...Continued from page 1

Seattle is Randy's hometown but from what he says he hasn't lived there in quite a long time. "Boeing," he says, "Changed my life. It was the only place I ever worked where I got a bill instead of a paycheck."

"So I came to Europe and never went home." He ran his own restaurant in the Mouffetard areaphoto: wine for years and wonders why we haven't met before. It may be because I haven't eaten in a restaurant near Mouffetard since the '70s - and I don't count the Deep-fried Mars Bar I almost had near there in 1999.

The club 'Drink of the Week' number one.

For a time it was the only 'authentic American barbecue restaurant in Europe' he says, but the nearly exclusively student character of the 5th arrondissement changed, and the place got flooded with the bourgeois. "They don't like noise, music or fun in the streets," he says.

Mark Kritz drops in on one of his rounds of buying graphical treasures across the river, carrying a big, flat package that he doesn't bother to unwrap and show us.

Since it is near the end of the meeting I suggest it is 'group photo' time and everybody getsphoto: randy garrett up more or less willingly and lets the sun shine weakly on their faces on the café's terrace while I almost back up into the Quai de Seine's traffic, getting them all in the camera's viewfinder.

Before we split up, Randy asks me if I have ever attended the 'Bridge Parties' that are held on the Pont des Arts on Thursdays. It is the first I've heard of them - I think. Like the club, they are free to all comers, and usually start about 20:00 if the weather permits.

Randy Garrett came to Paris and neglected to go 'home.'

As we are parting Bill suggests that the club's secretary find some other way of taking the meeting's notes. He finds it disconcerting that the secretary insists on looking at what he is writing, instead of just memorizing everything and writing it down later.

I agree with him. Somebody else should keep the notes, and dictate an edited version of them to the club's secretary at some convenient later time, when the report - this report in fact - is being written in the middle of the night.

I too would like to go to an occasional 'Bridge Party.'

The Coming Meeting

The next weekly meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 30. May. This will be a fairly usual 22nd Thursday in the year 2002, named for the unique occasion for Saint-Ferdinand.

The actual location for this meeting is below, followed or preceded by the multiple métro-stop names and all the date and time details, all of which have been identical for years, almost like this paragraph, which does change by a word or two on weeks with odd numbers of days.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

photo: mark kritzTo find out how to become a member you need to read the '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.

Art buyer Mark Kritz isn't in Paris as often as he would like to be.

But if you find reading tiresome and you feel like giving this 'About' page a pass - there are 'no rules' after all - all you really should know is that you can easily become a member of this online magazine's live, free and real club by simply being at a meeting when you have idle losse-ends and are in central Paris on a Thursday.

The 'Coming Meeting' Boilerplate

Every meeting of this club in Paris begins at 15:00 on Thursday and continues until 17:00, still on Thursday, in Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'ZONA UNA' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in worldwide zones without metric 24-hour 'Eurotime,' which is now in its 'summer' version.

The club's secretary will be making some effort to make 'report' notes during the meeting and listen to you at the same time. This is not always successful. Note your name, hometown,photo: cafe creme and your own email address in the members' booklet in case the secretary forgets to ask you to do it.

The club's other number one 'Drink of the Week.'

Bring a new 'Quote of the Week' or propose your own 'City of the Week' or prepare any other original 'Things of the Week' if you want indifferent neighbors to read them in a 'club report' associated with your name. 'No-names' is an option you can elect too. Otherwise and in general, the only exception is 'no rules.'

Most of the things you say may be treated with great consideration and be really appreciated by the other members present, if they hear them - and by all readers of this online magazine, if they read them - if they turn out 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

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