...Continued from page 1

On a whim, I entered the Fête de l'Internet tent in order to be frisked by the watchers. This was held inside the Hôtel de Ville last year, but I saw a file of citizens waiting to enter the building for some other reason.

Apple had the whole affair supplied with the latest Macintoshes, and it seemed as if no machine was untended. One young man offered to check Metropole for its readability by blind people and the site scored ten out of ten - but only after the operator had overcome the difficulty of Apple's new UNIX system, a key-layout unmatched to the system or the keyboard, PC software and an iffy connection with the testing software.

The city is making the Internet widely available, in centres for youths - for checking on job chances, and most public libraries also have free access.

From the Hôtel be Ville it is only a short bridge-hop to the Ile de la Cité, and in front of Notre Dame it seemed like a great number of people had showed up for Easter a few weeks early.

I took a pass by Paris' oldestphoto: resto apollo, rer denfert rochereau or second oldest tree to estimate its health. With its concrete props and decor of ivy it is hard to tell if it is alive, and it may be too soon because only a few buds are springing into green on other trees.

Going past the Cluny's mediaeval garden on the Boulevard Saint-Germain I tried to find a good angle for some tree blossoms, but couldn't.

The Apollo restaurant is next to the Denfert-Rochereau RER station.

A few blocks further west I came across the new FNAC 'digital' outlet near Odéon, and eventually found the Macintosh ghetto within it. There I had a friendly, bantering, conversation with a salesman for cable-Internet.

He didn't have it himself because he lives in a suburb without the cable - a suburb deemed by the press and Ministry of the Interior as being 'sensitive.' Too 'sensitive' to have community centres, accessible sports fields, and the cable? They've gotten more police instead.

While doing my wordless researches, 100,000 anti-war protestors were marching from République to Nation in the sunshine - following last Saturday's route in reverse with slightly higher numbers, bigger banners, better slogans.

Back in the quartier, I couldn't resist walking up Daguerre for the company of all the strollers and shoppers. This is how I met Dennis, who was on a mission to buy some dirt to fill the pots he'd bought in the morning.

He is starting a plantation on his balcony, which is about 30 centimetres wide - if it's the one I remember almost seeing. A few weeks ago he was talking about moving to a Daguerre-type neighborhood in Rome, but learned that prices are as high there as here.

The best part was standing on a street corner, slightly out of traffic's way, having a conversation that could have been without end, except for his mission to get some French dirt.

No Anniversaries This WeeK

As an exception and for the first time in several weeks, there are no significant anniversaries or birthdays for Metropole to celebrate this week. Instead, I may continue being 'wordless' for another week.

'About' Café Metropoleô Blanc de Blanc

The last report about the Café Metropole Blanc de Blanc was about its label and why it is like it is and why Allan likes it. Maybe it will fit on a small t-shirt.

Readers eager to try the Café Metropole wine made by Allan Pangborn have had to use cheques to acquire it. Allan recently wrote to say that the Moonlight Sparkling Wine Cellar Web site is being set up, and it will accept the usual cards as a medium of payment. Coming soon, once the bugs are ironed out.

Café Metropole Club 'Reports'

Hit this link to last week's 'Nutley of the Week' club meetingphoto: sightseeing boat, seine report. There were members from other states present, but New Jersey is on a roll that seems to put a new 'first' into every club report.

Of Paris' two 'banks,' the right one is ideal for the sun.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 27. March. There is no saint's 'Day of the Week' next Thursday. Instead it will be Mi-Carême, which translates as 'mid-Lent.' The dictionary says it can be dismal - which I guess fasting is, especially the middle part.

Practically all of the details concerning the club - actually only the club's address is useful to know - are handily placed on the 'About the Club' page. The virtual membership card on this page may be useful, especially if it is printed and laminated.

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

Issue 6.13 - 26. March 2001 - This week's issue began with the Café Metropole column's 'Ed's Little Tours.' But not this wordless year! The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was 'New Paris Mayor, Bertrand Delanoë.' There was one feature titled 'Spring' In Blois?.' The update for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 29. March was titled the "Could be Worse, Could be Green" report. This issue's 'Scene' columnphoto: sign, rue du cloitre saint merri belatedly had 'Spring Events Begin.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's 'Cartoon of the Week' had the caption, 'The Weather's Fault?' The Photo page was titled 'Looking for Spring.'

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 5.13 - 27. March 2000 - The week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Winter Takes a Spring Break.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was 'Multi-Demos In the City.' The feature of the week was titled 'A Kind of 'Grand Tour.' The Café Metropole Club update for this issue on 30. March was the 'New Members! New Members!' report. A companion feature about the club stated 'No News' Is Not 'Good' News.' Really lame. The 'Scene' column had 'Nuts and Bolts at Arts et Métiers.' Very exciting! There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon was captioned 'The Grand Tour Taxi.'

Hector's Boring Count-Down

Since this is a 'wordless' issue, the following remains somewhat unchanged word-wise, except for the numbers, which aren'tphoto: sign, la dernier goutte actually too exciting. But something has to surround this week's second 'sign of the week,' so no grumbling.

Whatever else happens, don't forget that Hector Berlioz will have his 200th anniversary in 263 days.

1803 was also the year that France sold Louisiana to the fledgling United States for the mere chicken-feed sum of $15 million. But if you spend 15 seconds to look up '1803,' you will probably fall on Hector Berlioz instead.

In his time Hector was not an especially popular composer. He started out as a medical student and later worked as a critic and writer, and it may be for these reasons that much of his music has themes from literature.

The number of days left this year is 282. This may seem like an excessive length of time until 2004, and still seems to be a long time until summer, which is 'officially' 90 days from now. Just around the corner.
signature, regards, ric

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