...Continued from page 1

I did slither fairly close to the final corner. The racers were coming one by one, but without being closer to the corner, it was impossible to see them in advance. When they were there, they were instantly around and immediately followed by a team car, followed by a chase car. If you blinked you didn't see it.

Advertizing was everywhere. It is a really big show. Some say there are five seasons in France - four others and the Tour de France. Others think it is an annual geography lesson. This year there are 22 teams with 198 racers. They will circle France clockwise in 20 stages, and cover 3427.5 kilometres.

'Paris Life - No 10'

Laurel Avery is a native of New York, who recently moved to Paris from Santa Fe, where she worked as a freelance graphic designer. Not long after arriving here Laurel became a Café Metropole Clubphoto: laurel avery member, and she assures me that she will actually read some of Metropole Paris some day.

Fulfilling a long-time desire, she sold everything and moved to Paris to be a full-time artist, to pursue both abstract mixed-media painting and medieval illumination work, which she hopes will pay the bills before starvation sets in. Laurel shares her view of the Tour Eiffel with her dogs Paris and Pippin, who are also learning French.

Laurel Avery dosen't get fizzled by Paris, she gets even by writing about it.

To keep friends and relatives informed about 'moving into' life in Paris, Laurel has been writing a 'journal.' This issue contains number 10. Numbers one through nine are also on hand, but we thought we would start with the latest. In this issue see 'How Did Van Gogh' Do It?'

Metropole's 'mailto:' Change

Please read the following with more than your usual attention. The new email address for 'Ric,' 'Ed,' and the Café Metropole Club's secretary is henceforth ericksonr@wanadoo.fr. It may be ugly, but most of the time all you need to do is click it wherever you see my name, and a ready-to-go email form pops up.

To be on the safe side, even if you never intend to write, make a note of it and maybe put it in your address book. For doing this, I promise that if you never do write, I will not reply.

If case you have not read this important note carefully, do not worry. I will repeat it one way or another 3499 times.

'About' Café Metropoleô Blanc de Blanc

Allan Pangborn, the maker of the Café Metropole Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine says that it can now be ordered online through the Moonlight Web site. It is really real, finally.

Now that online ordering is possible, you will also be able to read the ongoing story of the wine on the Moonlight site. On this end I've added an 'About Metropole's Wine' page that will tell the entire history of the story, plus it has a link identical to the URL above so that you can place orders easily - which I hope you will do.

Allan recently sent me a photo of a boxcar load of new empty bottles he received. He is going to need the extra storage space soon, so buy a case or two today. Please don't return the empty bottles to Allan.

Café Metropole Club 'Reports'

Click this linkly slightly lightly to get last week's 'Cityless of the Week' clubphoto: pickup truck of the week meeting report. The so-so weather helped produce calm meeting, with veteran members who had no new 'City of the Week' to offer, and only one write-in saying Buffalo isn't so bad.

Since this issue has no 'Fiat 500 of the Week,' please accept this European 'Pickup Truck of the Week.'

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 10. July. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint-Ulrich. In my trusty saints-book, this one is 'not found.' Nor is it anywhere else except in my antique Brockhaus, where I track it down to meaning 'rich inheritance.'

But, a better source is the club's very own membership list. Here it is, member 228 - Ulrich Diederich, who lives in Houston, Texas. No relation to the 'Saint of the Week' of course, but a true coincidence if there ever was one.

A mere couple of other details concerning the club can be found tidily grouped on the self-contained 'About the Club' page, because there aren't more than a couple. The virtual membership card on this page is still free though.

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 6.28 - 9. July 2001 - The Café Metropole column was titled, 'The Big Yawn of the Week.' The 'Au Bistro' column fell afoul of something or other. The feature of the week was titled "So, Chen, You Are In L.A. Now?" and was by Dan Bloom. The issue's other feature was, 'Dave Barry Didn't Eat Here - Is It True?' The Café Metropole Club update for this issue on 12. July had the 'Bump' of the Week' report. Since it was summer the Scene columnphoto: sign, max height 350 was titled, 'First, the Fête - Then, the Beach.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' right on time and Ric's Cartoon was lamely captioned, 'Le Tour 2001.'

This Was Metropole Four Whole Years Ago

Issue 4.28/29 - 12. July 1999 - This skimpy double issue began with the Café Metropole column's 'Goodbye and Hello To All This.' The 'Au Bistro' column was titled 'I'd Walk a Mile for a Baguette.' There was no feature because I had just moved to Paris from the Cadillac Ranch, and was trying to find a dentist. There was no update for the Café Metropole Club meeting because the club didn't start until October. The Scene column's contents were timely, with the 'Last 'Armada du Siècle.' There were four summer-type new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's 'Cartoon of the Week' was captioned 'Bastille Day Every Day.'

Final Tuesday for 'Mardi Noir?'

The disappointing news to all those intending to visit France for its vast selection of summer festivals is that casts and crews have been on strike, over unemployment issues, recently modified by France's employers' federation.

The immediate result has been the sudden cancellation - so far - of a couple of important festivals, right at the beginning of the incredibly rich summer program here.photo: sign, max width 300

Tomorrow is 'crunch' day, when there is supposed to be a general strike and demonstration in Paris about the issue, on the eve of the festivals at Avignon and Aix.

As of this evening's TV-news, the Minister of Culture has said concessions are in the offing, but until the performers and crew members scattered around France discuss this, the future of this season's festivals remains 'iffy.'

Many smaller towns have a serious financial dependance on these popular once-a-year festivals. The economic consequences of the disruption of the festivals goes far beyond the future unemployment payments of performers and stage workers, who have precarious employment situations at the best of times.

For Indefatigable Countdown Fans

No 'count-up' is planned in here for the Rolling Stones' concerts in Paris because they are happening now. After becoming infamous for conducting the longest silly count-down in the history of the planet - by holding Metropole's own record-breaking 'count-down' to the year 2000 - further distinctions along these lines are, hereby, declined.

With absolutely no minimum fanfare, the number of days left this year is 177. This may not make it seem like an overly long time until 2004, but who knows for certain besides my calendar? Otherwise it is nearly no time at all until fall, which is 'officially' only less than a quarter-year from two Saturdays before last.
signature, regards, ric

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