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A Fixer–Upper Week

photo: cafe relais odeon

Sun beaming on the Boulevard Saint–Germain.

Metropole's 'Tours' Lists

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 19. April 2004:– I made a mistake a week ago by writing that our weather – truly spring–like – was great enough for be mistaken for February weather. This caused last Thursday's bright skies and temperature of 19 degrees to collapse.

Easter must have been early this year because its weather was uncharacteristically fine. Now we are getting 'real' Easter weather, and I suppose this is all anybody will remember. 'I was in Paris a week after Easter, and the weather was as bad as in March,' people who weren't here in March will say.

If you think this is leading up to predictions of bright skies and warm temperatures, then you will be off the mark a bit. Now that 'normal' Easter weather has us firmly in its grip, the outlook is gloomy, damp and cool.

This is 'gloomy' in the sense of being more or less constantly cloudy, with all winds being cool, to match temperatures that are not warm to begin with. Total cloud is forecast for tomorrow, with a nominal high temperature of a lousy 14 degrees. Winds from the southwest will make it seem cooler.

Wednesday will be more cloudy than not. There may be some outpeeps of sunshine but they probably won't last for more than minutes at a time. Winds from the southwest will be hitting the coast – admittedly, far from Paris – at 70 kph. A forecast temperature high of 18 seems a bit implausible.

On Thursday the skies should lighten up a bit as Wednesday's low front passes towards the east, where it belongs. In exchange, the high for the day may drop to 16, which may be realistic. A long–range guess for Friday indicates a semi–sunny day, but with a front of some sort descending from the northwest. No good fronts ever come from the northwest.

Café Life

A Fixer–Upper Week

In mid–week the weather was spotty, with short sunny periods alternating with short periods of rain and long stretches of cloudy skies. During a brief lull on Wednesday I captured some of the week's posters, even though I was uncertain about doing a complete issue.

As it turned out the only day worth being outside for extended periods was the club meeting day on Thursday, when I was mostly inside. What else I actually did on Wednesday and Friday escapes me now, but from somewhere an old idea emerged and I decided to do it 'while the sun didn't shine.'

About four years ago Metropole reader Gary Jackson was at loose ends and wrote to suggest that the tours around Parisphoto: red white 2cv that appear in Metropole be given their own indexes so that readers can more easily find them. It seemed like a lot of work to me, but Gary offered to give it a shot and put together lists for 2000 and 2001.

And that's where the idea stayed. Until this week's rainy skies. On Friday I looked at the lists Gary had sent and saw they were far from complete. Instead of digging to get the article URLs and dates, I decided to start at the beginning with the issues done in 1996.

Metropole's files for the first year are a terrible mess. I didn't do the coding at the time so all I have are the texts as I wrote them. For the first 23 issues I didn't even have the contents pages, although the URLs for these are in the past issues' page for 1996.

The short of it is it took a lot more time than I thought to just do a 'tours' list with links to the articles, and put them into chronological order – in the reverse order of the past issues' pages. It didn't take hours, it took days.

After I finished the 1996 list, corrected it and re–corrected it, I decided to tackle 2003 – with the idea of gradually doing them from either end – as in, the nextphoto: cafe labroderie, smart two to do are 1997 and 2002.

It is only when you do stuff like this that you find out that handfuls of whole issues aren't even in the past issues' lists. Oh surprise! How exciting! But, excepting 1996, all of the archives for other years are fairly complete and it's only a question of wading through them, one–by–one to extract the URLs.

It was boring to do it and it is boring to write about it. But it is the reason that this issue is doubled with the last one, instead of having its own feature and the usual sorry excuse for not doing the 'Au Bistro' column. I am up to my nose with copy–and–paste.

I am really looking forward to 'Ric's Day Off.' All I'm going to do is try to forget that there are another six of them to do.

Last Call For Entries

The deadline for the great bumper–sticker slogan contest is this coming Thursday, 22. April. All you need to do is think up a short and catchy slogan that sums up why Paris or France is your favorite holiday destination, and email it to me as quick as you can.

Laurel Avery Is Unavailable

The popular 'Paris Journal' columns by Laurel will be interrupted for several issues while the author is out of town. Before she left she asked for details about how to connect to the Internet from temporary locations, but she didn't say this meant that her 'Journals' will be coming from any of these.

Non–link to the Web Site of the Week

On Saturday coming back from the Inno supermarket with some hot sauce I bumped into Matt Rose on his way to a barbeque and we went a long way out of both our ways to have a café because the café we were closest to isn't so good. When Matt isn't being a 'mail–artist' he is apt to give advice about marketing – which is something I wish I understood.

One theory going around is that a Web site likephoto: rue jacob Metropole can become more famous if it has lots of links. Offers to 'exchangelinks' arrive all the time – often with Matt's reasoning – but you don't see them here because they are for hotel Web sites in Saint Petersburg or Malaysia.

Then Matt asked me if I had a link to the Web site he contributes Paris articles to. I looked at it some time ago and didn't notice any Matt Rose on it, so I didn't put it in. On Saturday he said he was in the left column of the contents page. So, naturally, I've waited until a minute ago to check it out.

As far as I can tell, the Web site where Matt's work is, is being attacked by Internet hooligans tonight. For this reason I am not putting in a 'live' link. The Web site where you can find Matt's article is called 'art-themagazine' If you are willing to risk it, you can add 'http://www.' to the beginning and '.com' to the end – or simply look it up with Google – which might be safer.

We talked for about a hour on Saturday, which made Matt late for his date. He was supposed to be somewhere beyond the Gare Saint–Lazare by 16:00. We walked back to Gaîté together just as it was starting to rain. With his guitar in hand and a firm belief in barbeques, he dived into the Métro entry.

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