"Only Shopping This Time"

photo: richard, yolanda massie

When Richard and Yolanda aren't shopping, they are
usually in Lyon or Aix.

Instead of the Other Usual Things

Paris:- Thursday, 11. April 2002:- Today's weather is not as good as it has been, and is nowhere near as fine as indicated in the club reports by Linda Thalman for the last two meetings. You can see these reports in this issue, because I finally got around to including them, and because it's Thursday.

In fact, by the time I get to Châtelet on the métro - which takes longer than usual because it keeps stopping to 'regularize traffic,' which is utter nonsense because métro trains are supposed to zip smartly from station to station and if they don't, they deregularize all following trains.

Well, anyway, it takes so long that it is nearly raining when I get to Châtelet, and I have to scoot briskly along to get to the club's café on time, without getting wet if my scoot is brisk enough.

More of this weather is predicted, although tonight's TV-weather news has hinted at merely 'partly-cloudy' forphoto: raincoat may be necessary next Saturday, followed by 'more-than-partly-cloudy' for Sunday. The temperatures will be less than 20 degrees too, so it will be a bit cool for water-skiing if you are inclined to do this in Paris.

My scoot brings me to the club's café La Corona more or less on the dot of 15:00, and I use this 'dot' to take a few extra photos to accompany Linda's reports for the past two meetings that you'll remember are included in this issue.

Right next to the club's café - gear is available for slow rain scooters.

I really was in New York when these meetings were held and I certainly did think of 'Something of the Week' to mark the occasions, but no longer remember what these 'somethings' were.

None of people in the club's area seem to be anxious to join the club and the unfamiliar 'Waiter of the Week' is very understanding when I tell him I intend to loiter until I think of ordering anything. No one has told him about any strange club meetings taking place here today.

I pass some time inscribing the new members' names from the last two meetings in the club's members' booklet. When this is finished, I pass some more time doing nothing except wondering why I didn't bring any homework to the café like I usually do.

This second pastime is shorter than the first because Yolanda and Richard Massie make themselves known to me as people who will willingly join this club.

This is mildly astonishing because it reminds me that Richard sent an email saying he intended to do this. I think the email came a minute or two before I left for New York.

Which turns into a coincidence, because Yolanda and Richard come a 'couple of times a year' to Paris fromphoto: soup bowl cafe the Brooklyn borough of New York City, and I was recently there too. If there wasn't a zillion people there - in Brooklyn, I mean - we might have bumped into each other a week ago.

I was surprised to receive a soup bowl full of some unknown café-stuff.

But there's more - we really first met by accident on Friday, 10. November 2000, during Paris' 'Mois de la Photo' - at a photo exhibition put on by Patrick Smith in a gallery in a warehouse in an industrial alley off the Rue du Faubourg du Temple.

This calls for a solid round of 'Ahas,' handshakes, hat and coat removals, bag stashing, pulling up chairs and the usual of getting settled in for a meeting that has new members.

Right now I am going to break one of the 'rules' the club doesn't have, by not relating all the New York things we talked about, because they are fresh with me and solid New Yorkers like Yolanda and Richard really like their city and have a lot of enthusiasm for it.

They knew all about the places I'd been, and were shocked that I didn't have a hot dog at Nathan's at Coney Island on Christmas Day when I had a perfect chance to do so.

I will only say this horrendous oversight occurred because I had just had breakfast, plus I like to leave things undone so that I have an excuse to go back and not do them again so that I will have any excuse to go back again. If you read this, Nathan's, I'm coming!

Anyway, while that endless loop loops endlessly, I'll put in Brooklyn for the 'City of the Week.'

I met Yolanda and Richard in Paris about 18 months ago because Richard is a serious photographer, and today he is pretty excited to have a nearly new Olympus D230 digital camera, with about 264 Megas of spare memory handy for recording Paris sights.

The last time I saw him he had a rare Leica M-model type camera and it had black and white film in it. This is what he would still use for 'serious stuff' but he has already found the lightweight and pocket-sized point-and-shoot Olympus to be more capable than he expected - plus he got it for a low price, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

This camera talk requires us to take photos of each other with each others' cameras and look at the little pictures on their minuscule back panel LED displays.

Richard is curious about my hand-made 'focus-puller' but he doesn't laugh outright at it. We both know auto-focus tends to be a bit deranged, especially if it is difficult to get the shutter-release only halfway down to 'lock-in' on the subject, if it knows what it is.

Because Richard has been coming to Paris pretty regularly since 1973, he does agree that hotels serve better breakfasts than they used to.

This is an important user-feature for visiting photographers, because some of them get up before dawn and haul around huge box cameras with tripods and glass plates weighing tons, in order to be as authentic as Eugene Atget.

Like a lot of other recent new members, Yolanda and Richard think Paris' traffic is a nuisance, evenphoto: regular double espresso if it is not quite as aggressive as New York's. Richard thinks Paris should go back to the 'good old days' of bikes, mopeds and scooters.

It is quite late in the day's meeting when I remember that I have not yet had my 'Café of the Week,' so I signal for the waiter to bring one.

When the right thing came, there were two bonus sugars too.

Since he is not yet officially a 'Waiter of the Week' he brings a soup bowl with two handles on it. It does not look anything like a double-express and I tell him so, but he assures me that this is exactly what it is.

I return to conversation with the Massies, and before I can get to actually find out what I've gotten to drink, the waiter returns and whips the dubious thing away - and returns with what looks like the real thing.

This makes my day. And, after more talk glides us along to some way into overtime, we go our separate ways - knowing that we will meet again, either in Paris or in Brooklyn.

The Next Meeting

The coming weekly meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 18. April. This will be a fairly ordinary 16th Thursday in the year 2002 kind-of-day named after Saint-Parfait - and I'm not making this one up either.

The address for this meeting is near the bottom of this page, proceeded or followed by all the date and time and multiple métro-stop names, which are hard to remember even though they have been exactly the same for years, almost like this paragraph, which is getting moldy.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Learning anything about this club could induce you to attend a meeting for the sheer thrill of the experience, so you can do this by reading 'About the Café Metropole Club.' This page explains nearly everything you need know about club membership - very little - and meetings - only a tiny little bit more.

But if you feel like skipping this 'About' page, all you really need know is that you can easily become a member of this online magazine's live, free and real club by simply coming to a meeting when you are in Paris.

Date, Time and Location of the Coming Meeting

The coming meeting of your club in Paris will begin at 15:00 and continue until 17:00 in Europe'sphoto: terrace, massie leaving Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'ZETP' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in worldwide zones without 24-hour 'Eurotime.'

The club's secretary will be making some effort to record 'report' notes during all meetings. This will require no effort on your part. Note your hometown's name and your own email address for reference if you tend to forget them. This can be done on generally free ATM receipts.

Outside La Corona - no room for bikes and mopeds and scooters.

Come with a new 'Quote of the Week' or propose your own 'City of the Week' or even be prepared to mention any other original 'Things of the Week' if you want to see them in a 'club report' associated with your name. 'No-names' is optional. Otherwise and in general, the only exception is 'no rules.'

Your comments will be treated with some respect and really appreciated by the other members present, if they happen to be listening - and by all readers of this online magazine, if they happen to read them - if they chance to be written here.

The café's location is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny - or - 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre-Rivoli, Pont-Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday from 15:00 to 17:00.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
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there is no such thing
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Waldo Bini