...Continued from page 1

I introduce Winnie and then try Sambamurthy Thyagarajan's name. It takes about a whole weekend to say. "The whole enchilada," he says and grins.

Winnie, Heather and Tee-ag do their best for the 'Not Photo of the Week.'

The members discuss recent new books about Paris. Mentioned are 'One Hour from Paris' and 'The Seven Ages of Paris.' I am still trying to figure out how 'enchilada' is spelled, and Tee-ag is writing it in the air across the table from me, but from where I'm sitting he's writing it backwards and I can't make it out.

To get out of trying to read it frontwards by looking at him doing it in the mirror behind me, I declare it to be 'Group Photo of the Week' time.

Nobody will go out on the terrace where winter has it under total control, so I go outside and shoot the members through the window. This is foiled by a lightening sky, so it is re-shot inside the café - but at such short range that nobody can put any 'Mardi Gras' into it.

Heather then pitches Carnavalet as one museum more than worth seeing a lot of, but mentions that reading French in it improves the experience.

Then Winnie says she is surprised Paris still has Christmas decorations in place. Tee-ag says, "But the lights aren't on." No one cares. Keeping Christmas on view until Easter is all that counts.

Winnie asks Heather for second-hand clothes locations. Not for the second-hand designer clothes - but the any-old-kind. About the fleamarket she says, "They were so sweet I just had to buy something."

"Best birthday I ever had," Winnie says.

"Today?" Heather asks.

"No, last Friday," Winnie says.

Tee-ag says of three things he doesn't care for in Paris, the third is poor musicianship in the métro trains. He wonders if it is a 'rule' that many platform performers are okay or even great, but the ones on trains aren't.

As Winnie makes her exit she says, "There was Brassy - a lovely woman of a certain age," and waves gaily on her way out through the café's grande salle.

The remaining members promise to return too. Outside, it has not been snowing for 90 minutes. Pretty much of a piffle for an 'Orange Warning.'

But on the way over to Châtelet with Heather, it is damp, damp, damp, and the drivers are stillphoto: chili and tripes menu acting like all their windows are broken and they are freezing, not giving a centimetre in the battle of the crosswalks. It is a time of day to beware.

Today's menu at the club's café, La Corona - chili and tripes.

Tonight's TV-weather news reissues the 'Orange Alert' for Friday. The picture is very clear. The reason I was up before dawn was to let the antenna man in to activate the thing. His 'fix' and ten metres of antenna cable have done the job.

Metropole's February Issues

Even though there will be no more issues appearing this month - you need not worry about the lack of Metropole Paris issues in February. Despite Chinese New Years, it is believed it will be a short month. You can expect that there will be four issues, unless 'Ed' wins the Loto and moves to Australia.

Paris' Winter Sales Start Date

I am continuing to hold off on the announcement of the date of the 'Soldes d'Hiver' for 2004. These will be, however, preceded by the 'Soldes d'Eté' this year.

Repeat Call for Your Favorite Restaurants

Be kind enough to send in the names of your favorite restaurants 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.

This initiative is receiving a good response, but if you haven't sent yours in yet, please do so before 2005. Something before then this list will be compiled, and your favorite should be on it.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can read the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page to learn how to become a member. You can learn other things from this page too, but not too a great deal.

Forget this 'About' page if you want to - even though its information is next to useless. All you should 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.

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

This club's meetings begin - sometimes promptly - 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 'BONB' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in other worldwide areas, even though club meetings are usually only held in Paris.

Bring your own new 'Quote of the Week' or mention your hometown as a possible 'City of the Week' or fabricatephoto: sunset without blizzard any other 'Things of the Week.' New true 'firsts' will be exceedingly welcome too, with 'first' usually getting preference over 'true.'

'No-names' is an option you can also opt for if you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet. 'No rules' have creased being an 'exception.' They are not a 'rule' either anymore. There are other 'exceptions' so it pays to keep on your toes, I think.

Today's blizzard looked about the same at sundown as at sunrise - all clear in the skies over the city.

For example, the club's secretary thought today's no-snow new weather might be for a city that already has had a 'Blizzard of the Week.' This week there is no doubt - this week's award goes empty-handed again. Another zilch. Nada. Another dern no 'Funky Weather of the Week' day.

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 you ever read this - if it should happen to be written here, as happens sometimes, surrealistic or not.

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

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