horz line

photo: susan, maureen, terry, kevin, siobban, gwen, steve, paul, tomoko, joann, wayne, linda

Most of today's members – most with their eyes wide open.

A 'No Turkey' Meeting

Paris:- Thursday, 27. November 2003:- Tonight's forecast will be a short one because it is chilly. We had a high of seven or eight today, but without yesterday's breezes. Tomorrow, if we're lucky, it will be eight degrees again.

The coming weekend will see a near heatwave with temperature numbers doubling to two digits, while the values are predicted to be merely 11, and 12 for Sunday.

Skywise things are not nearly so cheery, with some sun peeking out of the clouds tomorrow, some sun making a passing appearance on Saturday - probably before anyone is awake - and on Sunday no sun at all on account of some rain.

Regardless of Sunday's rain factor, the Seine-side roadways normally closed to motor traffic from April to mid-November, will remain closed on Sundays all through the winter, until March when they will be closed on Sundays again.

This means, thanks to Paris' faction of greenies, that strollers, bikers, rollers and other gentle souls with feet and unmotored wheels will be able to enjoy views formerly reserved for automobilistas on Sundays in winter.

However nothing good in France ever happens without 'exceptions.' These will be the three Sundays in December that stores are open for the holiday orgy of shopping frenzy. Shoppers with or without cars should note that these dates are the 7, 14 and 21 December, which are all Sundays. So far, there are no 'exceptions' noted for the Soldes d'Hiver in January.

This Year's Only Thanksgiving Day Club Meeting 'Report'

Despite rising earlier and doing various chores sooner, I am a tad late when I leave for today's clubphoto: piano, bongo meeting. I have no valid reason for mentioning this because the Métro runs on time and I get out of it at Châtelet on time and tramp through my alleys and cruise along the Quai du Louvre, to arrive at the club's café, La Corona, ahead of time.

You've met Bongo. Now here's Piano, on the left.

I could have saved my breath because member Linda Thalman is in the club's location on the café's 'grande salle' before me. It is a new trick by members - to arrive for a club meeting before the club's secretary. If I were late more than a couple of times a year it would be too easy to be a 'trick.' Members could simply show up at nine in the morning and beat me every Thursday.

So, today, before I have the members' and the reports' booklets set up, Linda is introducing me to today's first new member. This is Wayne Rosen from Brooklyn, a major New York City borough.

Shortly after the handshake, I am surprised to learn that Linda talking to Wayne at a club meeting is also a major 'first.' It was in 1973 that the two last spoke to each other, and that was in Eugene, Oregon.

Yes! Readers and club members, pay attention here! One day recently Wayne was sitting comfortably at home in downtown Brooklyn, planning a trip to Paris, when he half-kiddingly tossed Linda's name at an Internet search engine.

Wayne got a big 'bingo!' Linda's name popped up, along with about 89 citations of the Café Metropole Club in Paris. Wayne wondered, 'could it be the same Linda Thalman I last talked to in 1973 in Eugene, Oregon?'

To make a long exiting story short, Wayne sent off a cautious email asking Linda if she was Linda. Linda, sitting at the Cadillac Ranch, minding her cats Starlette and Tiger, returned a cautious reply, asking Wayne if he was Wayne. As it happened, via email, Wayne seemed to be Wayne and Linda seemed to be Linda.

But just in case they weren't Wayne or Linda, they decided to chance a meeting on the neutral territory of the Café Metropole Club, today. By the time I arrive, they have decided they are really Linda and Wayne - although when I ask Wayne, I am pretty sure he says he lives in Queens.

Well, he knows about the Cuban sandwich joint on Roosevelt Avenue, which is in Queens. Nobody who has ever been within half a block of this splendid café will ever forget the mouth-watering garlic smell of it.

Otherwise, I am vague about details because 12 other club members or new club members also arrivephoto: gumby, pokey to have part of Thanksgiving at today's club meeting without turkey, and the 'report' notes are a bit shoddy.

Gumby and Pokey, back for a triomphant return visit.

Another new member, arriving right at 15:00, is Susan Coleman from Wilmington, Delaware. I like this, getting a true 'City of the Week' before my mid-meeting double-espresso. New Wilmington, Pennsylvania was a co-'City of the Week' earlier in the year, but I'm sure everybody knows the difference between Pennsylvania and Delaware.

About less than three minutes later Maureen and Terry Cooper arrive with 'Thanksgiving.' Actually it is Piano who has joined Bongo. Maureen says the four of them are all going to take in the coming Elton John concert at the Olympia. 'Piano' is described as 'not one' of the 250 other Bongos. The Bongo here today has been in Paris 13 times before.

Susan says she rented an apartment and was somewhat dismayed to find it was located right above a Greek shish kebab joint in the 5th arrondissement. Terry says they've rented a place through Cooper Paris Apartments even though he's not related. Susan and Terry have Easton, Maryland, in common but I do not get to learn why.

The 'Waiter of the Week' recommends La Corona's Beaujolais Nouveau by saying it is not the same as the brand-name one. Some of us move over to enable new member Kevin Stanley to fit in.

Kevin lives in or near Enghien-les-Bains, after living in Britain and after growing up in Brea, California. Kevin does music - "The kind of 'folk' that 20-year olds like" – plus handles audio, and photography. "But in Paris I'll end up teaching English – everybody else does."

Shoddiness shows up. I mean in these notes. Jason Hraynyk has arrived – with Kevin, or at the same time?photo: freddy from osaka "There were silences last week and then everybody went 'singles' shopping," Jason says. Tomoko Yokomitsu has arrived too, and when ask if she met anyone interesting at Galeries Lafayette last week, she says, "I didn't carry the right-colored shopping basket."

For the first time – meet Freddy from Osaka!.

Joanne Fisher and Paul Smith from Houston arrive – both long-time multi-visit members – and still with Gumby and Pokey. This presents an unique opportunity for Maureen's Piano and Bongo to meet Gumby and Pokey, so it is arranged. It becomes the second 'Reunion of the Week.'

New member Siobban Murray arrives with Steve Camera-Murray. Siobban lives in Winchester, Massachusetts, and is Lauren's sister. Lauren herself has not yet come in, but will after the 'Group Photo of the Week' is out of the way. At 16:00 there are 13 members present.

On account of the big reunion between Piano and Bongo, and Gumby and Pokey, Tomoko introduces Freddy from Osaka to them, and club members alike. I forget how many reunions this adds up to.

The club secretary no longer has a chair, so it is time for the 'Group Photo of the Week.' This is done when there is plenty of time for plenty of other new members to arrive, but getting 13 present members into one photo seems like a now-or-never thing.

For a change of pace, I ask the posed members to shut there eyes for one of the takes. The photo later shows that some keep one eye open so they can tell when the photo is over. The other photo is at the top of the page.

We also learn that there are no Métros in Delaware from Susan, and Kevin observes that,photo: group two "There is no French word for fun." Actually there is no word for 'fun,' but there is 'amusement,' or 'pleasenterie.' Admittedly, neither of these are three letters short.

Another angle on today's club members.

At this, Gwen remembers being at a BjN party in a café near Alésia a week ago. There was a all-women brass band for 'fun,' but a lady she met there told her, "It's the only time Parisians aren't sourpusses."

This is probably the reason that Gwen and Tomoko decide to hurry off to the Galeries Lafayette to get there in time to get the 'singles'-colored shopping baskets.

The 'Soldes d'Hiver' Alert

The official version about the dates for the Soldes d'Hiver in Paris is now official. The start date has been given as Wednesday, 7. January, and the final day will be Saturday, 7. February, in 2004 of course.

Club Members and Readers Like You

Both categories are now making voluntary contributions of support for Metropole. Doing this will ensure thatphoto: glass beaujolais nouveau the magazine and the Café Metropole Club continue. Please take a look at the new 'Keep Metropole Flying' page and do what you can today.

'Thankyous' to 'readers like you' are in order for members at today's club meeting, Susan Coleman, and Maureen and Terry Cooper. The Coopers joined the club about this time in 2000, and contributed a club 'report' for the meeting the secretary missed while eating Cuban sandwiches in Queens in January of 2002.

A tip of the good old Beaujolais Nouveau to readers and club members 'like you.'

Because club membership is free, as is its free membership card, the Café Metropole Club's ex-rules and various disallowed 'exceptions' forbid actual membership 'dues.' Consider both the magazine and the club to be forms of free software that can be supported with your 'shareware' contributions.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' About Page

If this 'report' about today's club meeting seems shoddy to you, you have probably not read a lot of other meeting 'reports.' Take a look at the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page if you want to learn what this is supposed to be about. It will tell you no more than you need to know, not one dot more.

One other vital fact – there are fewer than many – is worth remembering. You can become a lifetime member of this online magazine's free, live, and real club by simply attending any of its meetings in Paris for free. There's no reason for knowing anything about the other, few 'facts.'

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

The weekly club meetings continue to start about 15:00 sharp on Thursdays and run on until about 17:00, in the European Time of Paris Zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'les temps d'été' – and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm. The only part of the world where these meetings happen in metrical times is Paris.

Doing anything at a meeting is tolerated because it is in Paris. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' having a greater 'report' value than 'true.' Don't get the wrong idea – 'true' isgraphic: club location map fine too. This is a special no-purpose case rather than a regular club ex-'rule' or French-type 'exception.'

If you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet, be sure let the club's secretary know before you become slightly notorious. If necessary you can even be at a meeting and not be at it officially. 'Rules' have ceased being and are still 'ex-rules.' All 'exceptions' to 'no rules' have been abolished. There was a brief period of mourning over these, but it was brief.

Talking in multiple languages at meetings is fine. Sit wherever you like if there's a free chair. Whatever you say may 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 happens to be written here, as some of it is, sometimes, depending on the 'notes' available, and not even all of these are used if they are in excess.*

*The above paragraphs are unchanged since last week because this 'report' has been overwhelmed with true 'firsts.'

The café's location is:

Café­Tabac 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

horz line
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