...Continued from page 1

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 5. September. The club's 'Saint's Day of the Week' next Thursday is Saint(e)-Raïssa. The club's secretary intends to be at this meeting, even if this 'Saint' is a lady or not.

Readers who want to become real club members can gloss over the meager details concerning this freephoto: quai du louvre, sunday 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.

The Quai du Louvre - with a rare gap in traffic.

Joining the club - your club! - is almost as easy. Do it by being here! Remember that reports about meetings are supposed go online right after them, right after I finish writing them, slowly. This actually happens every week, so you can read them 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 wellphoto: cafe danton, odeon 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.'

One of the many cafés near the métro Odéon.

'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 6.36 - 3. Sept 2001 - This issue began with the Café Metropole column's 'My Holiday Postcard.' The 'Au Bistro' column mentioned 'Paris Buses Get Own Way.' This issue had one feature titled 'Looking for Clichy, Imagining Batignolles.' There was an update for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 6. September, called the 'Firsts Overload' report. The week's 'Scene' column asked, 'Are You Ready For the Rentrée?' The usual four 'Posters of the Week' were on view and Ric's Cartoon of the Weekphoto: sign, rue de l'echaude had the caption of 'Postcard from Dimitri.' This was featured again during the summer, prompted by Ludwig's unswift response.

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 5.36 - 4. Sept 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled 'Time to Oil My Skates.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was 'Gas-Pump Blockade.' The Café Metropole Club update for this issue on 7. September, was called the 'Fuel Crises Hits Paris & Short Club' report. The 'Scene' column's headline was '1st Open de Pétanque.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'Back-to-School Strikes, Again.'

To the Ends of Past Summers

In olden times I had the pleasure of passing my Augusts in Spain, with my feet in the warm and crystal-blue mother of all seas, nearly under languidly waving palms, with month-long periods of luxurious near-total bliss and a few mosquitos.

However, although I didn't know it at the time, in 1997 distasteful returns to real life took a somber turn for the worse. The event on Sunday, 31. August, five years ago, whichphoto: sign, rue des beaux arts is remembered this weekend was the fatal car crash that killed Lady Diana and Dodi al-Fayed near the Pont de l'Alma in Paris.

Personally, my return to Paris a year later promised a future less rich than the past, and in 1999 there was another combination of events that probably amounted to the pit-of-pits of summer endings. The only bright spot on the horizon was Paris getting out of the 20th century a year ahead of the rest of the world.

Mid-summer of 2000 was marred by the disastrous crash of a chartered Concorde while taking off from Roissy. It has taken until this year for the flights of the Concorde to resume.

Last year summer was peaceful enough and the end of it seemed safely out of the way, when on Tuesday, 11. September, a coordinated gang of lunatics attacked targets in the United States, by using commercial passenger jets as guided missiles. The worldwide fall-out from this horrible event is still with us.

For what I hope are obvious reasons, there are no 'countdown' number of days back to any of these gloomy dates of mid- or end of summer. While the events can be remembered, there is no good that can come from 'celebrating' them. Maybe we should consider abolishing summers though.

Now that I have thoroughly depressed everybody, I may have some good news in the form of a positive 'count-up' to an event next year, that may begin here next week. Of course, if you have one too, send it in.
signature, regards, ric

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