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Members 'On Location'

photo: group, heather, tomoko, rob, daniele, stan

Today's group, from left, Heather, Tomoko, Rob,
Daniele and Stan.

Dress Warm for Easter

Paris:– Thursday, 8. April 2004:– Despite last week's astrology notions – which were absolutely not inspired by April Fool's Day – weather has continued to happen in Paris, and as predicted – it is sliding down a slithery slope towards Easter where it will end up in its traditional pits.

I can say this, by consulting today's Le Parisien astrology feature – 'if you are relaxed, your heart will be more receptive to having its strings twiddled,' plus, 'whatever projects you have in mind are going to be successful.' Conclusion – to keep in form, 'go for a walk.' This sounds like last week's advice for the goat sign.

If astrology doesn't work, try science. Namely the TV–weather news. For Friday the forecast starts outphoto: two cafes with hardly sunny, and deteriorates to semi–sunny. When neither of these are happening it will be cloudy, and the high temperature about 14:00 might be 10 degrees.

Bowls of café are today's substitute for onion soup.

This will be about like it's been today, except for the occasional showers. Saturday looks like it will be brighter, with an all–day prediction of semi–sunny. The upside here will be a temperature rise to 13 degrees.

For Easter Sunday the heavens should – ah, only might – be more stable with more semi–sunny skies being forecast. Being Easter, the high temperature will dip to 12 degrees.

Next Monday has a forecast of cloudy and rainy, as a new wet front pushes in from the Atlantic. All things being equal, especially since it is Easter, don't be surprised if Monday's weather advances itself by 12 hours, to sprinkle some April showers on all Easter eggs in Paris. All of the astrology in the world can't prevent this possibility.

Today's Only 'Club Report of the Week'

Regardless of recent gloomy weather forecasts, most mornings have been fairly sunny. While having breakfast I have considered many possibilities for 'tours' only to abandon them as soon as I reach the street, to find the sky full of threatening clouds. Today is no exception.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II got safely out of town yesterday morning, so it is perfectly safe to make my semi–usual way to the Métro station on the Boulevard Raspail.

I don't really know if the Queen came this way at all. There were no crowd barriers set up at Denfert–Rochereau – where her cavalcade was scheduled to pass on the way to the Porte d'Orléans, to get to Orly's airport.

It's possible that the royal convoy passed at such a high speed that crowd barriers weren't required. It is also possible thatphoto: tomokos new kitty the royal convoy went to the heliport in the 15th arrondissement instead. In either case, without being awake at the time, it is the closest I've ever been to the Queen in my life, unconscious or not.

These are the thoughts that keep me occupied until I get to the Métro. In the Métro I ride through several stations without having any thoughts at all. Then, somewhere about Odéon, I start trying to see if there are any new posters in the passing stations.

Tomoko's new portable friend, 'Kitty.'

By the time I get off at Châtelet, the poster score is dozens for zero. I buy a paper in the station, get past the underground symphony orchestra, pick up the Métro's 'A Nous Paris' paper, and find the Rue de Rivoli to be full of erratic pedestrians. Some days nobody walks right.

At the club's café, La Corona, it seems quiet but in the café's 'grande salle' there are a lot of wayfarers loitering over their lunches. They must be early arrivals for Easter – maybe the hungrier part of the unstable crowds on Rivoli.

I capture two tables in the corner, by the 'non fumeurs' sign. Member Daniele Depuis manages to find me in this obscure space after I have seen a note in the paper about free entries to the Auteuil and Longchamp race– tracks on Sundays until 23. May.

I have also noted that the movie 'Deux Frères' is this week's top film, and you can see its poster in this issue. It stars two live tigers who accepted a lot of training in order to remember their lines.

Daniele tells me about living in Saint–Germain–en–Laye in a former life, and living in a camper in Ireland this year in January and February. She says she thought of moving there permanently, but it is too expensive.

Member Stan Fleener arrives after Daniele and I have recuperated some of the club's regular tables. With Stan is Rob – short for Robert – Fleener, and she wishes to become a club member. Stan has been in Paris since February, but Rob is here just for a week.

Stan joined the club one week less than four years ago. Rob has entered Leucadia, California as their hometown, so it becomesphoto: cup, glass, bottle the 'City of the Week.' It is not exactly clear if it is a suburb of San Diego. This is where Stan says he's from, so that Parisians will ask him what 'Bay Watch' life is like, because it is still re–running on TV here.

Rob has waited until today to join the club because she told Stan to figure out if he wants to live in Rome or Paris, now that he's retired from captaining American Airlines flights from Los Angeles to London.

The usual jungle of club cups, glasses and bottles.

Stan says he did the 'this is your captain speaking' spiels on 'auto–pilot.' While walking around yesterday he says he saw Eric Clapton. They exchanged 'I know who you are' eye–links but kept going in their own directions. Unlike Phil Collins who will be, Eric Clapton was not in Paris for his 'First Farewell Tour.'

These big things happen at Bercy. Daniele says she goes there – to the village, not the pyramid–like sports palace – because it is 'relaxing.'

Heather Stimmler–Hall has arrived before this – and says, about moving from Phoenix to Minneapolis – "You can get used to any extreme,", even if you think you can't, before you do.

Stan doesn't want to live any place that is extreme. Stan's problem with Europe is, there are too many unextreme choices.

When Tomoko Yokomitsu arrives Stan asks her how the acting business is going. This starts off a general conversation about getting plays produced – Tomoko's – and being an extra – like Heather – in films being made here.

Heather shows us her salary slip from her latest extra job. It has a lot of deductions for various social security charges. Then, 'Willy the Bird' flies in to see about the bread crumb situation, but doesn't stay long because the café is a bit hectic.

For example, after Heather says she is feeling cranky because she hasn't got her hot chocolate yet, Daniele says Heather is cranky because she hasn't got her hot chocolate yet.

The day's news is that Ireland has just turned itself into a no–smoking zone in all public places – like pubs! – andphoto: pay slip, movie extra no revolution has happened there yet. Heather says, "I think every place should be like Amsterdam."

Tomoko has a new purse mascot, named 'Kiki.' She says the other one became lost. While we are taking the 'Group Photo of the Week' Tomoko corrects the spelling to 'Kity.' Daniele in turn corrects the spelling to 'Kitty.' I wish it had stayed 'Kiki.'

Heather's pay slip is longer than the time she spent being an 'extra;'

Rob and Stan's daughter plays semi–pro water polo in Rome, but lives in Florence, which she likes less than Rome. I can't tell Stan if there is a semi–pro water polo league in France, but it wouldn't surprise me if there were one.

Water polo is played in the 18th arrondissement, in 'Les Amiraux' municipal pool, which was built in 1927 and renovated in the '80s. It was classified as a monument in 1991. In a book put out by the Hôtel de Ville, there is a mention of a European Water Polo tournament that took place in another pool in Paris in December of 2002.

It just goes to show that Europe is not backward just because very little baseball or American–style football is played here. Take water polo – this is a game that can be played anywhere so long as there a heated swimming pool. There are 34 swimming pools in Paris.

Attention – On Location

According to Le Parisien today, there are about ten films being shot on location at any given time in Paris.

Some of the movies being filmed on the streets of Paris today or within the next two weeks include:– '36,' being directed by Olivier Marshall, 'Les Sœurs Fâchées' by Alexandra Leclère, 'De Battre Mon Cœur S'est Arrêté' by Jacques Audiard, 'Clara et Associés' which is the first episode of a TV series being directed by Gérard Marx, 'L'Empire des Loups' by Chris Nahon, an episode of the TV series 'Frank Riva' with Alain Delon, and 'Premiers Secours' which is a new TV series, being produced by TF1.

The Bumper–Sticker Slogan Contest

Send in your entries for the fabulous Bumper–sticker Slogan Contest that is running jointly intoon: 2cv with bumper sticker Heather's Secrets of Paris newsletter and in Metropole.

To enter you should submit very short slogans that sum up Paris and France positively in a few pithy words that will fit on a bumper– sticker. There will be a suitably 'grand' prize for the best slogan, and nine runner–up prizes for the next best ones.

Judging will be held in late April at a club meeting, and the members who are present will be asked to assist with choosing the winners. Find all the details on the Contest page.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This brief 'report' about today's club's meeting should give you a hint of the cozy times to be had at some club meetings. The 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has all the information you need to know about joining. Luckily it is not much.

Become a real lifetime member of this online magazine's real, live and free club by becoming a member in seconds by attending any of its meetings in Paris, for free. There are no hidden costs, or 'rules.' In the beginning there were some but they were demolished by members.

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

The weekly Thursday club meetings start around 15:00 on the dot, on days that are Thursday afternoons. Meetings continue until about 17:00, in the European Time of Paris' annual 'semi–real spring' – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'les temps douce de avril' although they are sometimes – 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 the opposite of not being at one. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' having a slightly greater 'report' value over 'true.' 'True' is acceptable too, especially if it's remotely plausible.

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 buried deep in the archives, which you can read if you at a loss for anything to do. All 'exceptions' to any other 'rules' have been suspended forever, quite a bit like all the 'rules.'

Saying stuff at meetings is fine. If there's an empty chair sit – optional – wherever you like, or haul one over from another part of the café. If they are listening, whatever you say may be honestly appreciated by other club members present, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here, as some of it is sometimes.*

*The above paragraphs are unchanged since last week because Paris is a 'live' film set on most days, rather than a re–run.

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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