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La Maison Fournaise – on the Ile des Impressionnistes, also known as the Ile de Chatou. Open Thursday and Friday from 11:00 to 17:00, and on weekends from 11:00 to 18:00. InfoTel.: 01 34 80 63 22.

The Route and the Ile des Impressionnistes has been featured in Metropole before. See A Winter View of the Musée Fournaise, No Floods In Port Marly Today, Pierre Prins – 'L'Ami de Manet' and Modest Boatworks To Become 'Gare d'Eau'.

Headline of the Week

'BOULEVERSÉS' is the single largest word on Le Parisien's front page today. Flanking headlines are 'L'Europe à Peur' and 'L'Espagne Punit Aznar' – which refers to the Socialist Party's decisive win in yesterday's elections. On– the–spot personal experience in Paris' transit system since Friday has not turned up much in the way of 'fear,' nor overt signs of the heightened security levels advertised on TV–news.

The 3rd Semi–Repeat of Regular Plugs in March

Pop this link to a recent issue's 'Café' page, where the usual plugs for 'Support this magazine' and its 'Lodging' page are quietly waiting for you to visit them.

The Last Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Have a look at the last meeting's text and photo version of the "Oh No, It's Raining!" club report. The rain in question lasted only a few minutes. Mostly it rained at 03:14 in the morning.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 18. March. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint–Mi–Carême. It is not in the Saint's book because it's half–way to Ash Wednesday before Easter, and not a 'Saint' at all but Lent. The 'Mi' isn't explained, and you need not bother to bring any long and pale faces no matter how hungry.

Small, minor details about the club can all be found on the 'About the Club' page. The virtual club membership card on this page is as free as air and valid for your whole lifetime, everywhere in the world.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.12 – 17. Mar 2003 – The Café Metropole column opened this miniscule issue with 'Sunball Days.' The 'Au Bistro' column's title was 'War Reaction in Paris.' The Café Metropole Club update for 20. March was headlined asphoto: sign, vp the 'Nutley of the Week' report. The usual four 'Posters of the Week' appeared and Ric's cartoon of the week was captioned "Stayed Too Long?"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.12 – 18. March 2002 – The Café Metropole column began with, 'Rain In Paris Is All the News There Is.' This modest issue had one feature titled 'The Art of 'Flânnerie' – Aimlessness As a Paris Sport.' The Café Metropole Club update on 21. March reported the "Heads or Tails?" report. The Scène column's title was 'Circus City.' There were four fairly average 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's cartoon caption of the week was, 'Traffic Ringmaster.'

Countdowns – a Come–Back

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Frédéric–August Bartholdi, the designer of the Stature of Liberty. His death occurred on Tuesday, 4. October. This is 204 days from now. Learn more about Bartholdi's life and works by visiting the virtual Musée–Bartholdi, plus the real one as well if you happen to be in France.

For a major literary dude, we can also be 'counting–down' to the 150th anniversary of the birthdate of Jean– Nicolas–Arthur Rimbaud, which is on Wednesday, 20. October, 220 days from now.

An even bigger literary razzle–dazzle will be made this year for George Sand, who was born 200 years ago on Sunday, 1. July 1804. This year will officially be the 'Année George Sand' all year long. For lots more, Cécile Pichot's Web site is worth a visit as is the one run by Marc Nadaux. This 'countdown' lasts 109 days, until 1. July.

The date of the Normandy landings in WWII was on Tuesday, 6. June 1944. The 60th anniversary of this fateful day for 2,846,439 allied liberators is 84 days from now, on a Sunday this year.

Another WWII event 60 years ago to note is the Liberation of Paris. Its official date is Friday, 25. Augustphoto: flag, spain, madrid 11 march 2004 1944, which will be celebrated is 164 days from now. The 'Liberation' started on Tuesday, 15. August, with a strike – by the Métro and the police – followed by more strikes until the shooting was over. Some sporadic strikes still continue.

Some Olympic Fans may be out of their heads with joy to learn that the Olympic flame will be hustled through Paris by a series of torch–bearers on Friday, 25 June – as part of its journey back to Athens for the summer Olympics – which are called 'JO' here. This is only 103 days from today.

Many Paris Commune fans may wish to change their travel plans because Les Amis de la Commune of 1871 will be presenting an exhibition about the Commune from Thursday, 18. March until Thursday, 8. April, which is just about right now. This will be in the Hôtel de Ville, one of the prime locations of the original party.

2004 Is Dribbling Away

Although more than four–score, there are still about 291 days left this year. But all is not lost. Everything in Paris is getting older by the minute, so don't hesitate to plan to visit soon, before everything gets a lot older than it is.

Last week's 'Ric's Day Off' was a huge success in terms of squandered time. I am tempted to say what I would do if I could replay it, but the future – is going to be just too exciting to miss, I guess.
signature, regards, ric

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