Trendy 'Food of the Week'

photo: group photo of the week

From left, the 'Group Photo of the Week' - the club's secretary, himselves

''Where are Your Friends?''

Paris:- Thursday, 24. April 2003:- Today's news from the weather front will be brief because it is not especially interesting and the forecast has no space for any Hawaiian shirt climate, not even imaginary.

I can give you two versions because this morning's Le Parisien prediction isn't the same as tonight's TV-weather news forecast. If you want warmer and colder, take Le Parisien's. Oops! Wrong day's Le Parisien.

Right day's Le Parisien is the same thing - colder and warmer. Both sources say there will be rain on Saturday. The paper says tomorrow will be partly sunny at least, while TV claims it will rain.

Both agree on 20 for a high on Friday, but diverge quite a bit for Saturday. Take the paper's forecast because it calls for 21 against TV's 16. Then, while they agree on a high of 18 or 19 for Sunday, Le Parisien predicts a cloudy day bracketed by rain to the west and the east, and TV called for partly sunny.

Tonight's TV-weather news didn't go as far as Monday, but Le Parisien does. It predicts weather identical to Sunday. Maybe TV didn't bother for this reason.

I am not going to complain. As reported elsewhere in this issue, we had three glorious Hawaiian shirt days last week and I'm going to hold these in my memory for a long time - maybe years - like I remember 1976.

Just as the weather is nothing special, neither is today's meeting 'report.' It is similar to one three weeks ago when all the new members who intended to become 100 percent bona-fide members changed their minds and stayed away in droves. On that Thursday, 3. April, all long-timephoto: louvre terrace members stayed away too and the club's secretary had a meeting that I don't remember too clearly.

There. That's the essential. No need to read further about this week's club meeting.

Non-members on La Corona's terrace watching the Louvre.

After the usual ride from Montparnasse to Châtelet on the métro - the Saint-Michel station has re-opened! - and a bit of looking around to see if the Rue de Rivoli might be a 'typical' Paris street, the actual high point of today's meeting came quite early on at 15:05 when the week's 'Waiter of the Week' asked, "Where are all your friends today?"

Since these were the only spoken words to record in this report, I declare them to be the 'Quote of the Week.' There are no other 'Things of the Week.'

Luckily I had brought, in addition to all the regular club pens and club booklets, my glasses which I had cleaned while riding the métro, plus a copy of today's Le Parisien and a copy of this week's métro newspaper, 'A Nous P@ris!' The exclamation point is theirs, not mine.

This was a lucky move. Usually this paper isn't still available on Thursday, because it begins its distribution in métro stations on Sunday nights and they all are gone by the time I wake up. Plus, you have to spend a ticket to get one - unlike the free tabloid newspapers 'Métro' and '20 Minutes.'

'Lucky move' too, because this week's issue deals with a French word very much in mode these days - 'tendance.' It has several meanings, but it is mainly used to mean 'trend.'

You have to be really careful with this because its other meanings don't have anything to do with trends. 'Tendency' and 'propensity' come to mind, and it is close to 'tendentious,' which leads to the adjective of it in French, 'tendancieux' - having a tendency, a bias - ah - 'especially a controversial one.'

So I look through 'A Nous P@ris!' for the '12 pages de mode spécial tendancieux.' It seems like a jump from 'trendy' but I'm willing since there are no members to beguile me with tales of their 'Cities of the Week.'

One thing it says is that everything 'trendy' now comes in small models, packages, and these cost 30 to 50 percent more than the regular size. 'Prix rikiki,' because these days 'small is bel et bien beautiful,' all in the good cause of 'MO-BI-LI-Té.'

The big thing in France these days, is being able to sniff out true 'trends.' It is, 'everywhere' - in agencies, advertising, fashion stylists and record companies, all with their 'trend' experts, their 'trend' detectives.

It's a darn tricky job. Today's trend is already over and tomorrow's is all - new, more modern, better than before. This is according to 'A Nous P@ris!' and then it drops a shoe - 'do today's trends predict the future?' Can anybody be certain?

No doubt about it - 'A Nous P@ris!' is a self-proclaimed breaker of codes for trends, every week! It isphoto: papers, booklets, cafe critical, it can tell Paris' sweet young things - so long as they ride the métro late Sunday or early Monday - what is 'in' and 'out.' Showing off your bellybutton, for example, is no longer a trend. As a 'tendance' it is 'out.'

Everything a club secretary needs to pass the time except members.

The high priestess of 'tendance' is Marie-Christiane Mareck who hosts the 'Paris Modes' show on the cable-TV channel 'Paris-Première.' She is quoted as saying, 'if you are the only person wearing something, you aren't trendy.'

Obviously loners are losers. But in all this, there is no indication leading to the names of anybody who creates trends, except maybe Jean-Paul Gaultier, or Alexander 'Le Génie' McQueen, or Isabel Marant.

Trend creators are by definition, not trendy - but this doesn't appy to the names above, so true trend-makers are unknowns. Because they are so far out in front nobody can see them.

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