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Some 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 standard air and valid for your whole lifetime, everywhere in the world.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.13/14 – 24/31. Mar 2003 – a Café Life column opened this double issue with 'A Fresh Air Weekend,' preceeding the Café Metropole column's own 'Limited Indestructible Sunshine.' The Scène column's title was 'Surreal René Magritte.' Thephoto: sign, pharmacy, 16 degrees first Café Metropole Club update for 27. March was titled the 'Red Dirt' Arrives In Paris!' report, followed by the update for 3. April, headlined the "Je ne suis pas content!" report. There were the usual four 'Posters of the Week' times two and Ric's cartoon of the week was captioned 'Springtime for Some.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.13/14 – 25. March 2002 – in another double issue the Café Metropole column began with 'Taking Another Powder To New York.' This smallish issue had one feature titled 'Do–It–Yourselfers at the Salon du Livre.' There were two Café Metropole Club updates, for 28. March and 4. April, but the 'report' for them was in issue 7.15. The Scène column's title was 'Brava At the Café de Flore.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's cartoon caption of the week was captioned 'Easter Recycled.' 'Ed' must have been in a hurry to get out of town.

Countdowns – Why 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 197 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, 213 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 102 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 77 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. August 1944, which will be celebrated is 157 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 96 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 exhibitionphoto: sign, rue pierre au lard about the Commune until Thursday, 8. April in the Hôtel de Ville, one of the prime locations of the original show – which featured burning the Hôtel de Ville to the ground.

After getting the Tribune to vote in favor of inventing the title of Emperor for Napoleon on 3. May 1804, the Senat passed the measure on 18. May. A plebiscite was held and 3,572,329 French voted for the measure, while 2569 reckless souls voted against it. The results were announced six days before the coronation that took place on Sunday, 2. December.

Pope Puis VII was to place the new crown on Napoleon's head, but balked until the First Consul made an honest man of himself by marrying Josephine in a church, which he did just in time on 1. December. The way was then clear for the big show at Notre Dame the following day, when Napoleon crowed himself which was a serious display of bad manners.

Part of the official record is David's painting of it. But slighted by getting only two entry tickets for the ceremony, the artist depicted Napoleon crowning Josephine instead. David also added his own inlaws who were not invited, and Napoleon's mom, who was sulking in Italy at the time. The 200th anniversary of this dubious event is 263 days from now.

Sail Away, 2004

There are still about 284 days left this year. But nothing is lost. Everything in Paris is still getting older by the minute, just as it has been doing ever day for over 2000 years.

There was no formal 'Ric's Day Off' last week in spite of its success the week before. However I clearly recall that there was very good weather for 'Ric's Day Off' and some of it was spent in a small park sitting in the sunshine watching some sort of strange bird build a nest out of common twigs.
signature, regards, ric

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