The Resolution for 2OO3!

photo: cafe le st remy, bar, brasserie, 1 jan 2003

At the only café in Saint-Rémy, you take the only
café available.

'Ed' To Take a Powder First

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 6. January 2003:- The weather started out innocently enough on Saturday with a forecast for partly cloudy, partly sunny skies, with the temperatures to top out at three degrees. On this day 'Ed' planned to get this issue's poster photos, on account of the miserable rain on Friday.

Late in the morning - there is no 'early in the morning for 'Ed' - small snow flakes were fluttering down. Nothing for me to worry about - snow seldom sticks in Paris - there will be sunny periods by afternoon.

By noon it was difficult to see across the street and the top of the Tour Montparnasse might as well have been in the Alps for all that could seen of it.

Well then, I thought, I'd better go and get the February 'futures' from the Tourist Office on the Champs-Elysées, so that I can take the poster photos in the afternoon. On the way, I saw that north-facing posters were defaced with snow. 'It'll melt away by mid-afternoon,' I told myself.

But on the métro's line six to Etoile, where it crosses the Seine, the Tour Eiffel was invisible. At Etoile, right beside it, the Arc de Triomphe was nearly invisible. Some visitors - some few - were taking pictures of each other, pretending they were in Moscow.

The going was tricky - very slippery. But the wide avenue was easy to cross because there weren't many cars around. There were more staff in the Tourist Office than visitors. From inside it, outside looked like nearly night.

There's only so many blizzard photos that will fit in here - rare as they may be - so I only went as farphoto: blizzard, 3 cars as the métro at George V before submerging again. I must of have been daydreaming during the underground ride because I was somewhat surprised to find it still snowing when I emerged at Denfert.

Three stages of the blizzard on Saturday.

This 'blizzard of the week' came on the fourth day of the New Year. Except for causing the closure of all the parks and cemeteries, Paris took it in its stride.

But Saturday was also the day chosen by hordes of seasonal holidayers to return to the city by car, and they ran into far more severe conditions on the roads in the departments surrounding the capital.

Practically all of the major routes were blocked by slippery snow, ice, stalled highway trucks - which in turn stalled all other traffic. In Essonne, where I'd spent New Years, about 15,000 people in cars were stranded all night.

Some were housed in gymnasiums, but many others could not be reached - and road crews were severely hampered because of all the stalled cars and trucks on the roads leading into Paris. Secondary routes, if they could be reached, had even less attention paid to them, and were just as impassable.

The airports were forced to shut down too, stranding even more travellers. With the fall of night on Saturday, ice covered what snow didn't.

Temperatures have stayed at zero, but the snow has moved to southern France, sprinkling white fluff along the Pyrenees from Biarritz to Perpignan, and as far east as Marseille and Corsica.

For the following days, snow is successively predicted for the west coast, the entire centre, then the southeast - with maybe a rise to plus temperatures and sunny periods by next Friday.

Last Saturday's 'blizzard' in northern France was caused by temperatures only two or three degrees less than forecast by France Météo, plus an unpredictable but exact combination of other totally random factors.

Even though this is about the weather, you will probably pleased to learn that the 'governor' is looking for somebody to blame for Saturday's fiasco. All the various 'investigations' that have been announced by those in charge may be able to produce an authoritive report sometime around Easter.

But if you are too impatient to wait, the simple reason for the grand schmozzle is that nobody figured out how to tell thousands of motorists that they were heading for impassable roads.

Café Life

No More Brown Water!

Usually I have some miscellaneous comments to make here about life in Paris, but this week I can't think of anything to say other than café tastes better sometimes in Paris than it sometimes does outside of Paris.

One night last week I was watching a movie on video and a character in it made a comment about coffee. She said, "This coffee tastes like brown water!"

Here and now, 'The Resolution' for 2003! From now on any time I am served 'brown water' insteadphoto: snow, av gen leclerc, 4 jan 03 of proper café in Paris I am going to protest. A buck for a thimble of it is simply too much. For 'brown water' even 50 cents is too much.

My own main street, 30 minutes before getting to Siberia's Champs-Elysées.

Since I no longer drink beer, I am not going to protest about the near uniform lousy beer in France. Good beer is available, but it can hardly survive the way it is mis-served. The same applies to café. There is no lack of the good stuff - it only tastes like 'brown water' because nobody objects to it.

None of the above comment concerns Metropole's own wine, which tastes wonderful because is have been made right. Putting it in a suitable glass requires no special expertise.

About Café Metropoleô Blanc de Blanc

Two or three weeks ago Allan Pangborn sent some photos of the intricate machinery used for makingphoto: cleaning winery windowsCafé Metropole Blanc de Blanc. And for wine fans there was some positive news for sparkling grape fanciers in New York State.

The wine-making tool Allan has been using to wash windows.

Allan has just written to say that things are pretty quiet at the winery. Quiet enough for him to be able to use one of its major pieces of equipment, as an aid for washing windows. This can only mean that spring cannot be far off in eastern Washington State. Or, maybe, he wants clean windows so that he can see the impending winter better.

Café Metropole Club Notes

Tap this link to last week's windy 'Call for Beano 'List' club meeting report. This was a quiet meeting, made possible by the attendance of less than 15 club members.

Sharon and Elliot Medrich proposed the idea that readers and club members send in names of their favorite restaurants in Paris - to be shared with all other club members and readers. This is to be sort of the club's own guide, selected exclusively by its hungrier members.

This prompted club members Amy and Tim Cissell in Richardson, Texas, to respond a day later with two of their favorites - La Truffière in the Rue de Blainville and L'Excuse in the Rue Charles V.

The club's secretary lauds this initiative but has to confess he hasn't worked out the details of thephoto: snow, arc triomphe, visitors, 4 jan 03 Café Metropole Club's list of members' favorite restaurants with Metropole's 'Ed' yet. But it is a good idea and will be taken further later this month when 'Ed' returns from his travels.

Nothing will stop visitors from getting thir souvenir photos.
Continued on page 2...
Go to page : 1 - 2
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
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