Grilling Like Sardines

photo: bistro le peirrot

On Sunday, some of these terrace birds were getting more sun than drink.

In Paris, of All Places

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 17. June 2002:- The day I set out to do the photos for 'sunbathing in Paris' - last Friday - the forecasted weather stubbornly refused to come true, and it was safe enough to be outside in Paris without any suntan lotion on.

This left me with 'Paris, Port de Pêche' as a fallback, and it was okay in less than blazing sunshine, because most of the time the fishing boats are out in the Atlantic someplace and you can't see them at all, even on rare clear days.

But I was really ready to see 'Parisians grilling like sardines' so by Friday evening I was in a glum mood. Saturday showed up with a 50-50 forecast, so there was no catch-up possibility.

Sunday's forecast was somewhat the same, if a little warmer. But in reality, Sunday took off its parasol and let it all blaze down, and temperatures must have gone five degrees over the prediction.

Last night was election results on TV-news, so there was no weather forecast for today. At noon today, on the café Le Bouquet's shady side terrace, the temperature seems to be about 35 metrical degrees, which is about 95 on the other temperature scale.

If people ate fried eggs anymore, they could cook them on the sidewalks. In Paris, this is sort of a 'chance of a lifetime.'

Today's Le Parisien says Tuesday will be a bit cloudy and slightly cooler, but brighter again on Wednesday with the high falling off to about 25. From this distance, next Friday is foreseen as having a completely normal temperature for April - 21 degrees, which will be caused by the Fête de la Musique.

If grilling is your thing, today's the day for it. Otherwise, most museums and other attractions are air-conditioned. All café terraces are, naturally, 'au natural.'

Café Life

Matt's 34 Ex-girlfriends

I don't know Matthew Rose well. He comes into the Bouquet occasionally, if there is a free parking place for his scooter. I think he prefers cafés that aren't quite so trendy, because we had a café in one where the other two people in it were asleep.

Dennis sent me an invitation to see Matt's exhibition of paintings, called 'Girlfriends.' The vernissage was on Saturday, which is also the only day of the exhibition - which ties in neatly with the first 16 girlfriends, who have been listed in the catalogue as 'One Night Stands.'

These were placed edge-to-edge on one wall of the studio above the car garage. Matt was offering these in single units, or all 16 for a round-sum of 1500euro 3 sign.

The catalogue lists all of the girlfriends by name and the year. Most of the paintings have been done in dots of color, so no ex-girlfriend need be embarrassed by the catalogue'sphoto: matt with isabelle, caterina or happy descriptions, but if you ask me, half of the breakups were Matt's fault.

Matt Rose and two of his ex- girlfriends.

The 'Long Term' girlfriends are stand-alones. They represent a sociological cross-section of the '70s and '80s. Although Matt remembers them all clearly - see the paintings! - some of the girlfriends do not seem to remember Matt at all.

In the photo, I think Isabelle is on Matt's left, and Happy is on the right. Isabelle had a blind dog which she kept. Happy was a painter, who only painted black paintings. Matt still has one to remind him Happy didn't care for colors.

But if I have them mixed up, then Isabelle is on the right and Caterina is on the left. Caterina became an 'ex' after deciding Matt was as dangerous as she was. Actually, there are only 33 ex-girlfriends because one named Rachel was a two-timer.

When Dennis finally arrived he took the catalogue and read it while looking at each painting. He didn't think the paint dots were too unusual. Then he starting talking to a young lady from San Francisco.

Dimitri, who anticipated quite a bit more - like meeting some of the girlfriends, especially 'Cantaloupes' Millie - was disturbed by the dots, and left to meet some other people by chance outside the Bistro 48, and they all went to have a fine dinner somewhere.

Today, with Dimitri on the terrace of the Bouquet, Matt says he is disappointed that 34 other people he invited didn't bother to show up.

I think it's a shame. In addition to the flavored potato chips and the deep-fried cauliflower, there were lots of fresh and dark red cherries.

The Flat Hunt IV

For the past two weeks I have been visiting a nearby apartment rental agency daily, in the hopes that they will have an ever-promised key to a small flat in the Rue Daguerre. I have also been going to other agencies, as well as buttonholing total strangers on the street.

Apparently this keyless flat is being renovated, and I can't look at it until it is finished. It doesn't sound exactly like paradise - 5th-floor walkup, not big, no storage cave - but it is a realistic price.

After getting a call this morning about another place - not nearby - I make the ritual hit on the agency. The regular lady, who knows me pretty well by now, isn't in. But another lady takes a moment to make a phone call or two and look around a bit, and what-ho! - she has the keys!

We walk a block under a Brazilian sun, go through a green door, and get lost in a maze. What isn't maze, looks like the kind of stuff Baron Haussmann had torn down 150 years ago.

The polished stairway is narrow and steep, and goes up to the fifth landing, which has four doors off it. Insidephoto: parasol on barge one of them, there are two small, white rooms. One interior door hides a closet and another, in the 'kitchen,' reveals a bathroom that seems completely new, and not too small either.

If you can say anything good about barge-life, then you mention their terraces.

The 'kitchen' has a sink, which looks new. Electrical outlets look grounded. Other than one window overlooking the Rue Daguerre and another overlooking coutyards in the rear, there is nothing else to see except that the 40 square metres I'd been told to expect is about 25 percent less.

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