The Weather News

photo: cafe du nuit

Having a final drink before the last métro of the night.

Is All There Is, So Far

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 15. April 2002:- This is about the time of year when Easter usually happens, but for some arcane reason probably known to the part of mankind that follows events at the Vatican, Easter was moved ahead two weeks this year, leaving its weather stranded where it usually is - in mid-April.

This means, for those who overlooked Easter itself, we at least have the weather for it, even if we don't have the long weekend that goes with it.

For newcomers, I should explain that Paris often has its spring for two weeks in either February orphoto: fiat 500 of the day March, or both, then has a last spurt of starker weather at Easter for all the Italians who come to Parigi so they can wear their spiffy winter togs and make all Parisians feel shabby.

For this issue only, here is the 'Fiat 500 of the Day.'

For a reason that will probably seem unclear to you, newcomer or not, I spent my Easter in New York - which had Paris' Easter weather - and this is something Italians should note - if Easter is early and happens to have spring weather, they might be able to catch the appropriate winter weather for their clothing in New York instead.

Well, that's all in the distant or near past anyway. In the here and now, Paris is having late-winter early-spring weather like it always does at this time of year, near the calendar end of spring. If Gene Kelly still came to town, he would be wearing a raincoat for his 'dancing in the rain.'

Not that it rains much, but proper raincoats are also pretty warm - and this is what you need for temperatures mid-way between 10 and 20, in the best part of the day. If you are out during the dark part of the day, consider walking fast.

The forecast for the coming week is not something I want to hazard, so I'll tell you that Le Parisien thinks it will stay pretty much the same - with highs around 15, if you are lucky, and many cloudy periods. Sunny periods will be lurking close-by, but even if they show up, temperatures won't change much.

As usual, I will go out during any of the eight sunny periods of each day to take the next issue's photos. I don't this to dupe you into thinking it is always sunny in Paris. I do it because I don't like getting wet either.

'Café Life'

A Poor Excuse

Early in the past week, I was severely jetlagged on account of trying to do an issue right after getting off a transatlantic flight, so you can't expect me to have experienced anything significant in the 'Café Life' line.

I'll be the first to admit this is a poor excuse, but I also need to say I was in cafés a lotphoto: petit carrousel because I got seriously café-deprived in New York. I even had the wild and crazy idea of launching a chain of Paris-style cafés over there because the place would be a whole lot more comfortable if there were cafés on every street corner, to satisfy the basic needs of life.

Without Concorde's giant pinwheel, the view is as long as it used to te.

But doing something like that might be a lot of work, and even if getting rich out of it was the result, there would be no time for 'Café Life' - so why go to the bother? It's easier to just get on a plane and jet back to Paris.

I will conclude this moan by saying that if you are in New York and Esteban's Café Greco seems a little tame after the umpteenth $2.25 cup of espresso there, all you need to do is go around the corner and walk a block to have a wide choice of joints that have 'Cuban sandwiches.'

Lit. Life In the Bouquet

While I was away, the gang at the Bouquet decided to start having literary meetings in it. I didn't know this when I accidently sat down next to the very famous Irish poet, whose name I never caught because all the other café regulars who weren't at the lit. meeting were practicing for 'shout night.'

Sometimes the people who go into Paris cafés do not do so to stare morosely at their filthy beers or little balloons of so-so wine. Sometimes, nobody knows why, everybody decides they would rather shout at everybody else in the bar, while drinking with carefree abandon

Actually, evenings of this type are fairly common in the Café Bouquet because one of the regulars always shouts - every night except on Sundays when the place is closed. Luckily he never goes to the Sunday back-up café, so it would be possible to hear the sports news if they ever turned on the TV's sound.

The others at lit. night were having a fine time, planning for the reading the followingphoto: place fustemberg night - on Thursday. They said they were going to meet in the Bouquet really early, go to the reading together - the Irish poet had to do the 'reading' there - and then they were all going to go to a fine restaurant where loud talk is permitted, and get totally wasted.

Metropole's first photo of the Place Furstemberg without cars in it.

These things always happen on Thursday nights, which is the night I do the Café Metropole Club 'reports,' so I never get to do the Thursday night lit. reports instead.

When I mentioned this, Dimitri said everything good happens on Thursday nights, and he really missed going to his 2CV club meetings because these are held on Thursdays too.

In fact, everybody else could think of some Thursday thing they'd rather do than have wild talk, poetry readings, meals in good restaurants, and copious drinking - along with music and dancing if it was all done in the Vin des Rues, across the street.

On Friday, Dennis called me early in the noon section of the day and asked me to come over and help his new PC get online. While I was trying to figure out the charms of Windows-X, he gave me a blow-by-blow account of Thursday's lit. evening's proceedings - which went off as planned from the sound of it, and I got thoroughly disgusted.

In compensation he lent me a book, written by a starving writer named John Fante about being a starving writer named Auturo Bandini in LA in 1939, for which Charlie Bukowski had written a preface in 1979, which I guess was after his own starving-writer days.

None of this is quite true, but it is how Bandini's story goes. Reading it is almost as good as being at lit. night at the Bouquet.

'Au Bistro'

Guess what? Here it is 02:00 in Paris on Tuesday, and the 'Au Bistro' column is still in my head. The first round of voting for France's next Président takes place with 16 candidates next Sunday, José Bové is thinking of going to jail for six months instead of accepting a legal slide-out, and France's football championships are hanging by a thin and fragile thread.

As much as some of it is 'in my head,' I can't just rattle it off like a machine-gun, so I'm going to quit now while I've still got a slight hope of being in shape to bash it out tomorrow and add it to this issue. Stay tuned.

'Au Bistro' II

After a bit less than 24 hours later this issue now contains an 'Au Bistro' column. If I hadn't promised one, it wouldn't be here now. It was going great until I got sidetracked by watching what turned out to be the worst movie ever made. It was called 'Mars Attacks.'

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

To update yourself with the news about the two Thursday club meetings while I was hors-continent - which were hosted by the server-lady Linda Thalman - you will have to wait no longer until I get around to formatting her notes. I cut Thursday's 'lit. night,' ditched the heavy edit, and attached them to last week's issue containing the regular club 'report.'

If you hit the link on this issue's contents page that takes you to last Thursday's meeting report, look around in the same issue for Linda's earlier reports.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 18. April. It is not the least annoying to have all club meetings on Thursdays, because there is only one of these per week, unfortunately. The club's 'Saint's Day of the Week' next Thursday is Saint-Parfait's day, which is no longer Victor's Hugo's birthday.

Readers with a genuine desire to become real club members can easily grasp the few details about this free club in 30 seconds by reading the large-sized fine-print on the 'About the Club' page.

Want to join? Do it by simply being here! Being here on a Thursday with a saint's name is better and every Thursday has one. How to keep up with club 'news' is even easier, because the reports about it go online right after the meetings. All you have to do is hit the right one of your favorite bookmarks.

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 selectionphoto: kids football, tuileries 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.

Kids playing illegal football in Louis' former Tuileries gardens.

'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 - such as on any vacant lot covered with suitable dirt.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 6.16 - 16. April 2001 - This issue started with the week's Café Metropole column, titled, 'The Issue of Fashion' and the 'Au Bistro' news column was titled, 'Neighborhood Bomb Site.' This issue had one feature titled 'In the Ex-Rue des Rats - Looking for Romans.' This issue's update for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 19. April was called the "It Was Like Coming On a Stagecoach!" Report. The week's 'Scene' column was titled 'This Is Paris After All.' The photo page was titled 'Boules inphoto: sign, rue saillard the Arènes de Lutèce.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'The Annual Fashion Tip.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 5.16 - 17. April 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Weather Fixation 'Fix.' The 'Au Bistro' column continued with, 'Is There Life After 60?' This issue had one feature, titled 'The '20's and '30's In Boulogne.' The Café Metropole Club update for this issue on 20. April, was called 'Non-Readers Become Members!' A club page announced, 'More New Members.' The 'Scene' column was titled, 'Paris Is Surrounded' and there was a 'Scene Update' titled 'Last Minute Easter Program.' The usual four 'Posters of the Week' were on view and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'Birds Sing.' Yes, birds.

This Year's Unflagging 'Count-Down'

There are only 260 days remaining in this year. This means the 'euro 3 signuro' currency has been around for a whole 105 days now and is no longer eligible of the 'first 100 days' routine.

Despite total indifference I intend to conduct a count-down for Charles Lindbergh's solo arrival in Paris after a 33-hourphoto: entry, gaz de france non-smoking flight without movies or commercials 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 36 days from today.

For another, closer, date, the first round of voting for France's next Président is only five days from now, since it is Tuesday already. Newspeople here keep asking Arlette if she'll feel bad if she steals votes from Lionel Jospin. She says he is over 21. The final, run-off vote, will be two weeks later.

The 14 other candidates are slugging it out more furiously than ever around the country, on TV and in person. France-2 TV news has regularly been featuring various shades of Trotskyists, again, still. You didn't know they came in different colors of red? Conservatives are not only blue, but they are pale too.

Wind your clocks, turn over your egg-timers, get a red - 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

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