...Continued from page 1

Heather and Diana trade stories about parking dogs while being in Paris. Diana says 'Hi to Mac,' "If Mac reads club reports." "Hi Mac!"

Bob Alter arrives from Cambridge, Massachusetts. He says he comes to Paris during the spring break, to photograph 'ugly and bizarre' buildings. I suggest he visit Boulogne–Billancourt to photograph some quite nifty buildings, starting with the Hôtel de Ville.

Everybody has an opinion about the Centre Pompidou. "It's not the worst building in Paris," Lewis says, "I mean, if oil refineries are your thing – like in Texas."

This raises the Starbucks subject. Nobody present has seen the one in Paris yet – none of us know what it looks like. Someone says, Bob I think, that Starbucks coffee shops are well–designed. I don't remember seeing any sleek ones in Manhattan.

There is a general agreement that the Starbucks shops in Manhattan don't need to look refined because their main purpose is their toilets, because Manhattan doesn't have many others. So, at the Paris location in the Avenue de l'Opéra, this might be its Paris function too.

Jay has a multiple–page list of restaurants he has been trying out. He says one called something like the 'Old Lady Author's Society' has a restaurant in a tunnel under the Madeleine – Le Foyer de la Madeleine? – and it is, "At the top of my list!" He says the entry is at 14. Rue de Surène.

It is only open for lunch, only during the week. You stand in line, pay in advance, get a ticket – for less than 10€ for everything – I don't think it has white tablecloths.

Even though the club's secretary, me, is half deaf, there are three pages of jumbled notes. We do the 'Groupphoto: report notes, members map Photo of the Week' with far fewer than a full crew – but we do it on La Corona's terrace, because the weather is good for it.

A view of official and member's club documents.

Back inside Jay decides to show us how low his hotel's computer with Internet connection is. It also has the dreaded AZERTY keyboard that everybody moans about. There are, Lewis says, some cybercafés with QUERTY keyboards, but few of their other conditions are satisfactory.

It is after 17:00 when the sun has softly – for a change – made the club's area light and warm, and the remaining members are in no hurry to be elsewhere.

This is when new member Christian Teyssier, quietly comes in and joins the club. He is coming from Washington, DC, but my memory says, hints – no longer writing any notes – that he lives on both sides of the Atlantic. The club has been recommended by member Dinny Moyer.

Which, of course, raises the question – 'Where is Dinny?'

The 'France–Is–Not–Silly' Contest

This has officially begun, first in Heather's Secrets of Paris newsletter, and then in this week's edition of Metropole. Entries are already arriving.

Briefly, the contest will reward the best very short slogans that sum up Paris and France positively in asphoto: contest prize, ratp keyring few words as will fit on a bumper– sticker. Agents are at work seeking suitable prizes for the best entries.

The judging will be held in late April at a club meeting, and members will be asked to assist with the judging. Find all the details on the Contest page.

Heather has found some runner–up prizes. Who wouldn't want one of these somewhat rare RATP keyring things? 'Rare' because the RATP has changed their ticket color to violet – and the fate of their boutique is unknown. Where Heather got a bunch of them is not a 'contest' question.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This abbreviated 'report' about today's club's meeting should give you a hint of the jolly times to be had at club meetings, but only those who have been at meetings will know how much has been omitted. The 'About the Café Metropole Club' page doesn't say the club's secretary is deaf, but it might contain a couple of facts about the club. Exactly two, if I heard right.

All you do need to know – isn't much more. Become a real lifetime member of this online magazine's real, live and free club by becoming a member in a jiffy by attending any of its meetings in Paris, for free. The other fact is that there are no hidden costs or other 'rules.' If you can't see it, the club doesn't have it.

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

The weekly Thursday club meetings start around 15:00 sharp, on days that are Thursday afternoons. Meetings continue until about 17:00, in the European Time of Paris' annual 'semi–real interrupted winter' – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'les mauvais temps de mars' although they are – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Paris is where all club meetings are held.

Doing anything interesting at a meeting – like being at one – is considered outstanding. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' having a decided edge in 'report' value over 'true.' 'True' is good too, especially if it's unbelievable.

A note of caution – you may have any one of a hundred personal reasons for not wanting to be traceable viagraphic: club location map the Web. If so, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be '404 – not found' by Web search engines before becoming 'found' in a club report.

Former 'rules' are 'former' and have been eliminated from the club's chronicles except for all the latter ones still online in the archives. All 'exceptions' to any other 'rules' have been suspended forever, just like all the 'rules.'

Saying things at meetings is fine. If there's an empty chair sit – optional – wherever you like, or haul one over from the smoking part of the café. If they are listening, whatever you say may be highly appreciated by other club members present, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here, it might be read by all the readers of this online magazine, because some of them do read it. Occasionally.*

*The above paragraphs are unchanged since last week because the club's secretary forgot to clean the cocktail umbrella in the howling dog's mouth, and just brought the hound.

The café's location is:

Café–Tabac 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

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