...Continued from page 1

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 9. January. The Saint's Day of the Week next Thursday is Alix. The Web-server lady, Linda Thalman, will be hosting this meeting and the following one on 16. January, while the club's regular secretary is basking in New York. Be warned that the server-lady firmly believes all new members should fill out the club's 'questionnaire,' entirely. Her notion of 'no rules' is somewhat inflexible.

All the needless details concerning the club - actually only the club's address is useful to know - are handily available on the 'About the Club' page. If you think the virtual membership card may be useful, you can try to peel it right off the screen and keep it next to your valuables.

Metropole's January Issues

Because this issue 8.01 straddles 2002 and 2003 it gets the double-number of 8.01/8.02, mainly becausephoto: cafe la corona 'Ed' did not want the magazine's 'year' to begin last year. To add to the usual confusion this double-issue may last a long time - until the next regular issue is slated to appear on Monday - about - 27. January - which will be issue 8.05.

The world-famous café where the club members meet.

For two weeks between now and then, Metropole's 'Ed' will be in New York. Some stories and other 'Café Life' may be added to the magazine from across the Atlantic, which may result in Metropole's only month-long issue, perhaps numbered 8.01-8.04. There may also be Café Metropole Club updates added, but if you want to sleep through January, go ahead.

This contradicts information posted here earlier, but planning has never been one of this magazine's major strengths. 'Ed,' who is also the club secretary, expects to host the club meeting on Thursday, 23. January, so its report will be added as usual - to this unusual issue.

Extra-Super Forever-Time Offer

Linda Thalman's 'Paris In Sites Newsletter' has been plugged here for several weeks now. While I was at the Cadillac Ranch recently, I noticed that new subscriptions were coming in nicely, boosting the status of my 'café-credits.'

Linda runs Metropole's Web server. On the side she produces a Paris In Sites newsletter and a companion Web site. Hit the first to subscribe and the second to see the fuller Web version.

Linda chats about language, tourism news, events and stories from and about Paris, France and some very foreign places. She also reports about her various travels to outposts in Essonne - most unordinary places, many with poor café. The newsletter is sent by email every month. Many Café Metropole Club members recommend it too.

The Web site version is more complete as well as being 'in color.' However, I only get the café-credits for subscriptions to the newsletter, so sign up for one in time for the next issue in January.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 7.01/02 - 7. Jan 2002 - This issue, unlike most others, began with the Café Metropole column's 'New York City Wrap.' Then the sole feature was titled 'Two Weeks In New York - Was It One Tour or 12?' Because of the mystery behind this, 'Ed' will be in New York again looking for clues. The update for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 10. January was called the "Nothing To It!" report of the week. The remainder of the issue was composed entirely of posters. No 'Au Bistro,' no 'Scene,' no cartoon, no mucha anything.

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago, Twice

Issue 6.01 - 1. Jan 2001 - This week's Café Metropole column was headlined 'Hello! New Millennium!' The 'Au Bistro' column was absent again. Instead, 'Ed' decided that you should know 'Why I Moved Here.' The Café Metropole Club update for this issue on 4. January, was oddly titled, the "Happy 2002!" report. This issue really shone with two 'Scene' columns. The first was headlined 'Not the Same Old Thing' and the second was called 'The New Years That Was.' The fourphoto: sign, interdit aux cycles et cyclomoteurs new 'Posters of the Week' were featured and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was titled 'The Café of the Year.'

Issue 6.02 - 8. Jan 2001 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Workout At Muscle School.' Au Bistro appeared again with 'Silliness, Folly, Strikes, Floods,' which we can still do without. A whole week after the fact, the issue's bored one and all with 'The 3rd Millennium On the Champs-Elysées.' The 'Scene' column mentioned 'Wide Choices' but the club update on 11. January was really wild with "They Gave Each of Us a Franc!" Then came the usual - but new! - posters of the week and 'Ed's' cartoon of the week had the caption of 'SOS Green Man.' That's how we were back in good old 2001.

The Count-Down That Isn't

This issue will be on the stands so long that its weekly 'count-down' feature will be meaningless before the next complete issue appears. Not only this, but I have no 'count-down' subject anyway.

Some readers may have the impression that they are the only ones to read this online magazine about Paris. Granted that some readers only look at the photos or the posters or even only at the cartoon - I still think it might be worthwhile that you know you are not entirely alone.

Unlike some megabucks Web sites, Metropole's readership increases slowly - generally showing annualphoto: sign, no horsemen reader increases of about 50 percent per year. Considering that Metropole started out with zero readers in February 1996, the numbers in early years barely exceeded four digits. Even with four, they were low digits.

This sign probably means 'no horse racing during club meetings.'

Frankly, the numbers produced by server-robots seem to be erratic, but they do indicate a rough trend. Let's take November as an example. It is as erratic as any other month and doesn't always show the highest numbers for any given year. In 2002 the robot tallied nearly 27,000 individual readers for this month.

A year earlier it was 18,725 for the same month, and in 2000 the number was 10,400. Older statistics were very confusing, but 1,980 readers were recorded for the month of September 1996.

It is also useful to remember that WWW stands for World Wide Web and not France-Wide or USA-Wide Web. Thus, in November of 2002, accesses to Metropole were recorded as coming from 95 countries, including three from Zimbabwe. But 373,100 were 'unresolved.' Not clear is whether this 'unresolved' figure is 'and, 'or,' or 'but' - because it is listed within the 'countries' section.

All emails from readers are appreciated. If they are not a big volume - and they are not - it makes it easier to reply to them. During the past year I have not been always able to respond as quickly as I would like to, and I hope this area will improve in 2003.

On occasion some readers, both new and long-time, spontaneously compose some very complimentary messages of praise which I guard as private treasures. My thanks are sincere for these.

The Regular Program

I hope nobody has been startled by the placing of this serious stuff above in a space usually unread because it is usually reserved for 'count- ups-downs-sideways' fun and boring chaff. Metropole is about Paris, but it is not supposed to be too serious - for after all even if it is supposed to be a 'feast,' there's no reason not to have it as a party.
signature, regards, ric

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