Elvis Costello

photo: group, christina witsberger, susanne chaney

Small 'group of the week' allows for names. On the left, Christina Witsberger and Susanne Chaney on the right.

Is Not a Club Member, Yet

Paris:- Thursday, 19. June 2003:- I forget what the forecast was, but yesterday was a beautiful day, for summer, only four days off, here. This is the same as last week was - Wednesday was great.

Today was supposed to be great too, but too much greatness isn't good for the soul, so we have had cooler overcast this morning, which gradually has given way to general sunshine - and rising humidity.

All in all, as it is just about to end - this has been the best summer we've ever had during a spring in Paris that I can remember. Easily as good as in 1976. Well, maybe, almost. Who can remember that long ago?

Now, today, it is vital to know what the weather will be like on Saturday. Specifically, on Saturday evening, because it will be the Fête de la Musique. Gene Kelly won't be here, but there will be music in the streets all over town. We don't want any droopy weather for this - the evening with the longest shadows and the shortest night of the year.

The TV-weather news lady has let us down again, slightly. She said Friday will start off with some clouds, but these will give way to general sunshine, with a high temperature of about 26 C. After saying it will be ten degrees more in Marseille, she quickly slipped in that Saturday and Sunday will be the same, if not warmer.

For confirmation I turn to Le Parisien's weather maps from this morning. For Saturday they've written, 'Voilà, c'est l'été.' It says this is part of the lyrics from a song by Les Négresses Vertes, which I guess means we are to have pop weather, to coincide with the first official day of summer..

It doesn't matter what type of musical weather it is just so long as the sunbeams are there - here! - so we can all put on our Hawaiian shirts and rubber flip-flops and groove around all night long.

To aid this, the RATP will run métros on six lines plus RER 'A' and 'B' within the city, from 01:45 to 05:30 onphoto: citron presse Sunday morning. The other aid will be an all-night single ticket costing 2.50euro 3 sign, as sort of an unlimited 'Festif' pass. The ticket will be useable starting from 17:00 on Saturday to 07:00 on Sunday, and will be good for all suburban services too.

Today's experimental citron-pressé, turns out to be a bit sour.

Today has also been the occasion of the probable final 'Mardi Noir,' held for unknown reasons on Thursday. There have been the usual street demonstrations in Paris and elsewhere, but with less manpower than last week. Whether these actions will resume in September depends on what the government will do between now and then.

So, therefore, on today's last 'Jeudi Noir' for a while, I get a free métro ride to Châtelet. Underground, the weather is a lot muggier than on the surface when I leave Montparnasse, but just about the same when I emerge on the Rue de Rivoli.

There are few terrassians lining the edges of the Quai du Louvre, and just as few on the terrace of the club's café, La Corona. The 'grande salle' is nearly empty except for some old ladies having a loud, good time, in the club's area. By chance - by great good luck? - I get a copy of the métro's 'A Nous Paris' coming out of the Châtelet station, and it has a close-to- complete list of the musical events for Saturday.

I am reading the musical listings for east Paris when club member Christina Witsberger arrives from Washington, DC. Although she landed a few hours ago she says she is not jetlegged.

To hook my memory of her relationship to the club, she reminds me of her 'Question of the Week' from 2001. She wanted to know why, whenever she ordered a citron-pressé, she always got a full glass of squeezed, concentrated lemon juice.

I never had an answer to this question. Therefore, she orders a citron- pressé and it arrives only half-full, which is a bit more than correct, but with only one sachet of sugar.

Christina is a bit surprised by the weather. She left Washington in hopes of cooling off in Paris. "At least," she says, "The Marais is not as swampy as Washington."

On her last visit, Christina was looking forward to hearing some Chopin, but this time mentions thatphoto: food of the week, meringue she has never been to the top of the Tour Eiffel. This reminds her to ask about the difference between Elvis and Johnny Hallyday.

Merinngue is the 'Food of the Week' whether anybody likes it or not.

The difference is, I think - but my carefully thoughtful opinion is interrupted by the arrival of club member Susanne Chaney, from Fairfax, California. She is staying the Rue - which? - but says, "We're not eating in any of those places." The hotel, at least, 'has a bar.'

She and her husband have also discovered a novelty bar in the Rue Monsieur-le-Prince. "Drinks come in baby bottles with nipples on them," she says, and thoughtfully, "The DJ didn't quite make it."

She wants to know about today's front-page photo in Libération, and says, "Yesterday there were balloons flying all over Paris." She saw them from the restaurant 'George' on the top floor of the Pompidou Centre.

Next, the ladies compare maps. Christina's was published in 1988, and Susanne's is so new that it carries the name of the Seine Quai named early this week after François Mitterrand. "Forty names changed a year!" she says.

Christina says her plane was full. Susanne says her's was full of 'French people.' According to the ladies, the airlines have fewer planes in service these days, so over-booking is a serious problem again.

Waiting to check in, Christina says that people come down the line offering cash for giving up seats. Before I can fantasize about this too much, she says they are airline employees, trying to bribe passengers to take later flights - that are also possibly over-booked.

Instead of getting to Paris, you might be able to stay in a Newark airport hotel for two weeks, and cash in $400 per day.

Christina foils this by buying a ticket with a firmly-booked seat, and then going on the Web to the airline's site and switching her seat for another, better one.

Susanne then shows us her violently-red Swatch watch she got in the Place Vendôme. This is what club members do instead of wasting their money in the Ritz bar across the place.

On music, Susanne says, "I don't want to know anything about Moby Dick, I want to see Trance." She has memorized all the details about the last Fête de Musique - her last, in 2001.

On bars, Susanne says, "You know the portions are really small. Two French people sat down, orderedphoto: susanne trip book two cocktails, drank 'em and left without paying." Then without any apparent gear-change, Susanne says, "Diana Krall just got engaged to Elvi Costello."

Susanne's 'trip book,' volume 3, contains a third of the names of - everything! - she has ever seen and done in Paris.
Continued on page 2...
Go to page : 1 - 2
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini