...Continued from page 1

All of this is somewhat strange. The event was held in the summer of 2001, although without the parasols, deckchairs and sand - and has had countless freelance ads for it sprayed on walls around Paris for years.

Could it be that it required Parisians and visitors alone made it a success, with only a little help from Metropole? Now that Paris has shown the way, which will be the next major non-seaside city to try it out?

Internet Life

France Is Different

This is not really an 'Internet News' item, but you are reading this and some of the things you see here might make you think that France isn't quite like any other place.

And so it shouldn't be. France is supposed to be France, the people who reside here are supposedphoto: doorway, rue monsieur le prince to be mostly French, and these characteristics go for Paris too - where quite a few Parisians are French.

Some people who visit here can whiz through their visits without hardly realizing that most people around them are French and not be any the wiser. Other visitors, especially if they are staying for extended periods, can be quite surprised to find that they do not seem to understand the French, because the French are French.

A half-invitation from a doorway in the Quartier Latin.

Polly Platt has lived here since 1967, and has taken a long time to figure out - sometimes the hard way - exactly what are the differences between the French and the 'rest of is.'

Her main point is - when she isn't being funny - is that the seminars she has concocted from her experiences can drastically reduce the time it takes to figure out how things tick in France.

Getting on a fast-track could spare you a lot of unnecessary social fumbles and increase the pleasure of living in France instead of in a fog of misunderstanding.

If this alone doesn't seem sensible enough for you, simply understanding the French better than you do now, can save you money too.

Polly emphasizes this aspect, and it might be the bottom line for some people - but I think greater understanding leads to tolerance, and this is handy to have at all times, everywhere.

If you are curious or interested, just give Polly's Web site a look.

I haven't put in this plug for Polly's seminars because she is a Café Metropole Club member, which she isn't, but because George Bush would never take one of her seminars. He is simply too busy learning how to be a cowboy to read her 'French or Foe' or 'Savoir Flair.'

Foucault Tunes In

When I first met Foucault he was 'at leisure' between wall jobs. Since jobs of painting murals on 300-metre-long walls do not come along regularly, Foucault spent a lot of his time painting canvases of a more reasonable size, and taking a lot of photos.

I moved quite far away from his neighborhood, but over the years managed to drop in on him once in a while to see what he was up to and have a café.

Although living in Paris is not as far away as I used to be, I have few other reasons to go to Sèvres. Thephoto: music bandstand, luxembourg last time I saw him he told me he had acquired a computer, but hadn't gotten past the game stage with it.

Calm music in the Luxembourg garden, for sit-down 'ravers.'

Doing big walls takes a lot of careful advance planning, so I'm not particularly surprised that it has taken some years for Foucault to put his walls and photos online.

He has just written that he hopes I will contemplate his first and new Web site and offer my 'valued judgement.' This I will do, but because of the times spent with him in the Bar Central in Meudon-Bellevue, I think you should take a look too. Give Foucault a hit today.

During-the-Summer Weather Warnings

Paris is seldom a thrilling weather area, but for excitement, there is good reason to pay attention to France- Météo's warnings, if you intend to be elsewhere in France.

France-Météo's alert service is mainly for northern, central, mountainous, eastern, western Atlantic coast, all types of southern and offshore areas of France - that occasionally or regularly have more extreme, sometimes really dangerous weather - than the Ile-de-France region.

If you are curious or need to know more about France's so-called late summer weather, give the Météo-France Web site a hit, for its short-range forecasts. Check out the warning-prone 'Vigilance-Météo' area on the opening page.

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