''It's a Beautiful Evening''

photo: group, tomoko, steve, daniele

The 'Group of the Week' - Tomoko, Steve and Daniele.

''And I'll Be Drinking Outside''*

Paris:- Thursday, 10. July 2003:- It may be a 'first,' but I don't feel like checking up on it. The 'first' being that today's weather is what the TV-news and the paper predicted on Monday. Did I write that it was supposed to be 30 degrees today?

Or was it a few degrees less? I guess there isn't much difference between 28 and 30, if there's no wind and the air feels a bit - um - tropical. It is definitely a 'Hawaiian shirt day' so I put on one of my two versions and cruise down to Gassendi and then turn left and glide along the pavement between the two parts of the Montparnasse cemetery, under the ample shade of the big plane trees.

But first - tonight's forecast, which is short and simple. Except for a bit of cloud on the angle of thephoto: full drinks channel, Friday through next Monday are dominated by ever-increasing sunballs. Temperatures, in order of the days, are supposed to be 28, 25, 26, and 32, for Bastille Day on Monday.

Going into the métro at Raspail - even wearing a Hawaiian shirt - is like being in a bakery in winter when the dough is rising. It is almost a relief to get on the train, especially after it starts slamming through the tunnels, pushing used air around like an underground tugboat.

A day requiring a variety of the waters.

This is a fleeting sensation. Coming out of the underground at Châtelet is like rising to the surface from the bottom of a pot of boiling eggs. Admittedly this slight relief is fleeting too. The Rue de Rivoli feels like a warm day in Arizona, with Amazonian jungle overtones. There can be no doubt - it is really summer in Paris this summer.

The wait for it has certainly been long. Since spring, at least. Anybody with a grain of sense will be at the Butte-aux-Cailles pool today - tomorrow and the day after.

Today's Club Meeting

This starts off with a mistake by the secretary. The four people sitting at the club's tables are not potential members or members whose names I've forgotten - they are complete civilians, and they seem to be discussing the terms of a divorce.

I never mind civilians in our spot if they are within minutes of finishing a late lunch, but lawyers together with about-to-be recently married people, are not koscher.

So I sit down right beside them at the club's auxiliary tables, and begin entering the statistical information in the members' and 'reports' booklets. Member Steve Camera-Murray sits down across from me and asks me what I'm doing.

The 'statistical information' is the issue's number, the meeting's number and the date. I always write 'Thursday' with the date, even though meetings are always on Thursdays. Then I write in Steve's name.

He asks me why I do this. I say I do it so that, if I ever bring the official members' club list up-to-date, I can add the names of existing members who attend club meetings - even after becoming members - so that if they ever need an alibi they can use club records to prove that theyphoto: steve camera murray couldn't have possibly robbed a bank on the day and at time the police think Steve did.

One of the men at the next table moves one of the blank legal pads away from the influence of our table. Steve says, "I spend a lot of time in churches," and adds, when I look puzzled, "Because they're made out of stone, and are cooler."

Steve thinks Picard has superior air- conditioning, as well as frozen food.

Another of Steve's beat-the-heat tricks is to visit Picard, the frozen-food chain of shops. He mildly complains that they don't sell ice cream in cones - only in boxes of them, or by the litre. He says some air-conditioned shops are okay too, but the security people can be annoying.

The contentious divorce people leave at the same time as two ladies arrive. They sit down in the club's legal department. After all, the club does have its share of members who are attorneys - luckily.

Daniele Dupuis is here with Tomoko Yokomitsu. Daniele puts in New York City as a hometown, but was born in France, and lives part-time in Paris. Tomoko's hometown is Osaka in Japan, but she has lived in Paris for 25 years. Daniele is in the process of moving from Quebec City, possibly to Ireland, and Tomoko is at the club because she thinks its members may speak English, which she wants to practise.

In taking in this information I fail to note who has brought who, but at the very least Osaka becomes the 'City of the Week,' restoring this honor to the club after having had it absent for a meeting. Tomoko even says she visited Osaka as recently as last November, which makes it a more really real 'City of the Week.'

Tomoko is an actress and this is her main reason for practising English. Not many plays and movies in Paris require Japanese speakers, although I saw a part of a movie recently on TV that had a lot of Chinese in it. Set in the 13th arrondissement, it was about a French guy, played by a French guy, who wanted to become Chinese.

Tomoko explains she was in a one-man show at the Bataclan in 'Marciel Halluciné.' This was onstage as a 'one man show' and she was in the film that ran as a backdrop. She was in another film, mabye with David Soul, called 'Hitchhiker.' She had two lines in it and is very proud of them.

All of this is wonderful. Tomoko is the club's 'first' actress member as far as I know. If Dimitri would only join the club some day, it would have two actor members. He just got paid for being an extra in a new Eric Rohmer film, and after seeing his pay slip, he knows why actors and stagehands are on strike in France these days.

Daniele shyly narrows down her New York City residence to Elmhurst in Queens. My goodness, this is nothing strange or wierd. It is next door to Jackson Heights and not far from Corona, wherephoto: tomoko yokomitsu the Marx brothers once lived. Back down Roosevelt Avenue towards Woodside, there's the Cuban sandwich place, and Donovan's, which has pretty good fish-and-chips, Irish style..

She is not at all put off by my warning that Ireland is nowhere near as warm - or as cold - as Queens or Quebec City. She thinks Dublin is the air-conditioned capital of Europe because it seldom gets warmer than 20 degrees there.

Tomoko fondly remembers the two lines she spoke, but doesn't tell us what they were.

Meanwhile, she s getting around Paris on a bicycle. This causes Steve to exclaim, "Have you seen driving in Cairo?" He claims Egyptians do it by audio-sensory vision.

Tomoko agrees, saying she has a cousin who is still living who lived for four years in Cairo traffic. At this point in the 'report' notes there is a water drop that has seeped through the page, acting as sort of a end- of-paragraph, beginning of a new paragraph marker.

Tomoko resumes, by telling us that she received a letter from a fan in Oklahoma, concerning a movie she was in 20 years ago. This fan - is no relation to this club's members in good standing, who represent Oklahoma.

Readers and members should remember that Steve is able to attend club meetings because he works, via the Internet, on California time. Thus he was free to seek, but not find, 4th of July festivities in Paris. The US Embassy is totally out of bounds - and has been for years - so Steve, after trying some likely spots - out-of-date ones, found in an old Metropole issue - ended up at a McDonald's.

His 'Question of the Week' is - why does McDonald's quarter-pounder weigh 280 grams in Paris, and maybe in France too? This is like the 'Pulp Fiction' question. The answer is, "Because it's metric!" "I don't know," is not the correct answer, you might recall.

Nobody will listen to the club secretary's explanation that '280 grams' is not any kind of a "quarter-pounder.' It is in fact, metrically, more than a half-pounder.

Steve must have gone to about 50 of the McDonald's outlets in Paris looking for the 4th of July. He tells us the one at Opéra has, 'iPods!!' Instead of eating one of these, you can listen to music on it.

Tomoko backs up the club secretary when he points out that the transistor has been around for a long time - longer than portable phones even - and these, when applied to radios, can also be used for listening to music, like on radio FIP or TSF-FM, the all-jazz station.

However, from the look on Steve's face, I gather that an 'iPod' is a different kettle of fish of some sort, and a transistor radio or a simple Walkman are no longer 'à la mode,' or 'tendence,' if you want to be fancy - or are otherwise inedible.

We have, by now, successfully taken the 'Group Photo of the Week' out on the terrace of the café, wherephoto: daniele dupuis it is kind of warm and stalled motorists take great interest because they think we may be more famous than we are. As it turns out, the 'good' photos turn out poorly and the 'throw-away' photos turn out acceptable.

Daniele circulates on a bike in Paris, using visual vision.

Shortly afterwards money is distributed to today's 'Waiter of the Week' and belongings are gathered and goodbyes are said. It is getting to look like more of the new members might be regular club visitors, because they live in Paris. This is to be welcomed, because everybody knows so much more than the club's secretary.

Since some products and companies has received their free plugs in passing, it is only fair to include the URL for Tomoko's theatrical agent here. Some members are already famous before they join the club.

The Portable Phone 'Story of the Week'

One the way back to the Metropole editorial office after the club meeting, and passing a man walking down Rue Daguerre talking into a portable phone - overhearing, "It's a beautiful evening; I'll be drinking outside."

About the 'Café Metropole Club' About Page

photo: empty drinks, cashBeing a member of this club is more fun than being its secretary. If you are relaxed enough you can read the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page. It will tell you next to nothing about the club except how free it is. But if needless information, even free, is your goal, I suggest that you read something else in the magazine, which is free too.

There is only one other fact to retain in memory. You can become a lifetime member of this online magazine's live, free and real club by being at any one or more of its meetings in Paris, without even taking a driving test.

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

Club meetings begin - in exception to the usual Paris 'rules' - about 15:00 on Thursdays and continue until 17:00, in Europe's only Zone of Universal Plage Time - which is really 'CET' for short and not 'ZUPT' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in 12-hour areas of the planet. Club meetings are only held in the Eurometrical Paris part of it, mostly.

Bringing a 'Quote of the Week' or concocting any other 'Things of the Week' are not 'rules' to be blindly obeyed. True 'firsts' are more than welcome too, with 'first' worth far more than 'true' if they are not untrue. This is a general rule rather than a club ex-'rule' or informal 'exception.'

If you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet, or 'opted-out-opted,' please tell the club's secretarygraphic: club location map before he makes you mildly famous, but less famous than some members who bring their fame with them to share with you. 'No rules' have ceased being an 'exception' or a 'rule' longer ago than anyone can remember. There are some other 'exceptions,' but really, none worth remembering.

Talking in any languages at meetings is okay. Dancing may be permitted too, but only the server lady has tried this. Whatever you say will be honestly appreciated by the other members present, if they are listening, which they really do sometimes - and by all readers of this online magazine, if it should happen to be written here, as some of it is, sometimes.*

*The above paragraph is unchanged since last week on account of today's 'weather of the week' being tropical and having an evening fit for drinking outside.

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

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