Some Non-News of the Week

photo: luxembourg gardens, saturday

Missing the palms at 'Paris Plage?' Find them in
the Luxembourg garden.

Is Better than None at All

Paris:- Monday, 26. August 2002:- I had quite a number of ambitions for today's column of 'news from France,' but by the time I've gotten around to it I find that I am out of time again, without it being due to watching television.

I am not an admirer of C. Northcote Parkinson's Law, because I seem to be particularly susceptible to it. In case you have not heard of it, the part that concerns me and this column is, 'Work expands to fill the time available,' which I hope is self-explanatory because I don't need any more 'expansion.'

While I'm at it, I would say that the 'Peter Principle' is also at work against me, but I can't remember whatphoto: fiat 500 of the week it is exactly, other than I had Professor Peter for an electricity instructor quite some time before he formulated his famous 'Principle,' which explains something vital about life, if I recall correctly.

Even in summer, there are still 'Fiat 500s of the Week' in town.

During the summer, which is still with us - barely - France puts on its shows all over the country so a fair amount of each night's evening TV-news is devoted to festivals in far-off places like Arles - which I've picked at random because I can spell it - or Versailles, where there are huge Louis XIV-style spectaculars going on.

None of the above has anything to do with the following item, which is included merely as an example of what can happen when young people feel like obeying the law, instead of going over the border to Italy to do something that is illegal in France but not there.

Raving In France

After the law passed on Friday, 3. May, against unauthorized 'Rave Parties,' the first legal one took place over the weekend near the hamlet of Tréogan, in the Côtes-d'Amor.

Some of the 119 local inhabitants were upset by this before it even started, and spray-painted 'Maire dictateur, dealer' on the walls of the city hall.

The organizers of the rave-party, who expected no more than 1500 lunatics to show up, werephoto: arc carrousel somewhat surprised when the crowd of non-stop frenzy-seekers topped 20,000 on Saturday night - according to estimates made by firemen - and 16,000 were still at it on Sunday.

A slightly misleading photo - 478 visitors are momentarily not in it.

The only casualties were reported to be 500 chickens, who died of fright on account of having a powerful sound system placed too close to their coop. The angry owners of the chickens placed some of the corpses in front of the Mairie to signal their displeasure with their local government.

Sports News

The Ladies Tour de France

Probably because of the summer's frenzy, I failed to be aware of the Tour de France for ladies - until it was won with a lead of 33 seconds by Zinaida Stahurskaia on Sunday, 18. August.

The 14-stage event, which concluded with a whirlwind finish on the Avenue Foch, saw Ms. Liungskog of Sweden arrive in second place and Ms. Somarriba of Spain come in third, one minute and 50 seconds behind the leader.

Score for 'Paris Plage'

Not to be considered sports news exactly, and certainly not a gadget for the bourgeois bohèmes - 'bobos' for short - the score for the short season of 'Paris Plage' has been estimated at two million visitors by the Hôtel de Ville.

Considering that the weather was not always summer-like and no explanation has been given for how the total wasphoto: windows, cour caree calculated, the city seems to have every intention of bringing out its parasols and deckchairs again, 11 months from now - and an announcement about next year from city hall is expected at the end of the month.

In the Louvre's Cour Carée.

An investigation by Le Parisien has discovered that 'Paris Plage' is not yet mentioned in any published guides to the city, even though it was mentioned on the Tourist Office's Web site back 'in May,' and also in the 13. May edition of Metropole.

At a press conference for cultural affairs on Tuesday, 18. June, 'Paris Plage' was hardly mentioned either - compared to the build-up given for the upcoming 'White Night,' scheduled to begin on Saturday, 5. October.


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