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Metropole's 'Help' Echos

photo: bootlegger bieres

Not a bar at all, this shop specializes in take-away beers.

Les Daguérreotypes - the Movie

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 27. October 2003:- I was beginning to feel bored with the pleasant weather we were having here in September and most of October, and now I am getting bored really quickly with the weather we now have - partly sunny, mostly cloudy, kind of cool, and a long wait until it's time to roll out the palm trees again.

Both Le Parisien and tonight's TV-weather news agree that tomorrow may be semi-sunny for some of its periods. The paper guesses the high temperature will be eight degrees, and TV votes for 10.

On Wednesday there should be some wind pushing up from the southwest. This will be good for clear-skies fans, but the damp air from the Atlantic should be a degree or two warmer. On Thursday the sun may be peeking out again, the breezes will be less noticeable, and the temperature will - maybe - be lower, at about 10 degrees. More of the same for Friday is predicted, with a greater chance of rain.

Speaking of rain, the area to the east of Paris is suffering from a drought. Since the beginning of the year rainfall has only exceeded the average in four months, with a serious deficit for the five other months. Washing cars or watering gardens is restricted, and farmers are subject to restrictions too. Freight barges using the Marne are having to lighten their loads because of low water levels.

Café Life

This issue is doubled with the previous one on account of 'Ed' being incompetent as a publisher. He confessed in last week's 'Café' column to this fatal flaw of character, with the headline of 'It's Not Goodbye.'

As long as it's confession time I may as well admit that 'Metropole Paris' has been broke for a longphoto: trees in color time. What has kept it going is the enthusiastic support of its readers, which has boosted my morale in times that were more difficult than the plain but everlasting 'just broke' times.

Some of Paris' trees are getting into an autumn mood.

During the past week this support has not faltered. Some of you have responded with encouraging emails and a good number of these have contained useful suggestions aimed at keeping Metropole online and being able to continue with its 'reports' from Paris.

Some emails contained so many suggestions that I couldn't take them all in - and I limited my replies to simple 'thank-yous.' While many of the suggestions are for good projects, most of these can't be launched overnight. For the moment I need to concentrate on immediate results.

Even if successful, nearly nothing real in life is 'immediate.' It's a good thing the Web really does operate worldwide 24 hours a day - at least, once something is online, it is always there for nearly 'immediate' viewing.

Metropole's 'Help!' News

Several readers suggested that I follow the example of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the United States. While PBS does receive some funding from the government and sponsors, it gets most of its funds from the public that listens to it or watches it.

Without these 'donations' supporting PBS and its programming, PBS would disappear. Listeners and viewers pay according to their interest in keeping public broadcasting on the air and according to their ability to pay.

As a Metropole fan you will be able to do this too. The application was sent in this morning and it is possible that all the nuts and bolts will be in place later in the week - possibly at the same time as the next Café Metropole Club report appears.

You will be asked to 'help' Metropole by making contributions though a respected 'third-party' system that accepts most cards via a secure contributions page. No registration or code names will be required - the experience will be like any normal purchase via the Web. There is also a facility for accepting cash, cheques and money orders. There must be something 'real' about this if cash is acceptable.

The company I expect to do this has been in the business of collecting shareware fees - should you think of Metropole as 'shareware?' - since the early 1990s. I have personally paid this company for shareware that I use - to make Metropole.

This means that they know what they are doing. They keep secret what needs being kept secret, just as Metropole keeps your secrets too. When you make a 'donation' you will receive an acknowledgementposter: film daguerreotypes, dir agnes varda in an email, with a 'blurb' written by 'Ed.' And if you contribute too much you will receive another acknowledgement without a 'blurb,' but written personally by 'Ed.'

There remains one question about this. I have seen examples where the contributors' names were listed. Those with Web sites had their URLs included as well. What do you think about this?

Meanwhile, I must return to examining the other ten good ideas - many of which are for making Metropole a better 'Paris' experience. Once the current obstacles are overcome, we can get back to doing what Metropole is supposed to be doing - being your online direct connection to Paris.

But, before I am overcome with overconfidence, if you have yet more ideas and suggestions for helping Metropole, send them along. Some of the ideas so far have been 'killers.' You never know - maybe you are harboring the absolutely unique 300-pound killer of a gorilla of an idea.

Les Daguerréotypes

Not that anybody is going to ask me, but I think it is kind of neat have had a movie made about us before we even knew who we are. This would all be true if it weren't total exaggeration.

All the same, on Sunday morning, when most of us had forgotten to recuperate the lost hour of spring, a dozen arrived at our little cinéma du quartier to see a showing of 'Les Daguerreotypes,' made in 1975 by Agnés Varda.

The film is a fine portrait of some of the people living and working on a 100-metre section of the Rue Daguerre, in the single block between the Rue Fermat and Avenue du Maine. The other 520 metres of the street were left out of Varda's Daguerre.

The butcher, the baker and the perfume-maker were main actors in the film, which also featured their customers, wives, other shopkeepers like the plumber, and the driving school - which is still where it was.

Some few shreds of the architecture are still with us. The butcher shop, after standing empty for a fairphoto: daguerreotypistas waiting for daguerreotypes film time, has been restored and repainted - but not red - and recently reopened as a trendy trinket shop. I guess slightly more than 100-metres were in the film, because Paris Accordéon is included, along with the boulangerie on the Rue Fermat corner.

Trio of Daguerréotypistas getting some cash together to see the movie.

Many of the film's personages introduced themselves. Most had come to Paris from 'the province' and they still had the accents to match. One had been in the Rue Daguerre from 1926 until the making of the film.

For a finale, everybody got dressed up for a gala evening at the Bistro 48. The main attraction was a magician, with black shoe-polished hair, who did most tricks in the book plus some extra ones. I forget how many knives he stuck in the box with his assistant's head inside it - more than a couple dozen.

After the film was over we went to the café Rendez-Vous on the corner and Dimitri showed off the four 78 rpm records he had found in the morning, at the marché des puces at Vanves.

Metropole's 'Partners'

Metropole's .COM area is handily gathered on the relatively sleepy '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 also has its spot 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 still new email address for 'Ric,' 'Ed,' and the Café Metropole Club's secretary continues to be ericksonr@wanadoo.fr. Please note it is your address book, so I don't have to run this change-of-address text ever week for the next seven years.

Café Metropole Club 'Reports'

Click this link to have a look at last week's 'Cold In Bogota Not Good Enough for 'City of the Week' clubphoto: jouets en bois, halloween 'report.' There was a middling turnout of members - but it wasn't until somewhat later that I realized all were Paris residents - making the meeting another 'first.' Of a sort, as many are.

Halloween is supposedly losing popularity in France, in some places.

Minor details concerning the club can all be found grouped on the 'About the Club' page, because there are no more than a few even if there is room for many. The virtual club membership card on this page is always available for free, so long as you print your own. The card is valid worldwide even while you sleep.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 30. October. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Sainte-Bienvenue. Whoever this saint may have been, she does not seem to be related to Fulgence Bienvenüe, the engineer who was the father of the 'métropolitain de Paris.' By the time this day arrives, the club's secretary will be happy to see it.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 7.44 - 28. Oct 2002 - This issue's Café Metropole column headline was 'Brief Heaven for Ducks.' Metropole's wine was featured again with 'Moonbeam and the Slug' - Wine Lore from 'The Shed.' Other than this, this slim issue had only the club's update on 31. October with the 'New 'Food of the Week' First' report, instead of anythingphoto: sign, rue niepce about Halloween. There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon was captioned, "Bring Your Sister!" Oh?

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 6.44 - 29. Oct 2001 - This issue began as usual with the Café Metropole column's unusual 'Indian Summer' Is Still Here.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline asked, 'Are You Ready for Canned Pastis?' The week's feature was titled, 'A Perfect Season for a Long Tour.' This week it feels like it was in the 'good old days.' The update for the Café Metropole Club's meeting on 1. November was titled the 'Change of Scene' report. The Scene column was back with 'Two Big 19th C Exhibitions.' There were the usual four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's 'Cartoon of the Week' was captioned, "It's Trick or Treat Time!"

The Sub-basement of the Countdowns

For the regular version of this wildly popular feature, turn to last week's Café page, and subtract seven days from all numbers except the dates.

The number of days left this year is 65 - now a lot less than last week. Sooner than we expect we'll be thinking about standing elbow to elbow in front of cheerily freezing department store windows gaily illuminated for Christmas. Instead, I suppose we'll decide against braving the chill.

The Quai François Mitterrand

Yesterday, on the anniversary of the birth of the late Président, a section of the Quai du Louvre - and possibly the Quai des Tuileries - was formally renamed the 'Quai François Mitterrand.' The report in today's Le Parisien isn't too precise, mentioning, "Une portion du Quai du Louvre qui longe le musée national." In fact, the Louvre overlaps the two quays.

In addition to the family of François Mitterrand, many long-time political comrades and other personalities attended the ceremony, with Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë giving the main speech. Incredibly, this was interrupted by Front National sympathizers shouting slogans. Five were detained by police.

The morning ceremony lasted just over a hour, with a small number of Parisian spectators, and TV-news crews standing by. The plaque was unveiled. There was some emotion, but one of the participants noted that it was, otherwise, 'cold as a duck.'
signature, regards, ric

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