horz line

Café Life In 117 Words

photo: brasserie du metro

Where in Paris, one short block from Rivoli?

'On Holiday' Not Two of Them

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 26. April 2004:– I am starting to worry about the weather. There are some normal days when it is cool and cloudy and other days when it rains a bit – but there are very few days when it does both all day long. I am not too sure what it does at nights when everything is quite dark.

The part of the weather I worry about are the other days – roughly about half of them lately – that are neither cool nor cloudy nor rainy – the days that are positively sunny and warm. I don't remember so many of them since 1976, when it got sunny in mid–May and stayed that way until I went on holidays at the beginning of September.

It is certainly not mid–May yet. It is still possible that March weather will resume then and stay with us all summer. It has happened often enough in the past.

Last Thursday's weather forecast of total overcast with rain was completely wrong. Friday's weather was great. So was Saturday's, Sunday's and today's. Not just lots of light, but warm too. Early visitors in Paris are getting a rare treat – a long weekend of good weather.

The last day of this cycle will likely be tomorrow, which should be mostly sunny, and with a forecast high of 23 degrees, quite warm too. But there's a low front moving in from the west which should be over Paris by Wednesday – but maybe with a bit of leftover sunshine in the morning.

The temperatures will dip a bit to 20 degrees for Wednesday and Thursday. I'm not sure what is supposed to happen to the low–pressure system from the west, because tonight's TV–weather news suggested Thursday will be mostly sunny.

This morning's forecast in Le Parisien has pretty cloudy skies with rain as a prediction for Thursday and Friday. The paper's temperatures are four degrees less than tonight's TV prediction too. Maybe just a bit below 'normal' for the time of the year.

It isn't helpful to have two different forecasts here, but these are what I have to offer. Forecasting–wise, it'll be hard for the weather news here to be wrong.

Café Life

An Entire Week of Life In 117 Words

This can be summed up in very briefly, much in contrast to the rest of this column. Your 'Ed' is in dire straits.photo: chestnut trees, cafe terrace In itself this is not news because the condition is chronic. However the past week was spent trying to do something about it, rather than trying to keep track of Paris.

A nearby terrace I wasn't on.

The long version of the past week does not include anything amazing or interesting. The really bad news is that this week's new Scène column is not complete either, and getting it done quickly will be in competition with continuing what I was doing last week.

It has been suggested that I say I am 'on holiday,' but I am definitely not.

Winners to be Picked On Thursday

The deadline for entries the great bumper–sticker slogan contest was on Thursday, 22. April. The winners will be chosen during next Thursday's Café Metropole Club meeting, which will be followed by a full 'report' about the winners of the great contest.

Laurel Avery Sighted

The popular 'Paris Journal' columns by Laurel will continue to be interrupted for several more issues while the author is out of town again. Laurel was sighted briefly between 'out–of–towns' last week, and she said she would be back, maybe, "In a couple of weeks."

The Web Site of the Week

This item about Honoré Daumier is here instead of in the wasteland of the 'count–downs' because this famous cartoonist was born on Friday, 26. February 1808 in Marseille and he died, um, almost 71 years later on Friday, 3. January 1879 in Valmondois. As you can see there are no even numbers of 'years ago' here.

But Mayor Bertrand Delanoë will pay a visit at 15:00 to the Père Lachaise cemetery on Wednesday, 19. May, to assist with the cemetery's 200th anniversary.photo: passage de la tour de vanves

This news comes from Lilian and Dieter Noack who have written to say that Daumier's sadly neglected plot in Père Lachaise has been cleaned up – the fallen tree was removed at last – even though the tombstone and the surrounding chain are still in a sorry state after 125 years. Lilian and Dieter hope the mayor will lend a hand with the Daumier grave restoration project.

The best time of year – greens are fresh and so is the warm sky.

Even if you are not directly concerned, you can still take a look at one of the most ambitious Web sites devoted to Honoré Daumier. It features reproductions of many rare prints seldom seen anywhere else. You can also see photos of the neglected grave in Père Lachaise.

Headline of the Week

'Le grand défi de la 407' – is last Thursday's headline on Le Parisien's front page, accompanied by a large photo of a red car with a 1970's type grill. The big news is that this is Peugeot's new family–sized sedan, which replaces the preceding '406,' '405,' '404,' and maybe some even older '402' models if you go back far enough in time to Rétromobile days.

The only ones I've seen since the new model's intro on Thursday have been in TV commercials. But I definitely have seen the grille form before – it was on a revised 406 coupé going down the street that I thought looked a bit odd.

If I am not mistaken, the new car has the standard low snout streaming into a very sloped–back windshield, and a short, high rear end, as if the people up front cannot enjoy a car with less trunk volume than a Mercedes limo. Peugeot, I must say, can do this styling thing with considerably more harmony than most other car manufacturers.

German cr magazines will give it a couple of points less than Audi, BMW and smaller Mercs, and French car magazines will compare it well with VW's Passat, Citroën's C5 and Opel's Vectra, with perhaps a couple of points extra. In France the 407 starts out with a 116 hp engine at 19,500€ and goes up to 33,200€. The new car weighs several hundred kilos more than the car it replaces, so it might seem a bit sluggish with the smallest motor.

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