"I Just Want Some Red Shoes!"

photo: band of 3, chris, anita, judi

Behind the glasses, from left, Chris Landry, Anita
Bennett and Judi Daunell.

'City of the Week' - Baton Rouge!

Paris:- Thursday, 25. April 2002:- Since Tuesday the weather here has been running true to form for this particular particle of the week. Once the morning smaze clears it is clear, bright and warm - far warmer than is 'normal' for April. It is also warmer than usual for May or June too.

But the forecast hasn't changed one whit. Tomorrow the temperature is to plunge to the 15s, and if tonight's TV-weatherman is right, water will also plunge down from the skies. Our feet will be skipping over or through what happens to plunges afflicted by gravity. Sunday may be even worse.

But that is not today, not this afternoon. When I arrive at the café La Corona, the terrace is littered with baskers - doing what people in Paris do really well - sitting around doing nothing while sprinkling their throats with beverages.

This will probably be disgusting news to all hard-working puritans, but there's a reason thisphoto: club cocktails town has 3000 cafés with outside terraces, and it isn't because they are display spaces for café tables and chairs.

For a big city relatively 'up north,' I bet this place has more outside places to sit down than the Sahara. There is some kind of law here that says certain blocks need café terraces edge to edge.

So far as known, the Coke was Coke and the water was water.

La Corona's stretch of the Quai du Louvre is perfect for sitting and watching hapless car drivers, sitting in an always traffic jam, going nowhere slowly, and cooking in their tin dogsleds. 'Ha-ha' you can think, even if they want to sit here and have a drink, there's no place to park.

Nearly nobody is inside the café. All the doors and windows are open, so it is not hot and stuffy, and the outside noises and gases can be easily forgotten.

Because I think there will be no members today I've brought a paper to read. First I do the secretary's little chores with the members' and the report booklets, and then begin reading about the guy who was found innocent of murder yesterday, after being convicted twice on the same deal and serving 15 years of hard time.

If the first paragraph about it wasn't so long I would have gotten to the second before Anita Bennett arrives. I must have gotten here early because it is 15:03.

As soon as I look up from my watch, Chris Landry is here too. I remember her too, from a year ago when she told me there are edible toads or shrimps in ditches where she lives.

There were a couple of meetings there when all these Mardi-Gras fans showed up and Baton Rouge didn't become the 'City of the Week' because I was concerned with the Washington Post's rotten advice to dress like a government worker in Paris, in order to 'fit in.'

Since my memory doesn't serve me correctly, I get some software to check out Baton Rouge's status. It really does deserve to be 'City of the Week' so that it what it is. At long last, its oversight is plainly visible!

We can forget the fallback of giving Sherwood Forest or Port Allen the award. Now Chris can gophoto: cheese & coke home in triumph and continue handing out print-outs of these reports to bewildered inhabitants there.

Food was consumed, but it seemed to have little effect.

While I have been setting this right, Judi Daunell from Bakersfield, California has arrived for her second club meeting. Her first one was while I was in New York recently. She is surprised that she is well and truly registered as a club member already. 'Thank the server-lady.'

Anita was back in the USA too, but she's here again, and she's just made up her mind to go back to the Alliance Française because she forgot all her French during a week in Boston.

The three ladies talk about being in France. Parking is always short-term at Mont Saint-Michel because of the pesky tides. Winds can be hard on car doors. Chartres can be cold. Short distances on Michelin maps can turn out to be long, especially if you have to stop in every town with a cheese factory.

But when all three, in unison, say, "You can drink all the table wine you want" - this becomes the 'Quote of the Week' because it is true. You could drink all the table wine and there would still be some more.

Judi even claims you can drink the wine colored red, which she didn't believe before. What I can't believe is that they agree that 'Vieux Papes' for a 'buck forty-nine,' is pretty good stuff. "Carrefour has it," Anita says.

She adds, "I went to the Salon d'Agriculture and came back with 36 bottles." But not of 'Vieux Papes' of course.

Chris wants to know what kind of cheese Anita has on her plate. Before Anita can answer - because she's eaten the cheese - Chris says, "Do you want to see the twenty dollar shoes I got on the marché?"

She says she didn't believe the shoe guy and took the size 39 instead of the 38s the shoe guy said would fit. She has an extra 26 millimetres of toe-room in them.

Judi says, "I just want some red shoes!" Ahh, the shoe talk. It goes on. The mapsphoto: lady map readers come out in order to pinpoint some shoe place in the Forum des Halles, about a 10-minute walk away.

Judi pinpoints the 'Red Shoe' place.

A half-hour later shoes are exhausted as a subject and hotels versus apartments to rent come on the firing line. These ladies, all of them, come to Paris often - so they are in the market for longer-term rentals. Tips are exchanged. Out of town is not bad if the RER ride to Châtelet is only 30 minutes. This would be within the Orange card's zone three.

Another subject is the people who don't come to Paris. There is a lot of "People say..." - Paris is more dangerous than New York. Orlando is cheaper. Flying is dangerous.

"Wouldn't you rather have gone, done something," Judi says, "Then if the plane - well! - its better if it's on the way home."

Chris and Anita agree about this. Nail jobs for 66 euros get a big snort. 'Quiet places' in Italy get a going over. "Going over the Alps on a train is totally cool," Judi exclaims while Chris draws maps with balloons for Anita to show where handy Italian places are.

Anita is mainly thinking about eating in northern Italy. Judi has a comment about toilet paper for the server-lady, which I will omit here. Chris says, "Try Carrefour." Anita says, "It's like Walmart." Judi says, "Great! I like Walmart."

Judi has also had an adventure in the métro that didn't turn out too badly, partly because she works for the bus system in Bakersfield - and knows what to do when things happen on public transit. For people who don't, her job is to talk them out of suing the city.

Just after five on the watch-dial, long-time member Dr. David Leslie turns up from Glasgow with new members Jacquelinephoto: katie l & mom and Katie, who has accidently gotten her hat on wrong and can't do much about it because she's three months old.

Hat off and cuddled all round, Katie regards the party with curiosity like she's landed on one of Mars' suburbs with frogs or shrimps in the ditches.

Freed of the hat, Katie checks out the stroller-pusher, Jacqueline.

Katie is the first 'Baby of the Week the club has had for a long time. Her patience with it is short though, after she has to listen to everybody try to explain where the poster place is in the Cour Damoye, just off the Bastille. The club's secretary is wrongest of all, and Chris' hotel is only 50 metres away from it.

The meeting ends with European-type handshake lessons. One shake is all. David says two are correct in Glasgow. "In Scotland, two are friendlier."

I forget to ask him if deep-fried Mars bars are still a health threat in Glasgow. Something else new has come along since 1999, I think he has written.

The Coming Meeting

The next weekly meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 2. May. This will be a fairly ordinary 18th Thursday in the year 2002, the one right after May Day. Otherwise it will be named for Saint-Boris - which may be a 'first.' It'll be a 'first' for the club.

The location for this meeting is close to the end of this page, proceeded or followed by all the date and time and multiple métro-stop names, all of which have been identical for years, almost like this paragraph, which actually does change slightly every week.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Finding out something about this club could convince you to attend a meeting to pick up members' tips, so you can do this by reading 'About the Café Metropole Club.' This page explains nearly everything you should know about this club - next to nothing - and its meetings - only a bit more than next to nothing.

If you feel like giving this 'About' page a miss - there are 'no rules' after all - 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 Next Meeting

Every Thursday meeting of this club in Paris begins at 15:00 and continues until 17:00 in Europe's Centralphoto: dr david l European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'MDMD' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in worldwide zones without metric 24-hour 'Eurotime.'

On this club visit, David has no fresh diet tips from Glasgow.

The club's secretary will be making some tiny effort to make 'report' notes during the meeting. This will require no strain on your part. Note your hometown's name and your own email address for reference if you tend to forget them.

Show up with a new 'Quote of the Week' or propose your own 'City of the Week' so long as it is not going to be Baton Rouge or even be prepared to mention any other original 'Things of the Week' if you want to read them in a 'club report' associated with your name. 'No-names' is optional. Otherwise and in general, the only exception is 'no rules.'

Anything you say will be treated with respect and be really appreciated by the other members present, if they seem 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.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini