'KultTour' Arrives In Paris

photo: cafe le sorbon

For some, sun in the face on Saturday.

Unmentionable Weather

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 26. August 2002:- Isabelle, France-2's TV-news weather lady - the only thin person besides the server-lady I can look at - is very apologetic about the weather to come. I don't think you ever see her if you watch 'Le Cinq,' which is France's export-TV. Paris' weather doesn't 'export.'

Anyway, on Isabelle's behalf, I too am very apologetic about the coming weather - I mean, between now and next Wednesday. Neither of us is speaking for mid-September or October, you understand.

The Paris part of France is not going to have really bad weather either, and Isabelle sort of glossed over this area, as kind of being of no consequence. But the rest of France is even on France-Météo 'chaos' list, which means the weather boffos have put out a serious warning.

Outside of Paris, even if, like gazillions of other happy holidayers returning from their month in the sun over the weekend, you do have to go outside because you have to return to school or work today - the warning says, 'don't!'

South of a curved line sloping downward from Dijon in the northeast to the Bordeaux area in the southwest,photo: cinema champo, marx bros, tati France Météo's warning says there will be 'doom' falling from the skies.

The only smallish safety 'bell' of fine weather is just above the eastern Pyrenees, near the Golf of Lion, with accompanying high frequencies of ultra-violet rays requiring a suntan lotion factor of 35-plus. Even so, if you are thinking of returning to Paris from the area of Montpellier, go south instead.

No 'beach,' but with cinema seats for three euros, the Marx Brothers are popular.

Yesterday's forecast high of 25 was not reached in Paris, so this means that today's predicted high of 21 might not be attained either. It might clear up and get a little warmer by Wednesday, but don't expect any heatwaves.

Despair not. Summer is not over until after the 'White Night' beginning on Saturday, 5. October. The mayor says so. Not over!

This Issue, Next Issue

Due to circumstances, not foreseen or otherwise, the editorial office of Metropole Paris is assured of an emergency new home, while its editor is not.

Some readers have remarked in the past that they don't understand how the editor manages to produce so much Metropole. The editor certainly doesn't know. This is 'ed's' roundabout way of saying there might be a bit less Metropole than usual for a couple of weeks.

This is a period of more turmoil than usual, already resulting in a smaller issue this week, with no feature article and no updated 'Scene' column. Two of these were stocked up for the last issue and should carry over for a while longer.

What is completely unclear is how - or where? - but mainly how the coming issue is to be produced. As of today, the worst-case scenario has the contents and equipment of the residence-office being split into three lots for three destinations. At the moment not one item has been packed because two of the destinations are unknown.

By next weekend the location problem(s) may be resolved. But even if it - or they are - there will be packing, moving, unpacking, setting up and plugging-in to do.

Stay tuned anyway. However it turns out, it is going to be a story that is not normal for Paris, and might even be a bit of an abnormal saga for Metropole.

Café Life

Repeat 'KultTour' To Paris

In 1952 Franz Joseph van der Grinten and three friends decided to get on their bicycles and ride them 647 kilometres from the lower Rhine to Paris, to acquire some 'grafiks' with whatever pocket money they had.

Thus, a collection containing prints by artists such as Goya, Maillol, Chagall, Picasso, Léger, Dufy and Henry Moore was begun. Today the works are housed at the Museum Schloss Moyland, which also hosts the world's largest collection of works by Joseph Beuys.

Fifty years after the first bike trip, Franz Joseph van der Grinten and 35 friends on bikes left Schloss Moyland on Thursday, 8. August, for a new 'KultTour' to Paris. They arrived at the Tour Eiffel last Monday.

The purpose of the two-week ride has been to recreate the original excursion, buy some more lithos of course, but also to be present for the opening of a small exhibition of photos and prints at thephoto: kulttour moyland in paris Goethe-Institut, called 'Volle Rolle' - named after the cardboard tube that was used to take the 'finds' of the first shopping trip home.

Members of the 'KultTour' last Monday. Photo©Stiftung Museum Schloss Moyland

I have been with friends from Germany, who have studied their print catalogues carefully, and watched them acquire prints in Paris - that left them looking like they had swallowed a fat canary.

For collectors who are art fans, collecting rare, original prints can be affordable - compared to zillions of dollars or euros for originals of paintings by famous artists. But this kind of collecting is a specialty, so don't bother asking me for 'hot' tips concerning the market in Paris.

The modest exhibition 'Volle Rolle' continues until Monday, 9. September, from 10:00 to 18:00, Tuesday to Friday. Free entry. At the Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes, 17. Avenue d'Iéna, Paris 16. Métro: Place d'Iéna. InfoTel.: 01 44 43 92 58.

Beachless Paris

Despite the predictions of dire weather situations in France, there have been modestly good weather spells in the last few days. This is fairly normal because the weather forecasts are too global to predict random patches of sunshine nearly every day.

I was at the Goethe-Institut in the Avenue d'Iéna last Wednesday, and the weather wasn't bad but I didn't get any photos except for one of an exceptionally serious warning to 'push the button' and 'wait for the green man' before crossing the street.

At the time, the traffic situation was in the pit of mid-August. There weren't even any bicyclists. So I went home with an empty camera, and it wasn't until Saturday that it occurred to me that this issue needs some photos.

It seems as if there has been a 'Paris Plage' effect. This was such a big deal that it seemed safe enough for everything else in the city that wasn't directly a visitor destination, to go into a slumber.

Posters that were around in July were still being displayed. Few new movies are being advertised, the 'rentrée's' big promos haven't started, and magazine covers have been - lame is a good word.

So, without much of a focus, I was in the Saint-Germain area, to see moviegoers lining up for the Marx Brothers. Some café terraces, if they were in the sun, were well-stocked with terracians.

A good part of everybody turned out to be in the Luxembourg garden, listening to some live afternoon music. After this, I decided to allow myself the luxury of a sitdown - to kind of pretend to be like everybody else.

After a while, I noticed another lounger and from the extremely relaxed posture, I wondered if it wasn't a familiar one.

On getting closer, I saw I was right. He was sitting on one of the park benches that are back-to-back. I sat down behind and quietly said, "Hey man, you wanna buy a watch?"

Dennis said, "What kind you got?"

We sat some more, with at least three palm trees in view, before deciding to go to a café, eat some free peanuts, and take a minor tour of the beachless Quartier Latin.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

I can't conceive of why you might have been somewhat lax about news of last Thursday's club meeting 'report.' Before doing anythingphoto: sign, interdiction absolue else, you can catch up with your club's 'news' right now by hitting this link to the "You Need To Speak Antarctican!" report - which now has Charleston placed in the correct state, thanks to Dana Shaw.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 29. August. The club's 'Saint's Day of the Week' next Thursday is Sainte-Sabine. The club's secretary intends to be at this meeting, even if this 'Sainte' isn't a lady.

Readers who want to become real club members can gloss over the meager details concerning this free club in eleven seconds by reading the large-sized Helvetica-type fine-print on the 'About the Club' page and maybe picking the virtual membership card right off the screen.

Joining the club - your club! - is almostphoto: les signaux as easy. Do it by being here! Keeping up with club 'news' is a breeze too - unless you forget. The reports about it are supposed go online right after the meetings, right after I finish writing them, slowly. If this actually happens this week, you can read the latest one in this magazine, which is online too.

Save 'Metropole Paris' as one of your favorite bookmarks to avoid mistyping its outrageously-long name every time you feel like reading a club report, or a regular edition like this one.

Metropole's Affiliates

The following product or service providers have chosen Metropole because their offers may be of value to you and I agree with them.

'Bookings' has extended their reservation service for a wide selection of Paris hotels. Check out their wider offers and make your choice long before your arrival in France. Try this one. Other Metropole readers have.

'HighwayToHealth' provides a 'city health profile' for Paris as well as travel insurance. If you have signed up for these services before you need them suddenly, you will benefit from them. I hope won't be the case, but 'Things Happen.'

'Petanque America' exports quality Obut boules from France and will ship them to you anywhere in the Americas - which will save you the effort of carrying them all the way from Paris. Be the first on your block to introduce the game of pétanque - or boules. Everybody can play this game, nearly anywhere - such as on any vacant lot covered with suitable dirt.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 6.35 - 27. Aug 2001 - The Café Metropole column began with another nearly forgotten breathless '33.7º C In Town.' The 'Au Bistro' column was skipped on account of August's boring non-news. This issue had one feature titled, 'Anyone for Tenting? Never Too Late for It.' There was a double-subject email feature called 'Killer Trees and Too Much Citron Pressé.' The update for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 30. August was called the "Walked 'Miles' To the Club" report. The two Scene columns concerned 'Final August Final' and the 'Fall Scene - from photo: sign, vins a emporterSeptember to December.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, "We're Camping Here!"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 5.35 - 28. Aug 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled 'Whoopee! It's 'Rentrée' Time.' What whoopee? The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was 'Sky-High Fuel Prices.' The lone feature of the week was titled, 'The Day Before the Dog-Days In the Luxembourg.' The Café Metropole Club update for this issue on 31. August, was called the 'Fifth Visit - Going On Sixth' report. The 'Scene' column's headline was 'More September Futures.' The usual four 'Posters of the Week' were on view too and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'Watch the Paint!' Watch the paint what? Sleep?

Countback To the Libération

General Dwight D Eisenhower sent an order to General Pierre Koenig, commander of the 'French Forces of the Interior,' known as the FFI. It said, "No armed movements are to go off in Paris or anywhere else." The commander of the Allied invasion forces did not want to get 'bogged down' in the city, or become responsible for feeding four million Parisians.

Without telling Eisenhower, General Charles de Gaulle ordered FFI General Koenig to seize the city, and told General Leclerc to ignore the Allied command, and shift his tanks toward Paris.

In Paris the police went on strike and 3000 armed gendarmes captured the Police Prefecturephoto: 25 august 1944 memorial, ffi on Saturday, 19. August. Although given an explicit order by Hitler to destroy Paris, General Dietrich von Choltitz negotiated a fragile deal to end hostilities with the FFI the next day.

This delicate transition was aided by the Swedish General Consul, Raoul Nordling, who sent emissaries through the lines to urge General Omar Bradley to divert Allied armies to Paris - so that occupying forces could surrender to regular troops.

General Bradley recognized the implications of the situation, and ordered General Leclerc to proceed to Paris. His 2nd Armored Division entered Paris early on Friday, 25. August 1944, closely followed by the US 4th Infantry Division, enabling General von Choltitz to formally surrender.

General Charles de Gaulle made his famous march down the Champs- Elysées a day later, on Saturday, 26. August - 58 years ago today. The fighting wasn't completely over, but the 'occupation' - begun on Friday, 14. June 1940 - was.
signature, regards, ric

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