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Take advantage of the special VIP welcome reserved for Club France membersgraphic: CarteAdherent, club france at many fine hotels and restaurants, where you may get year–round discounts of up to 50 percent.

Try Club France for access to special promotional offers, bonuses and upgrades, and you will receive favored treatment from museums, tour companies, rail carriers, car rental agencies, and sporting facilities – as well as exceptional offers from over 1500 French tourism professionals. The Club France card is valid for you and up to five family members traveling together. With prices the way they are, you might save the modest price of a Club France card in one day here.

Past, Present and Future

The American Club of Paris has roots going back to Benjamin Franklin's time in Paris. Historically, this year it is celebrating its centennial, and doing it with a day–long symposium featuring acknowledged experts who will be talking about political, historical, cultural and economic aspects of Franco–American relations.

The symposium is divided into morning and afternoon sessions, and will be followed by a black–tie gala dinner, at which Dr. Bernard Kouchner, former UN administrator for Kosovo and former French Minister of Health, will be the keynote speaker.

The event will take place on Friday, 14. May, under the joint patronage of the Hon. Howard Leach, US Ambassador to France, and the Hon. Jean–David Levitte, Ambassador of France to the United States.

The symposium will be held in the auditorium of the Maison du Barreau, opposite the Place Dauphine, 2–4. Rue Harlay, Paris 1. Métro; Saint–Michel, Cité or Pont–Neuf. More information and reservations for this event can be found on the Web site of the American Club or telephone either 01 42 38 00 89 or 01 49 10 06 22.Headlines of the Week

"Consummez!" was at the top of Le Parisien's front page last Wednesday, after the Minister of the Economy told the French it would be patriotic to spend more. There's more to read about on this week's 'Au Bistro' page.

Contest Winners Check In

The winning entries for the great bumper–sticker slogan contest were selected at the Café Metropole Club meeting on Thursday, 29. April. The winners who won are listed on last week's updated contest page. The first prize winner is expected in Paris to receive her prize directly from the organizers. Expect a report about this to be an update on the 'contest' page.

Last Week's Café Metropole Club 'Report'

If you are between periods of doing useful stuff you may have enough free time to take a look at the only versionphoto: fiat 500 of the 'City of the Week' Missing' report. This club meeting was significant for 'No Things of the Week' and no other 'firsts' for anything at all.

The first 'Fiat 500 of the Week' in many weeks.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club is on Thursday, 13. May. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Sainte–Rolande. This one is another true mystery. I think the club's meeting day should be changed from Thursday, to the day of mystery saints.

Some minor but important details about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The virtual club membership card on this page is as free as Paris air and valid for your whole lifetime, everywhere in the world.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.20 – 12. May 2003 – this issue began with Café Metropole's 'Bring Your Own Tapas.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was, 'In 6 Words.' The lone feature was titled 'On a 'Typical' Street no more than Just Average.' The Scène column was titled, 'Choo–Choo Champs–Elysées.' The Café Metropole Club update for 15. May was titled the "We've Just Hung Up Our Sleds!" report. Therephoto: sign, place du louvre were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's cartoon of the week was captioned, "No Trains to Nantes."

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.20 – 13. May 2002 – this week's Café Metropole column was sporting, with 'Roller Days Are Back.' The 'Au Bistro' column was a no–show, but there was one feature titled, 'Oyster Opener of the Year, at the Foire de Paris.' The Café Metropole Club update on 16. May was headlined as the "Twice As Much Caffeine?" report. The Scène column's title was, 'Wondering What To Do Next?' There were four new 'Posters of the Week,' and Ric's cartoon Caption of the Week urged somebody to 'Get Ideas.'

Back by Popular Request – the 'Countdowns'

Among many other things I have mislaid the 'old' countdowns except for what's here. Jim Auman wrote to remind us all that the Père Lachaise cemetery is having the 200th anniversary of its opening, on Friday, 21. May. This is 12 days from now.

This is the 100th anniversary of the sad death of Frédéric– August Bartholdi, the designer of the Stature of Liberty. His death occurred on Tuesday, 4. October. This anniversary is 148 days from now.

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, 164 days from now.

An even bigger literary hoopla will be made this year for George Sand, who was born 200 years ago on Sunday, 1. July 1804. This week will officially be the 'Année George Sand' all year long. The anniversary is 50 days from today.

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 28 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 105 days from today. The 'Liberation' started on Tuesday, 15. August, with aphoto: sign, rue de rennes strike – by the Métro and the police. Some sporadic strikes still continue, but seldom in August.

After getting hired flunkies to vote in favor of inventing the title of 'Emperor' for Napoleon on 3. May 1804, the Senat passed the measure without quibbling. A plebiscite was held and 2569 reckless souls in all of France voted against it. The coronation took place on Sunday, 2. December.

Part of the official record is David's painting of it. David, whose first name was Louis, also included his own inlaws in the painting. They were not there because they were uninvited, and neither was Napoleon's mom, who was sulking in Italy at the time. The 200th anniversary of this dubious event is 207 days from now. The 200th anniversary of David's death will be 21 years from now.

2004 is Barely Worth Anything

As of today there are 228 more days left of this year. This is more or less the same number of 'days left' as the same time last year. When anyone writes stuff like this, it means it is time for 'Ric's Day Off' again.
signature, regards, ric

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