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It's Not a Holiday

photo: reflection synagogue, rue de la victoire

Reflection of the synagogue in the Rue de la Victoire.

It's Not Goodbye Either

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 20. October 2003:- This is a 'holiday issue' that isn't. It began as a small but regular issue but this morning I realized that the cash register is so nearly empty that I have to do something about it right away. If a couple of items had been a bit further along before I started 'doing something' this afternoon, they would have been in this issue.

But this has been exactly my problem. Doing new issues most weeks, and not doing much very seriously to make sure that I can keep on doing new issues. Letting vital things slide for almost seven years has finally caught up with me. I am sitting on the bottom of a dry barrel.

This means that future issues will not be 'holiday issues' either, even if they fail to appear. I will be engaged with farming for bread, and this will take a priority until there is something substantial in the barrel again - until the light at the end of the tunnel doesn't look so far away.

I have never been especially clever about making money, but continuing 'Metropole Paris' for so long without making any must be some kind of dubious achievement. What isn't as dubious is the number of readers the magazine now has, and the consistant loyalty of some readers who have been following the adventure since the beginning.

Don't get me wrong, if you stepped on to the deck of this wobbly ship last year or last week, you are just as valued as the readers who have been on the voyage for as long as 'Ed.' Staying on board will help, because it is Metropole itself that may keep the whole enterprise afloat.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for all of your encouraging emails. Thank you, all members of the Café Metropole Club.

Advertisement for Myself

While I borrow this title from Norman Mailer, I do not intend to be so long-winded. 'Metropole Paris' was begunphoto: resto coin gourmand because I thought Paris needed a regular chronicle. At the same time I wanted to produce a publication for which I would use all of my skills - writing, drawing and graphics, and photography.

The neat restaurant Au Coin Gourmand in the Rue de la Victoire.

I had done all of these before, for many other publications, but never all at once. A skill I added was editing, by necessity, and not always perfectly. In fact, it was one hat too many to wear - and gives me a fourth thing to be self-critical about.

You won't need to be a genius to quickly notice that I claim no skill at all for management or business. I guess this makes me less than a renaissance man, or less than clever for not substituting management for graphics or business acumen for photography.

But I have no real regrets. I prefer working with graphics, and trying to capture imagined images. Writing is not easy but it can be fun. Drawing is easier for me, but it had fallen out of favor because, before Metropole, I did too much of it for too long.

So, there it is, what I do. Spread it around wherever you can. I am for hire. I will do anything except things I don't know how to do.

If you prefer that I take no holidays from doing Metropole, send me your ideas. Everything will be welcome and considered seriously.

At Long Last, the Weather Report

Although vitally important, I have downgraded this item down the page to here because weather in the immediate future is not going to be wonderful. Tonight on the TV-weather news the lady said it will be like 'average for late November.'

To be a bit more precise, we have three partly sunny days coming up. By 'partly sunny,' the interpretation could be mostly cloudy. The weather video animation was pretty animated and it was hard to tell whether clouds outnumbered partially-hidden sunballs, or they were just put in because somebody likes yellow for contrast.

Regardless of how the sky turns out, the temperatures are not going up. The TV-weather news is at odds with today's Le Parisien here, with the paper suggesting that degrees of warmth will rise from nine to 12, while TV's tendancy is the other way - from ten to nine.

My suggestion is that hats, scarves and gloves will not be misplaced if you have them with you at all times you intend to be outside. There are also restaurants here with skimpy heating, so avoid sitting near doorways and windows without nearby radiators.

Café Life

Matt's Back

In addition to incomplete features and other random items, there is Matt Rose, who was recently featured inphoto: decor rue le la victoire Metropole for his 'Mail-Art' expo that continues until Saturday, 1. November. If this mention rings no bell, check the recent Café Life column.

Today's plug is for Matt's literary efforts. While having a café with him last week he convinced me that by putting in a link to the articles be contributes to Art - the Magazine, readership for both Metropole and Art - the Magazine will explode. You can prove Matt right by clicking on the link and then on 'Paris,' where you will find Matt's pieces.

An authentic but rare piece of décor still left in the Rue de la Victoire.

In fact, keeping an eye peeled in general for Matt's efforts with a pen are not amiss. The magazine section of the New York Times for Sunday, 21. September has another of Matt's reports. This one is about Alfred, who has been living in the arrivals lounge at Roissy's terminal one for about 15 years.

Bus 38 Gets WiFi

It should come as no surprise that Paris' Bus 38 - Gare du Nord to Porte d'Orléans - has been picked as a WiFi test-bed, because it was about the first bus line in the city to have its own Web site.

This new development was mentioned here recently, but now it is official that you'll be able to test its WiFi capabilities from Wednesday, 29. October until Friday, 31. October. A bus plastered with a horizontal heart-shaped logo will be parked for one-hour periods at major stops along the route from 8:30 to 19:15 on the three days.

In case you have no portable with wireless access, the bus will have eight computers available for riders going nowhere except on the Internet. As mentioned before, the RATP's WiFi partner in this trial is Naxos, which is associated with some of the new technology's other big players.

Tabacs On Strike!

Today was the first time in the history of France since the invention of tobacco that 'Tabacs' have gone onphoto: trinite church strike. This was done by about a reported 90 percent of tobacco-product retailers throughout France to protest the government- inspired 20 percent price hike today.

The unusual move, partly in anticipation of a New Year's price increase of another 20 percent, was mainly because of the loss of revenue expected by 'Tabac' operators. Ones located in border areas are already suffering from loss of business on account of cross-boarder shopping.

The Sainte-Trinité church at the top of the Chaussée d'Antin.

Tobacco dealers also fear that the high prices in France will make it a target for black market suppliers. So far, customs authorities say most of the smuggling involves cigarettes going to Britain, but as prices rise here, France could become a major target. The underground trade could become so lucrative that dope smugglers switch to a product with lesser penalties than narcotics.

Metropole's 'Partners'

Metropole's .COM area is handily gathered on the relatively middle-aged 'Partner' page. Check out this page every week, if for no other reason than the 'Photo of the Week,' which it will only be on view for one week.

Metropole's long-time affiliates are on this page too. The Café Metropole sparkling wine is also on it, with a link to its own permanent About Wine page. Both pages can be accessed from the blurbs on the left, and sometimes right-hand columns, on many pages.

Metropole's 'mailto:' Change

The formerly new email address for 'Ric,' 'Ed,' and the Café Metropole Club's secretary remains ericksonr@wanadoo.fr Write if you find work - for me.

Café Metropole Club 'Reports'

Pop this link to have a look at last week's "Einstein is Worried About Us" club 'report.' There wasphoto: cafe metropole wine a largish turnout of members - some new too - possibly because they knew it was the club's birthday and the secretary did not.

Minor details concerning the club can be found neatly grouped on the 'About the Club' page, because there are no more than a few. The virtual club membership card on this page is still available for free, so long as you print your own. The card is valid worldwide 24 hours a day.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 23. October. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint-Jean de Capistran. This is very clever. The saint's book fails to mention this one at all, but puts him in another list under 'C' for Capistrano, while the calendar spells it without the 'o.' Maybe a reader can tell me if swallows return there on this date.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 7.43 - 21. Oct 2002 - The Café Metropole column's headline was 'Drizzle On My Head.' Unlike this year, there was an article titled 'Your Club Turns Four (Three!)' And Metropole's wine was introduced with 'Grape Days for Café Metropole, the World's Only Drinkable Online Club.' The Scene column was replaced with 'Le Mois de la Photo 2002' - More Cheese.' The club's update on 24. October had the "Complex Philosophical Question" report. Therephoto: sign, rue de la victoire were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon was captioned, "Pure Breton Cola!"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 6.43 - 22. Oct 2001 - This issue began as always with the Café Metropole column's 'Hello, Goodbye - Indian Summer.' The 'Au Bistro' column was headlined, "Put an End To the Beginning!" The week's feature was titled, 'Maybe Not the Last Day of Fall.' The update for the Café Metropole Club's meeting on 25. October was titled the 'Rare 'Calm' Meeting' report. Another club feature was titled 'Important Club Alert - 'No Trick, No Treat, No Fooling.' There were the usual four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's 'Cartoon of the Week' was captioned, 'Euro- Alert for Robbers.'

The Kingdom of the Countdowns

If you have the feeling that you are about to read the text below yet again and would rather skip it, this is your warning to do so. Only the numbers of 'days left' have been changed.

According to Jim Auman, Hector Berlioz, formerly known as the face and baton on France's last 50-franc note, isphoto: sign, pietons traversee obligatoire having the 200th anniversary of his birth on Thursday, 11. December. After not having found fame in France for his music, he died 69 years later, 131 years ago.

Jim added, 'Hector remains an outstanding figure in French romantic music. He was typical of the period, particularly in his literary interests. Beginning as a medical student, he eventually entered the Paris Conservatoire. During musical slumps he earned his living as a critic and writer, which won him few friends.' The anniversary is 53 days from now.

The number of days left this year is 72 - now a whale of a lot less than three months. Soon we'll be standing elbow to elbow in front of cheerily freezing department store windows gaily illuminated for Christmas, counting the long months until next summer, which might be as soon as 2004.
signature, regards, ric

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