"Yuk!" to Mushy Green Peas

photo: espresso cafe van, mud

'Ed' finds 'Mud' café van in Manhattan in time for this report.

Fame Comes To Port Moody

New York:- Saturday, 17. January 2003:- True to her word as she ever is - despite rain, sleet, Paris' winter sales - 'Les Soldes d'Hiver'- and lost gloves! - the Web-server-lady Linda Thalman played hostess and temporary club 'secretary' for the second week in a row on Thursday, and thoughtfully sent the following report about it to the regular club secretary, who is 'wintering' in New York City and test-driving eye, ear, nose and throat medical services, so he will be able to not only see but also hear in-flight movies on his trip back to Paris to be on time for next Thursday's meeting.

For those concerned about the secretary's health, another visit to a famous hospital this morning in sub-freezing Manhattan revealed that the secretary can keep his ear after all, take off the bat-wing bandage, and stop taking all the dern antibio pills.

In rapture over this turn of events, the secretary promptly left the first-come-first- served clinic and toured the farmer's market in nearby sub-freezing Union Square - mainly to not drink the hot apple cidre on offer and salute the statute of the Marquis de Lafayette, who gazes over the New York Film Academy building and herds of lonely squirrels.

Again without further ado - the latest Café Metropole Club meeting report by the server-lady, known for short as Linda.

Thursday's 167th Club Report

Paris:- Thursday, 16. January:- I spend ten minutes not finding the new gloves I bought last week before hightailing it out of the Cadillac Ranch to catch the RER train to Paris. On the train I find them in my bag where they should be.

photo: hot apple ciderArrive out of breath at the café La Corona two minutes early, but chat with the staff in the café's bar section, so I get to the Club one minute late in the café's 'grande salle' section - to greet Sheila Archer from Brooklyn, New York.

She is coming down with something close to the 'peste' - actually the French word for 'plague' - and wants to get back on a plane, with her luggage that was lost for one and half days, and go home.

Bundled up vendor of Union Square cocktail is unable to say whether it is tasty or not.

I suggest stopping by a pharmacy and then calling in at Air France to see if they'll change her special cheap-o ticket to get her back to her Brooklyn bed pronto.

What look like 'civilians' wander in and out of the 'Club' area, but they return and it is Terry Gardy and his daughter, Jennifer Gardy that join us. They are from Port Moody, B.C., in really far-off western Canada - sort of in the outer suburbs of Vancouver, we learn. Everyone votes for Port Moody as the 'City of the Week' because the Gardys are the first club members ever to come from there.

Out come the Club sign-up sheets and I hand out pens to all so that the forms I've brought along can be filled out from A to Z. No namby-pamby 'no rules' from this secretary, temporary or not!

Bill Bortz, from Washington, D.C. arrives. We quickly learn he's an attorney. A taxphoto: statue lafayette, union square attorney. A US government tax attorney in policy and not in enforcement. Or should I write 'collection?'

Before I can bat an eye, Joe Fitzgerald waltzes in and we are shaking hands and introducing everyone.

Lafayette may want to know you are back. Find him in Union Square.

My notes are worse then Egyptian hierogliphics - is this spelled right? - but the discussion covers subjects as varied as Francisco Hidalgo the photoghaper, to the 'big dig' in Boston, 'Virgin Mary' tub shrines in Quebec, taxes - of course, and the origin of Port Moody - possibly a surveyor of yore.

We also get onto geneology of our families and find we've come from Ireland, France, Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Switzerland and some other territories once familiar but now unknown.

Terry says one of his ancestors was murdered and burned in his own fireplace in his own castle in France by an unnamed king. How's that for history?

Bill asks if he should worry about getting UK pounds before heading for London and there is a resounding "no!" Just put your plastic in an ATM in London and spend, spend, spend.

Long-time member Doug Fuss saunters in about 16:00 and it is like old home week, as I haven't seen him in ages. Another round of hand-shaking and intros and we're off again on a multi-thread discussion.

Somehow - nobody knows how these things get started - we get on to traffic and traffic circles, driving and how 'wonderful' it is to do it in France.

The quote of the week might be - "You can't make a four-way stop work in France which is why there are so many traffic circles."

Cameras come out. I've got my 'out of date' normal point/click otto and then develop printsphoto: pure maple syrup, $39 camera and Terry has a fancy Canon 'S40' that does everything but make tea. He promises to send digital versions of the 'Photos of the Week,' once back in Canada at the end of the month.

Trying desperately to keep up with half a dozen conversations, I ask what other members have been talking about while I've been talking to other members.

Some people like Maple Syrup a little - these are for those who like it a lot.

The topics range from wine, Texas, jet-lag and 'soldes' to telecommuting and mushy green peas in England. These are not the 'Food of the Week.' Everyone says 'yuk' in unison to mushy peas. I think we all agree that you do not find these in French cuisine!

We chat about buying apartments in Paris for quite a while because Jennifer is 100 percent sure she wants a place in Paris to make her own once she's finished her Ph.D in an obscure subject relating to computers and biology.

Even without a club-like 'democratic' vote, I think everyone wants a 'pied a terre' in Paris. Joe already has one and I think it is Bill who says someone he knew had bought and sold at least one apartment in Paris and it was a snap to do. Then everyone else disagrees, with stories about how it isn't so easy, and what to do and not to do when buying.

The tip of the week comes from Terry who suggests going to the Cour Saint-Emilion at Bercy to wave to your friends and family via one of the webcams that are out there snooping on everybody. Neat idea.

Possibly a final quote of the week - "The best view of Paris is from the top ofphoto: strand book store Montparnasse Tower" - because it is the only place you can't see the tower. This a quote from I don't recall which member who was quoting another unknown source.

The Manhattan book store a lot cheaper than most others - especially for 'unfindable' books.

Okay - every city has its 200-metre high ugly bits, but all the members today agree Paris is their favorite city. Many of its ugly bits are no worse than anyplace else.

At the end bills and coins are showered beside each drink's ticket - covering the cost and more of cafés, wine, soft drinks and cafés as we close down today's club meetimg.

What fun it is to spend money without actually shopping when you're having fun!

Yukon-like Notes, from New York

For readers and club members, other than Terry Gardy and Jennifer Gardy, who may be unfamiliar with the 'City of the Week,' Port Moody, you may be interested to know that it was the first pick for the location of Vancouver, in Canada.

The London-based investors' syndicate that caused the Canadian Pacific Railroad to be built, picked Port Moody for its western terminus because it was 'close enough' to the deep Pacific Ocean.

However, when the rails arrived in Port Moody they were greeted by real estate hustlers and gin mill owners from 'Gastown' - Vancouver's first official name - who proceeded to bribe everybody working for the CPR more than the folks in Port Moody had bribed them - to extend the rails ten miles further west, so everybody could make a real estate killing in Vancouver. As the server-lady has written above, 'Isn't history cute?'

I, personally, had nothing to do with any real estate deals in Vanouver. But just to see the truth of the matter, I once journeyed all the way to Port Moody to check it out for its potential big-city status. Sadly to say, since it never got a chance to be Vancouver, it has stayed modest 'Port Moody.' But it has a wonderful view of Port Moody's harbour that is possibly better than Vancouver's view of its own.

For a closing New York note, I can recommend visiting New York's Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital on 2nd Avenue at 14th Street if you are ever afflicted by ears damaged by in-flight movie systems. If you do not have US-style medical coverage, be sure to have lots of cash handy. Even with medical coverage, have patience if you cannot arrive early.

Nearly needless to say again, there are no club photos from last Thursday's meeting - because its reporter, the server-lady, is still buying rolls of film or waitingphoto: hebrew national knockwurst for them to be developed. Either or both. However, club members have been sending photos of the club meetings - Thank You All! - but they are not getting through the limited access I have to my regular email account. There will have to be an updated update.

The next club meeting will be held in Paris as usual, but with the surprise return of the club's regular secretary - who cannot actually tell you what the saint's day next Thursday will be because New York calendars omit this vital information. Let the record show that the date should be about 23. January, which is, in this year 2003, a Thursday.

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.
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Waldo Bini