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 sw in Paris yesterday - in the late afternoon - was Dimitri in the Rendez-Vous, about to eat a Paris-style hot dog.


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