Call for Beano 'List'

photo: cafe la corona, paris

The club's café meeting place, battered by gusty winds
and failing daylight.

The Big 'Wind of the Week'

Paris:- Thursday, 2. January 2003:- If I hadn't closed the window sometime during the night I would have had more rain on the face than I had. Window open or closed, I didn't have to move my head this morning to see blue sky. I didn't wait around for two minutes for it to be covered totally by overcast.

On account of today's rapid breezes this is what it did. Last night France and Parisians were warned that breezes were coming and they got here maybe a little ahead of time. They are pushing thick clouds across the country - the TV-weather animation doesn't show where they're going.

From the looks of it, they bunch up at the frontiers and, well, I guess they just pile up there. When they get high enough they topple over into Germany or some other place. They certainly don't fall back into France. All the stuff we get is new every day. If you can believe TV-weather news.

If you can, it claimed that December was the warmest in 50 years. Imagine - Parisians were basking on New Years Eve in 1952! To celebrate the anniversary, 450,000 of them were on the Champs-Elysées on Tuesday night - but TV here did not show this.

The operating all night métros, RERs and buses are thought to have transported about a millionphoto: terrace sunlight, mr ferrat party folks, but TV-news did not show this either. As far as TV was concerned, New Years Eve out on the streets of Paris did not happen.

Monsieur Ferrat makes sure the club secretary doesn't park on the café's terrace.

I was out of town anyway, minding a cat named Tiger. According to satellite-TV, Cairo TV showed Berliners doing crazy stuff and Londoners trying to do crazy stuff without doing it in Cape Trafalgar Square, and the 'big apple' dropped on a million people jammed into the Times Square area of Manhattan. But Paris was blacked-out.

It was still blacked-out when I got back to town yesterday, but this was because it was close to midnight. I took advantage of this by going to sleep - after eliminating 250-odd pieces of junk email - and vowed to 'do better' in 2003.

Ah, yes - the weather 'report' part of this 'report.' To continue, it will be the same as before, but it will get colder by the weekend. It might be kind of sunny for some periods of Saturday, but the exact time for this prediction is unclear.

Today is breezy. It is warm, but it is very breezy. Things are quiet on Rivoli when I get to it, but where it is open by the Pont Neuf, it is really breezy. There are not many people enjoying this freshness on the Quai du Louvre.

At the Amiral de Coligny corner, the breeze is so stiff that it is blowing pedestrians off the sidewalk into the Café La Corona. Breathless people are huddled in the café's bar area, trying to hide from doors opening, thrusting lusty gusts inside.

Patrick, the club's usual 'Waiter of the Week' quits 'plonging' café cups and spoons long enough to dry his hands for a New Years' shake. He tells me - the club's secretary - that there were six members present last week. I hope somebody kept 'regulation' notes about this meeting, whoever you are.

When I enter the café's 'grande salle' I see that it is two-thirds full of people blown-in off the sidewalks. I have never seen the place so full before. The airy room reeks of onion soup. So it should. Let this go down in history's 'report' - today in Paris is an official onion soup day.

The club's area has been cleared away for me to lay out the club's Parcheesi board. This vast space lasts about four minutes until a family group showing signs of severe wind-chill factor something or other appropriates half of it.

To this I do not object, because today is not an 'official' club day - the club's secretary is sort of 'on holiday.' Sort of 'on holiday' at the club, this actually is.

The first members to arrive today are Sharon and Elliot Medrich from Oakland, California. They have beenphoto: sharon, elliot medrich club members since 20. December 2000. They were at last week's unofficial meeting too, but did not actually meet the other six new or existing members, so they have no 'report' to make about the meeting.

Elliot and Sharon enjoy Paris in mid-winter in our warm café.

Instead they tell me about sleeping in Mussolini's not long but wide bed in a hotel in Italy. They would have seen some lakes there too if it had not been so foggy. They also say they will not visit the same New Years Eve restaurant for any future New Years Eves in Paris.

In contrast, they had a great time at Sacre Coeur on Montmartre yesterday, surrounded by the usual New Year's crowd of well-dressed Italians. I have seen them there on New Year's Day too. If it is foggy they can be a cheery sight in the gloom.

More people keep coming into the café for onion soup. Soups finished, they linger. Or maybe they are waiting for seconds. I guess I had better make onion soup the 'Soup of the Week' because Oakland has been 'City of the Week' before. Just for today, it'll probably be the 'Onion Soup of the Year' day.

Since I am on holiday, I do not keep careful notes for this report. Elliot thinks I should ask members to give the club restaurant tips, so a list could be made up for distribution to everybody. He says he will respond to any questionnaire the club puts up.

This is obviously the 'Idea of the Week.' If any readers or club members, even if you happen to be both or neither, care to send in lists of your Paris restaurants - I will promise not to bother you with any questionnaires. I know this sounds kind of lame, so I will make it 'official' - but, as ever, not a 'rule.'

Call for Your Favorite Restaurants

No members of this club are assumed to feel like buying all of the 74-odd Paris restaurant guidesphoto: cafe of the week currently in print, so be kind enough to send in the names of your favorites so that they can be put into a list that will be printed and handed out free to all attending members who remember to ask for it.

True news of the 1. January Champs-Elysées fête is found in Le Parisien (under café).

This will be a club-typical 'no rules' list and any sort of restaurant can be included, even if it is a snack- stand that you consider to have the best crêpes in town. Any café with decent café will be welcomed to the list too, mostly by the club's secretary.

The goal is to have an acid-test-proof list of about 50 restaurants or other eating joints. With this many, no list-contributor's favorite will be overwhelmed by other club 'listers' jam-packing it all the time.

There should be other details here, such as not omitting the address of the places, but putting all this in is too tedious. Do the right thing if you feel like it.

Today's 'Unofficial' Meeting, Cont.

After some more not taking of notes for this report, Sharon and Elliot parted from the meeting, much cheered by the lack of fog within the café, and continued on their way to wherever it is possible to go on a very breezy day in Paris.

Their departure left the club's secretary free to continue reading Le Parisien's reports about France's New Years Eve. To sum it up - it was not nearly as spectacular as the 'big one' of 2000, but with the free all night transit in the city it is easy to imagine that a great time was had by many more than usual, for longer than usual.

This may explain why - except in this particular onion soup eatery - a lot of smaller shops are still closed.

The Coming Club Meetings

When I checked my email last night, after eliminating 253 bogus messages and their rotten attachments, I found that club members Debbie Grale and Kent Parsons were keeping busy by plugging this club.

A reader of the Frommers.Com Web site wrote to them to ask about 'thingsphoto: empty glasses of the week to do' in Paris, and Debbie and Kent sent replies saying that Café Metropole Club members have a pretty good time by getting together informally on Thursdays in Paris.

I have been sent two URLs for this particular page - with just one included here. In case it has become out-of-date you might try hitting the main URL above. Frommers.Com also took the trouble to add the reference to their email newsletter - so...

Member's glasses, ready for re-use soon.

I don't mind putting in a plug for them. Back in 1964 I would certainly have found their 'Europe On $5 a Day' guide useful if five dollars a day was available at the time. I borrowed someone else's copy but everything in it was too expensive. Five bucks used to be real money.

Speaking of Which

The Web-server lady, Linda Thalman, has graciously agreed to serve as club host for the meetings to be held in Paris on the Thursdays of 9. January and 16. January - when I will be in New York with the intention of doing some exclusive reports for Metropole about Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

I am perfectly aware that as a responsible club secretary I should have mentioned this earlier, since the trip has been long-planned. I had a good excuse for not doing so, but it is irrelevant and of no longer of any importance.

For those wishing to join the club or for members' general interest, the Saint's name on next Thursday's meeting date is Alix. Excuses to all if this is a lady saint. The following Thursday's Saint's Day is Marcel, and will coincide with 'only 349 days left to go' in 2003 until TV ignores New Years Eve again.

Metropole's January Issues

The way the calendar works out, the first issue in 2003 of Metropole should have appeared at the end of the last week of 2002. Throwing caution out with the baby's bath water, issue 8.01 will appear conjointly with issue 8.02 and they will appear on Monday, 6. January.

This may be a multiple-week issue too, but some attempt will be made to add the features from New York mentioned above, by using nifty software for Windows. I hope it is nifty. I hope it works. I guess it depends more on whether 'I' work.

If not, expect issue 8.XX to appear online sometime around Monday, 27. January - just after the club meeting on Thursday, 23. January - which the secretary will host.

Paris' Winter Sales Start Date

I have been authoritatively informed that the traditional 'Soldes d'Hiver' begin in Paris on Monday, 6. January. It may even be true. If so, bring money.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can read the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page to learn how to become a member. One of these days this 'About' page may even include some mention that the club's secretary takes occasional holidays.

Ignore this 'About' page if you wish to - even though its information is next to useless. All you need know is that you can become a member of this online magazine's live, free and real club by simply being at one of its meetings in Paris.

Why Not, How, When, Where, What, Who?

This club's meetings begin in Paris at 15:00 on Thursdays and continue until 17:00, in Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'eTNT' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in other worldwide areas, even though club meetings are only held in Paris.

Show up with your own new 'Quote of the Week' or put up your hometown as 'City of the Week' or fabricate any other 'Things of the Week.' New true 'firsts' will be exceedingly welcomephoto: sundown, quai du louvre too, with 'first' being more necessary than 'true.' 'No-names' is an option you can also opt for if you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet. 'No rules' is no longer an 'exception.' They are not a 'rule' either.

Sky over Seine shows galloping clouds above, stalled traffic below.

For example, the club's secretary thought Amsterdam was dead-certain for 'City of the Week' some weeks ago. This week there is no doubt - Oakland has already been 'City of the Week' once so this week's 'City of the Week' award goes empty-handed. Zilch. Nada. Maybe we had the big 'Wind of the Week' instead.

What you have to say may be truly appreciated by the other members present, and there almost always are some, and if they are listening which they do sometimes - and by all readers of this online magazine, if they read this - if it should happen to be written here, as some of it is occasionally.

The café's location is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny - or - 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre-Rivoli, Pont-Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday from 15:00 to 17:00.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini