'Nothing of the Week'

photo: cafe of the week, magazine special zincs

The only 'Of the Week' is this café. It was good too.

Read All About It - While It's Still Fresh

Paris:- Thursday, 13. June 2002:- If you've been out looking at the sky like I have, you'll probably think it isn't exactly the kind of sky you want for beach weather, and I agree with you. It might be good club- meeting weather though.

I'm not coming right out and saying the weather is 'grey-blah' because Wednesday night's forecast for Friday is pretty darn good - good enough for basking at the beach in fact. Not only is the sky supposed to be mottled with fuzzy sun-balls over lots of blue, but the temperature is supposed to be over 30. Over 30! Not a lot, but over.

That's like nearly 83 degrees, which, if you subtract 32 - why 32? - why not 26? - why not 14.8? - whatever you subtract, it gives you, will give us, a whole 51 non-metrical degrees above freezing. This is pretty good for Paris, in late spring, or even in the middle of summer in a torrid heatwave.

Well, since Wednesday, the forecast is still actually running true today. It is overcast from edge to edge and the temperature is 22. This is completely normal, almost normal for a good day in November.

The TV-weather news tonight is still saying Friday will be exceptionally warm, still at least 30, butphoto: tea, terrace, traffic now the weather-lady is saying this is because it is - will be - sort of humid, unstable - and the whole thing may fall apart before noon.

Left-over civilian 'tea' things.

So much for the future weather news from the beaches of Paris. In case things don't turn out as predicted, I luckily scoop up a special edition of the paper distributed in the métro, titled, 'Zincs, Tables & Dancefloors II.' The first issue of this from last year hung around the editorial office until about February - but you never know.

It does not seem cold and it is not windy, but nobody is sitting on the terraces of the café La Corona when I arrive. There is no football today. It is not beach weather.

The 'Waiter of the Week,' Patrick, tells me the civilians taking up the club's tables in the café will be finishing lunch soon, so I install myself temporarily at another table where I can be seen, and write the administrative stuff - all eight words of it - in both the members' and the 'reports' booklets.

Then I turn to the paper with 'Zincs, Tables & Dancefloors II' and start speedreading it because I don't expect to get further than halfway through the editorial on page five.

But first I get slowed down on the double-page ad for Audi, trying to figure out if they have really used some very sexy and black Italian sportscar in the ad's photo.

Right behind the model's thigh, I can make out letters that might be, 'AMALES' on the right side of the rear end - of the car, I mean. Nossir, the black car doesn't look like a bulky Audi.

Isn't that odd how they've gotten into the fat, porky-looking, car business? I mean, all they have to do is look across the street in Bavaria, at Stuttgart to be exact, to see slim cars. And here, obviously, trying to impress Paris' rich and wild youth scene, they have to borrow an Italian car so they'll look good.

Imagine - one of these 'golden ones' walks into a Audi showroom and thinks, golly, my sunglasses must be darker than I thought. These are really dumpy-looking cars!

So, when I actually get to page five I am kind of surprised that no club members are sitting in front of mephoto: table, chair corona terrace yet. Patrick clears the others away and I take up my habitual post in the club secretary's chair, and continue speedreading because I want to get to the parts about the restaurant called 'What'Soup' and 'Le Roller Café.'

I pass the note about 'Le Relais Chablisien' which I actually passed on the way to the club, and on page eight I find a quote attributed to Daniel Prévost, which I'm inclined to think is apt.

Look! Empty chairs on a Paris café terrace. Not an everyday sight.

"I'll only be interested in Paris when the authorities put the sea in the centre of town. It's where I like walking, but for the moment I find it lacks a beach."

There's an amusing quote by Boutros Boutros Ghali too, about boulimia in Paris and Cairo. Then there's a bit of a lexicon for people who don't understand Parisian French too well - for the words, 'fooding,' 'slow food,' 'fusion food,' 'world food,' 'lounge food,' 'after' and 'before.'

Just to give you a clue, if you take some 'lounge food' at an 'after,' it may turn into a 'before' by the time you get out of the place. Before they tore it down, Les Halles used to be good for this sort of thing.

At the mid-point of the club meeting, when it is neither 'before' nor 'after,' I try to engage Patrick's attention because I am feeling the need of a strong café on account of reding about places named 'Pink Platinium,' which sounds like a strip-tease joint for banker-like working stiffs with platinum plastic cards. It is supposed to feature 'Le Strip Pop,' but it sounds like old background scenes from the TV-series, 'Miami Vice.'


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