...Continued from page 1

Debbie thinks that Paris has changed in the 23 years since she was here last. "There's less smoke," she says, "And the roads are cleaner."

"Flower stalls," she adds, "There used to be flower stalls on nearly every street corner."

We are having a good old time trying to remember what else has changed in Paris when Mark Kritz arrives, sportily wearing the 'Tie of the Week.'

Actually, anybody who does wear a tie can almost get this award automatically - Linda remembers another member who showed up wearing one, but I think this didn't count because it went with a whole suit, and it was the suit thing that got the 'Thing of the Week' award.

When we all stand up and walk out of the café for the 'Group Photo of the Week,' the 'Unknown Waiter of the Week' needs to be reassured that we are not doing a 'file à l'Anglaise.'

After we have done the terrace bit, we try a new thing with the sidewalk. Linda thinks thephoto: tie of the week double-decker tour buses are cute, as a background. I think the car illegally parked on the Quai du Louvre with two mattresses tied to its roof is interesting too, but you can't see this in the photo.

Back inside, to see a relieved 'Unknown Waiter of the Week,' we also discover that member Patricia Philbin has cleverly shown up when it is too late to get into the group photo.

This 'Tie of the Week' may become the 'One of the Month,' or even 'Year.'

Ah, so what? Patricia graciously holds up the tatty 'focus-puller' and steels herself for the solo-photo ordeal, little realizing the 'focus-puller' actually works, except for its 'white-balance' feature which always seems to be out of order.

What I have left out is the usual talk about airlines and their odd habits, with overbooking, alternate flights, upgrading, and trips to the Italian West Indies, which either Patricia or Mark highly recommend.

As sort of a warning to those who will be visiting Paris in the next two weeks, Linda has said, "I don't care about my garden!" She is an avid gardener, but sports are on and when they are tennis and the World Cup, France pays attention.

The ladies go off towards Samaritaine and Mark and I go towards the Pont des Arts. After a few words, he heads towards the Louvre's book shop where he hopes to find a book about Eduardo Arroyo, and I cross the bridge to see how many newlyweds are on it, posing for the 'Photos of Their Lives.'

The Coming Meeting

The next weekly meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 6. June. This will be a fairly usual 23rd Thursday in the year 2002, named for the unique occasion for Saint-Norbert. In 1944, which was 58 years ago, the 6th of June was on a Tuesday, but it was Saint-Norbert's day in France even back then.

The location details for this meeting are 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 some weeks.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

To find out how to become a member you can read the page called 'About the Café Metropole Club.'photo: patricia 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.

Patricia, looking relieved to have dropped the tatty 'focus-puller.'

If you find reading nearly nothing 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 in a jiffy by simply being at a meeting when you 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 'BAN ANAS' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in worldwide zones without 'Metric-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 seldom completely successful. Note your name,photo: l'addition of the week hometown, and your own email address in the members' booklet in case the secretary forgets to ask you to do it.

With the money on the table, the meeting is officially over - most of the time.

Bring a new 'Quote of the Week' or propose your own 'City of the Week' or prepare any other original or amusing 'Things of the Week' if you want your envious 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 respect and may 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 typed in 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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