at Shea Stadium in Queens. Both of these were fine and the baseball experience is included as a feature in this issue.

A reader who decided to be in Paris while I was in New York, suggested I pay a visit to the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, at Bowling Green in the Battery part of Manhattan.

The show to see is 'Across Borders, Beadwork In Iroquois Life,' which continues until Sunday, 19. May. This museum's other exhibits are well worth seeing too, so you should count of on having plenty of time to give everything a good look.

One other thing I wanted to do was see Manhattan's skyline and this was done by taking a ferryboat named 'Frank Sinatra' to Hoboken in New Jersey, where there is an antique ferry landing which I did not examine carefully.

To get to the ferry landing in Manhattan, it is impossible to avoid the area of the World Trade Center. As everybody knows, this area of New York was drastically altered last year on Tuesday, 11. September. Beyond a vast deconstruction site, there isn't much to see except a horde of gawkers who have come from places - mostly other than New York - to see it.

There had been a report on French TV-news about the residents of lower Manhattan being somewhat isolated from the rest of the city, so my one small tour was around the Battery Park area - and the Indian museum is nearby.

'Au Bistro' Blues, Again

If you think I used the above headline here two weeks ago your eyes are not deceiving you. I got back to Paris early yesterday morning after watching three scraps of inflight movies all night long. The worst part was seeing the beginning half-hour of 'Amelie's Marvelous Destiny' six or seven times, before figuring out how to switch channels.

The other two films - both thrillers - ran non-stop for their first two-thirds before mysteriously disappearing. By the time I decided to give it up and try to sleep the sun was rising in Europe and Delta's Captain 'Bob' said there would be a good view of Paris from the right side of the Boeing. From a seat in the middle section, there was no view at all.

As a travel tip for others arriving in Paris at Charles De Gaulle's Terminal 2, the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to get to downtown Paris is via the RER's 'B' line.

After leaving the luggage area, turn right and go straight ahead for a long way, until seeing signs mentioning 'TGV' and trains to Paris. Go down the indicated escalators, buy a ticket and go down more escalators, until you see tracks and trains. The RER's 'B' line trains stop at all of its stations in Paris, so one of these is probably the best for you.

'Café Life'

Dimitri's Sunday Hog Dog

After carefully observing what sorts of hot dogs are eaten in New York, nearly the first thing I saw in Paris yesterday - in the late afternoon - was Dimitri in the Rendez-Vous, about to eat a Paris-style hot dog.

I think he fancies them. When he finished the whole thing, plus drained his balloon of Côtes, he left to go home to have some supper. Since this hot dog wasphoto: kosher for passover the standard Paris model, with two wieners and covered with melted cheese, it raised the question of why Europeans are not particularly fat. I think the secret is in the wine.

While I'm here and it's on my mind, readers should know that New York's JFK airport is a no-smoking zone, like most of New York. The exception is a beer bar in the pre-flight area, that was full of smokers on Sunday afternoon.

Kosher or not, grape juice is still grape juice.

It was the only place I saw remotely like it, so if any New Yorkers are reading this, you now know where you can go to 'light one up.' The entry fee of a flight ticket might seem a bit stiff, but if you take the right flight you may end up in another smoking zone. Getting to watch parts of so-so movies on the way is the only downside.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

To update yourself with the latest news about the last two Thursday club meetings - which were hosted by the server-lady Linda Thalman - you will have to wait until I get around to formatting her notes.

This I hope to do by the time the next meeting's report goes online, late this coming Thursday. This is not standard club practice. But this week you will get three 'reports' for the price of one, so I do not expect to hear any disgruntled grumbling.

Should you choose to grumble anyway, please send your grumbles to the 'Ed' at the email address at the bottom of this page.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 11. April. It is not in the least boring to have all club meetings on Thursdays, because there is only one of these per week. The club's 'Saint's Day of the Week' next Thursday is Saint-Stanislas's day, which I think is also Victor's Hugo's birthday.

Not that it is appropriate to mention it here, but this means this particular count-down will be definitely over. It will not be necessary to write to tell me you are rejoicing over this.

Readers with an irresistible urge to become real club members can easily grasp the few details about this free club by carefully reading the large-sized fine-print on the 'About the Club' page. I strongly urge about-to-be new members to try and remember the café's name and address.

How to join? Simply by being here! Being here on a Thursday with a saint's name is better. How to keep up with club 'news' is even easier, because the reports about it go online right after the meetings - except for when the secretary is goofing off in New York - like he was during the last two meetings.

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 travelphoto: battery, ferries, statue of liberty 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.'

From the Battery, ferries to Staten and Ellis Islands, and cruises to the Statue of Liberty.

'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 any vacant lot covered with suitable dirt.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 6.15 - 9. April 2001 - This issue started with the week's Café Metropole column, titled, 'For More Sports' and the 'Au Bistro' news column was titled, 'Bernard Tapie Is Back.' This issue had two features titled 'Are the Trains Running? Puzzled?' and 'Echoes Along the Seine' by Robert F. Burgess. This issue's update for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 12. April was called the 'Jersey Four On the Loose' Report. An email feature was titled 'More Than Underwear At Stake.' The week's 'Scene' columnphoto: ne jetez pas vos bouteilles was a 'no show,' in favor of a photo page titled 'Dimitri's View.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'Dimitri's View.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 5.15 - 10. April 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Socko Dwarf Show.' The 'Au Bistro' column continued the silliness with 'Gnome Snatch At Bagatelle.' This issue had two features, titled 'A Bagatelle of Dwarfs - 2000 of Them!' and '10,000 Minis On Display at Model Show.' The Café Metropole Club update for this issue on 13. April, was called 'Starving In Paris.' A club page announced, 'Brooklyn Makes 'City of the Week.' The 'Scene' column was potporried again with, 'All the Stuff, From Soup to Nuts.' The usual four 'Posters of the Week' were viewable too and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'Don't Rush!'

This Year's Flagging 'Count-Down' Picks Up

There are only 267 days remaining in this year. This means the 'euro 3 signuro' currency has been around for a whole 98 days now and is no longer brand-new.

As sick of 'count-downs' as you may be, I intend to re-institute the one for Charles Lindbergh's solo arrival inphoto: mets game, 1 april 2002 Paris after a 33-hour non-smoking flight without movies from the United States. He landed without a visa for France at Le Bourget, on Saturday, 21. May 1927. This was 75 years ago and this anniversary is 43 days from today.

My 'lucky' ballgame ticket.

For another date, the first round of voting for France's next Président is only 14 days from now. People here are saying the campaign will not get up to full steam until after the first vote. The final, run-off vote, will be two weeks later.

The numerous other candidates are slugging it out around the country, on TV and in person. France-2 TV news has recently been featuring various shades of Trotskyists. You didn't know they came in different flavors? All the more reason for a visit to France!

Start your clocks, remember to put in summer-time, turn over your egg-timers half-full of sand, get a red marker to 'X'-out days on your calendars, and start counting-down. Especially if it is until the time you arrive in Paris.
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini