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Beaujolais Nouveau Week

photo: cafe marigny

A café near the bottom of Paris.

Is Anything Really True?

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 17. November 2003:- We had a similar rainey Sunday a couple of weeks ago, followed by a fairly bright Monday like today's. I am wondering if we are having a weather re-run, somewhat akin to the re-runs of the forecasts that appear here sometimes.

If it were really true I could just put in a 'link-back' to a former weather prediction and call it quits right here. Thenphoto: trees over street readers who don't understand why the 'weather' is the first thing in an issue could simply skip it, and true météo fans could read it again - without it having any effect on the accuracy of the prediction.

For, tomorrow's weather promises to be like last Tuesday's, but without the slim possibility of early freezing fog. There will be other differences too - no morning sunny periods are forecast, just the mostly cloudy periods in the afternoon. The temperature should be close to last Tuesday's though.

For Wednesday we are looking at having a mainly cloudy day with a high of 14 degrees. Thursday is reversed - like last Thursday - with a partly sunny day forecast and 14 degrees. Reverse both days to note the differences, and you'll probably agree that Thursday will be the nicer of the two.

'Time of Year' paragraph - the weather in Paris is completely normal, with its this and that. Many trees have lost all their leaves now, and on certain days the hold-outs are shedding them like golden snowflakes.

Café Life

Visiting Serge

I don't understand how visitors have the strength to get up real early in the morning and tramp halfway across town, busily sightseeing all the way, in order to visit me, so that I can guide them around the Montparnasse cemetery, across the street.

On top of it, I think I can get away with showing them the old moulin - it is pretty tall so it is easy to find - skipping the rest and going out the north side, and passing by Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre's grave before getting serious by going to Le Select where the terrace is heated.

Oh no. The visitors had a miniscule map of the cemetery, with photos and capsule histories, and they had a pretty definite idea of the 20 famous graves they 'had to see.' Then, on the way, just happen to pass Serge Gainsbourg's current home. This made my whole week because I could see my apartment's windows right behind the headstone. I am lined up with Serge.

We had to leave the rectangular 'part one' of the cemetery and cross to the triangular 'part two' part to lookphoto: serge's grave for the 'couple in bed' tomb decoration, look for Bartholdi and other unfindables, and then cross back to 'part one' to visit the simple grave of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Serge's place across the street.

By this time the sun was down and I was edging towards the exit closest to Le Select. But we were not finished. We set off to find Man Ray in the near dark. Luckily, a bell tolled and was followed shortly by the guardians blowing their whistles. We got out just before the iron door by the Avenue du Maine exit was to be closed.

This is quite a bit further from Le Select than I would have liked, but no matter because by then the visitors agreed to take a look at the Notre-Dame de Travail church, a fair march in a further direction.

On the way back, everybody's energy was at a low level so we stopped in a café - finally! - and got some resources back. Then we went to my place and had dinner for three hours, and I could swear I heard the guardians still blowing their whistles to chase the laggards out of the cemetery.

Cool Greek Island

Nigel phoned from Athens last night. He said he was calling from a café terrace where he was drinking a wine in 20 degrees of warmth. When he rolled in from a late flight arrival this afternoon he made himself lunch from leftovers he'd picked up on the plane.

He went to Athens a couple of weeks ago. He said he had to take off his warm Paris clothes when he got there. Then he took a three-hour ferry trip tophoto: greek euro Idhra, where he spent almost two weeks. At first he thought the sea was almost warm enough for swimming.

Then the weather turned cool, but he said the food and drink were good, and not as expensive as Paris. He walked around a lot and read a bit and hung out in the tavernas that were still open, and had a pretty quiet time in a corner of the Mediterranean in the off-season.

It must have done him no good. After lunch he went off to the Forum des Images at Les Halles to see the film, 'Daguerreotypes.' He said he was going to come back while I'm writing this, but he hasn't. He probably went to the Bouquet and ran into some Dagurréotypistas there. If I've spelled 'Idhra' wrong, it is his fault. I couldn't find it on the map either.

Beaujolais Nouveau Week

There isn't actually a 'Beaujolais Nouveau Week' because it only happens on Thursday. It is impossible to tell what the wine will be like because there won't be any sneak previews until Wednesday, if then.

Beaujolais Nouveau Day starts officially at 00:01 on Thursday in Paris. Semi-officially I think it starts earlier, somewhere west of the date-line in the Pacific Ocean - so Australians get to test it hours before Parisians can get their noses in it.

The idea is to drink it all on Beaujolais Nouveau Day. Even saving it until Thanksgiving a week later in the United States will not make it a better by a week's-worth. Letting it age until Christmas is futile. Give it your best shot next Thursday, and then return to getting on with your life.

Metropole Paris, Inc.

This magazine's 'Ed' started on out a shoestring. After seven years the shoestring has had so many repair knots in it that it is useless for lacing shoes or tying around fingers as a 'reminder' device. It has taken a long time to figure out, but it is finally clear to 'Ed' that Metropole has to make some money.

As late in the game as it may seem, there is no better time than now. It is, in fact, a vital necessity. This will explain the reason for the apparent change from being non-commercial to unbridled capitalism. As of this issue, commerce and advertising are no longer unspeakable terms in connection with this magazine.

Before you go into shock, or terminal horror, stay with me a moment. Spaces have been found within the magazine's pages that are absolutely blank today. Without squeezing the editorial content too much, many of these empty spaces can be converted into 'for rent' areas.

As of this issue, none of these 'for rent' spaces have actually attracted tenants. This is just an alert, a warning - that 'Ed' is going to 'go commercial' in order to not 'go under.'

The idea is to not only 'keep Metropole flying,' but to make a living out of it too. 'Ed' with a full tummy and feeling mellow will be primed to put out a better if not bigger Metropole.

Where possible, the commercial announcements will keep readers' interests in mind. Aside from offers concerning Paris - in your interest - there will be no trick stuff - no pop-ups, no animations, no audio messages. Just straight offers of goods and services.

Rooms To Let - 50&162;

Both readers and club members have expressed an interest in being able to find Paris apartments 'for rent' in Metropole. Club members especially are aware that other club members ownphoto: tattoo open apartments in Paris or France. It makes sense that Metropole be the Web site that matches your offers to your demands.

So, within a short time expect to see a 'Rental' page as a permanent feature of the magazine. If you have an apartment here that is vacant most of the year, why not rent it to another club member when it is unoccupied?

Unlike Metropole Paris and Café Metropole Club, listing your property in Metropole is not going to be 'free.' Rates to list your apartment will be reasonable - especially considering that your announcement will be seen by many people 'just like you' - perhaps other club members who you have already met at club meetings. If you have a Web site for your apartment, your listing in Metropole will link to it.

Write today to enquire about details. The exact conditions have not been fixed yet, but they have advanced beyond zero. Your suggestions will be welcome too.

Metropole As 'Shareware'

Some weeks ago, as a first step towards ensuring the continuation of Metropole's publication, I requested that readers and club members voluntarily pay a 'shareware fee.' This is an idea based on paying for software that is created by independent producers. The 'idea' is, if Metropole works for you, then you can pay according to its worth to you, and to ensure that its publication - and development - continues.

So far, response from readers like you has been generous. I am flattered and I think you are wonderful. Many contributors have exceeded the 'price sticker' that I mentioned last week. In reward for this, I will cut out the excessive blah-blah-blah, and get straight to the heart of the matter.

You are not being asked to 'donate' anything to 'Ed.' You are not expected to pay for a subscription forphoto: cafe tables, rain secret-code access to some special part of the magazine either. Metropole remains a single-version magazine with unlimited access for all. The Café Metropole Club remains just as free as it's always been.

'Keeping Metropole flying' is simple. You can add your contributions today by hitting this link to the 'support Metropole' page.

About halfway down the page you will find a link to 'Kagi' - Metropole's 'software retailer.' Hitting this will bring up the page Kagi has created for Metropole. Then add the amount you feel like contributing to support the 'shareware' version of Metropole.

The rest of the procedure is like buying anything else via the Internet, but with one difference. You can voluntarily contribute any amount you feel comfortable with to support Metropole. Whatever it is, you'll get 'Ed's 'thanks' in a return email.

Metropole's 'mailto:' Change

The changed email address for 'Ric,' 'Ed,' and the Café Metropole Club's secretary is ericksonr@wanadoo.fr. If you have noted it in your address book since last June, you have the correct address. If not, all emails sent to me are going into outer space, along with a lot of spam I send there.

Café Metropole Club 'Reports'

Use your cursor to hit this link to have a look at last week's "12 Extra for Getting Wet!" club 'report.' There was another good turnout of members, all of whom stayed for the meeting even if they intended to leave early.

Some minor details concerning the club can all be found gathered on the 'About the Club' page, because there are only 17 of them. The virtual but tattered club membership card on this page is free, so long as you print it yourself. The card is valid forever worldwide, but ultra-valid in Paris.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 20. November. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint-Edmond, and not Saint-Beaujolais Nouveau day as many expect. If you haven't already started tasting on this day at 00:01, getting to the club on time will allow for plenty more tasting-time because Thursday lasts until 23:59 in Paris.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 7.47 - 18. Nov 2002 - The Café Metropole column's headline was 'Café Life' Is Like a Long River.' the 'Au Bistro' column reappeared with 'UMPs Decide UMP Is Best.' Metropole's wine was back with 'A Small Champagne Vocabulary,' by Allan Pangborn. There was a feature about 'Salon 'Paris Photo' and Three Daguerréotypistas.' There was a link to the previous week's Scene column, to 'Noël 2002, - the Not Quite the Full Program.' The club's update on 21. November was dubiously headlined the "Somethingphoto: sign, priere de ne pas stationner devant cette porte Must Be Wrong!" report. There were four jolly new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon was captioned, 'Read the User Manual!'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 6.47 - 19. Nov 2001 - This issue began with the Café Metropole column's 'It's the Crummy Weather Season.' The 'Au Bistro' column was replaced with non-news titled, 'More 'Café Life,' Part 89 - The Buffalo Grass Birthday Party.' The update for the Café Metropole Club's meeting on 22. November was titled the 'Two Astonishing 'Firsts' report. The Scene column's title was 'Circus! Circus! Tango! Horses! Seawater!' There were four more new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's 'Cartoon of the Week' was captioned, "You Drive Like..." All in all, another skimpy issue was had by all.

The Abyss of the Countdowns

For the formerly regular version of this hugely popular but strangely neglected feature, turn to the last Café page with it, and subtract 28 days from all numbers except the anniversary dates. These have probably expired. If you are still at loose ends, begin up-counting until the date of the next new count-down.

Kangaroos On the Loose

The first report, dated Wednesday, 12. November, about kangaroos living in dangerous conditions in the forest at Rambouillet came by way of Hollywood, with a quote attributed to 'Metro,' one of the free morning dailies in Paris, which got its story from Agence France-Presse. The AFP is a 'pro' news service, and when I tried to verify the kangaroo item I got nowhere because I'm not a subscriber.

Nevertheless, the story was picked up by a Web site named 'Ananova' and by the alert Sydney Morning Herald on the same day - also from the AFP, and then by the Sunday Times of South Africa - on Sunday - which credited The Telegraph in London. One account also credited Le Parisien's Wednesday edition, but it must have been their Yvelines version because I can't find it in the Paris edition.

With all this worldwide coverage it is of only slight importance whether the story is true or not. In essence it goes like this - 30 years ago 30 kangaroos escaped - or were kidnapped - from a nature park near the Rambouillet forest, and they are now thought to number 50. Drivers, speeding through the forest, have been bumping them off.

The 'real' story is that local kangaroo fans have been painting over legitimate road signs with 'Don't Run Over Kangaroo' signs. The mayor of the town of Emancé is quoted in several of the reports as saying, "Kangaroos have been part of our daily life for 20 years." The town of Emancé is three kilometres from the nearest sub-part of the Rambouillet forest, and is separated by several kilometres from the larger,photo: sign, rue de l'odeon main parts, to the north and east.

However, there is a nearby 'Château Sauvage,' just to the east of Emancé. The town's mayor is further quoted as saying the 'kangaroo' signs now allow drivers who have seen them, to admit it without embarrassment - if they happen to de so shaken by the experience that they have to stop for a 'recovery' cognac at a café in Emancé.

What is true is that Emancé is not all that far from the Cadillac Ranch. Linda 'Dancing' Thalman, Metropole's server-lady, has never admitted seeing any kangaroos near there.

Not Many Days Left

The number of days left this year is only 44 - far, far fewer than last week. Very much sooner than we expect we'll be standing elbow to elbow in front of cheerily freezing department store windows gaily illuminated for Christmas. In fact, we can do this now. The only thing lacking is the 'freezing' and maybe a bit of 'cheerily.'

In another short wink of an eye we'll be able to skate on a frozen rink in front of the Hôtel de Ville, or the one in front of the Gare Montparnasse, where the structure is being built and many tanks of Freon are waiting to be turned on or tuned in.
signature, regards, ric

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