...Continued from page 1

These are my minimum expectations for your magazine about Paris. For these, you can add your contributions today by clicking on this link to the new 'support' page.

I do not have enough megalomania to have 'maximum' expectations. But there are features I would like tophoto: cafe au rendez vous des amis see added to Metropole. Many readers and club members would like to ask me where to eat and drink in Paris - but are polite enough not to because many know I don't do much of either.

A warm place to eat 'with friends.'

Some readers and club members would like to see a listing of inexpensive but neat hotels, or a listing of short-term rental apartments. You would like to see Metropole add practical guide features. Personally, I would like to add interaction in the form of quirky quizzes and contests - and feature pages filled with accounts of your experiences in Paris, to make Metropole more 'your' magazine.

Your support contributions for Metropole will be used to keep the magazine online and available to everybody everywhere. If it happens that there is a 'surplus,' then there will be a more, better, Metropole too.

Finally, if you have any ideas and suggestions for helping Metropole, send them along. Some of the ideas sent so far have been 'killers.' You never know - maybe you have the absolutely glorious technicolor 300-watt lightbulb of an idea.

France Seeks Contributions from Speeders

Just in time for the 'grand return' of Toussaint holidayers in France, the government installed the first batch of completely robotic speeder detectors. These devices record excess-speeds, photograph the offending car's licence plate, look up registration to get the operator's name and address, print out a traffic ticket, take 'points' off the corresponding driver's licence, and mail the ticket to the address.

Today's 'score' for the past long weekend has been 4400 speeding tickets, some of which will have arrived in today's mail. Thisphoto: old, closed shop has been reported as a 30 percent increase over the corresponding period last year. The Ministry of the Interior is reported to be happy. We can expect that the government will spend hundreds of millions more for thousands of additional speeding-ticket robots.

A place that no longer has any friends.

There are only two minor problems. In France the law says that a human being has to witness the infraction. Cops normally fulfill this function. The other is the relatively new notion of 'presumption of innocence.' In other words, a speeder should have the right to contest an alleged infraction, before a fine is levied.

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 changed email address for 'Ric,' 'Ed,' and the Café Metropole Club's secretary is ericksonr@wanadoo.fr. Please note it in your address book, so I don't have to run this change-of-address text every week for the next seven years with the same typos in it.

Café Metropole Club 'Reports'

Plop your cursor on this link to have a look at last week's "It's Been 103 Weeks" clubphoto: playground 'report.' There was a good turnout of members. Two of these chanced to be together at another club meeting 103 weeks ago. I'm not sure which of the two meetings was a 'first.'

The 'playground' of some public- housing apartments.

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 more. The virtual but tattered club membership card on this page is available for free, so long as you print it yourself. The card is good worldwide, but super-valid in Paris.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 6. November. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint-Léonard-de-Noblac. Saint-Léonard was a hermit in Noblac, possibly near Vienne, where his cell became a monastery, then a destination of pilgrimages. He died about 559, which was 1444 years ago.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 7.45 - 4. Nov 2002 - This issue's Café Metropole column headline was completely normal with 'Amok and Out of Time.' Metropole's wine was featured for another week with 'Cold Snap Makes Moonlight Light Its Stove.' The Secene column's headline was 'Only Ordinary Attractions.' The other feature was 'Le Mois de la Photo 2002' - The November of Photos.' The club's update on 7. Novemberphoto: sign, avenue de l'est, 27e division with the "Eeek!" She Said' report. There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon was captioned, "Wouldn't You Rather?" Oh?

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 6.45 - 5. Nov 2001 - This issue began with the Café Metropole column's strange 'Crocodile Nigel's Biannual Visit.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline asked, 'Who's Afraid of the Institut Pasteur?' The week's feature was 'on leave.' The update for the Café Metropole Club's meeting on 8. November was titled the 'Church of the Week' report. The Scene column's title was 'Malraux et la Modernité.' There were six new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's 'Cartoon of the Week' was captioned, "Bonjour Manhattan!"

The Sous-Sol of the Countdowns

For the regular version of this hugely popular feature, turn to the last Café page with it, and subtract 14 days from all numbers except the dates.

Toussaint

As a practical matter, the national holiday known as Toussaint on 1. November doesn't amount to much. Most shops stay open if they sell food or are big places, and most other attractions are operating as well, unless they specifically close on public holidays.

Many of the French set the day aside to do what it is for - remember the dead. Many do this by visiting a cemetery where they have relatives buried. Some clean the gravestonesphoto: sign, rue pierre charron and put fresh flowers on them. Saturday had pretty good weather for this, and I saw many more visitors than usual in the Montparnasse cemetery.

Despite all of Friday's news, Saturday's Le Parisien gave its inside pages two and three to Toussaint features. In France the dead may be a bit more remembered this year because of the death toll that resulted from the summer heatwave. TV crews were out at the cemetery just south of Paris where the unclaimed dead were buried by the city. Some Parisians, not related to any of them, were there too.

'Toussaint' means All-Saints. It is followed by 'Défunts' on 2. November. 'Défunts' means deceased. Sunday was another big day for cemeteries. With the clocks having been set back the previous weekend, by closing time on both days it was dark. I could hear the whistles of the cemetery guardians urging the visitors to leave.

The number of days left this year is only 58 - many fewer 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. Either this, or we'll be skating on a frozen rink in front of the Hôtel de Ville.
signature, regards, ric

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