horz line

Orange 'City of the Week'

photo: group, don, bruce, tomoko, audrey, doug, carol, ralph

From left to right – Don, Bruce, Tomoko, Audrey,
Doug, Carol and Ralph.

D–Day II & Bis

Paris:– Thursday, 3. June 2004:– Readers and club members no doubt expect me to pull fine weather out of my hat so everybody can re–enact D–Day this coming weekend without getting overly damp. On this occasion, for all concerned, I will do exactly as you want.

Never mind that this comes straight from tonight's TV–weather news. I do not intend to give credit where it's due. This weather is brought to you exclusively by Metropole Paris and the Café Metropole Club.

Unlike 60 years ago, a generous and solid high is spreading over France from the Atlantic, and it will lock in to protect the whole dern country from cruddy 'Invasion Weather' for the entire weekend.

This starts tomorrow with milky–blue skies, especially in the north. The afternoon should be mostly sunny as the high pressure zone gradually extends to the east. Temperatures in Paris should go up to 23 degrees, while out west on the coast they should get to 20 or a bit above.

On Saturday it should be sunny almost everywhere except along the northeast frontier. Expect temperatures ofphoto: hat of the week about 23 degrees. For Sunday the skies should be very blue with very few clouds, and the temperature is expected to climb up to around 25 degrees. At the moment, this unseasonal wonder weather is supposed to continue on Monday and get even warmer.

The club's first 'Hat of the Week' this week.

What is the probability of weather like this you may ask. Since this is not TV–weather news weather, this magazine can guarantee it at least through Saturday. Sunday, even for me, is too good to be true, even for June.

The Club 'Report of the Week'

I am late breaking from the starting gate today. At the last minute an email has arrived. I skim it, catching the names of club members who were at the meeting last week, but do not really take in its details because I am shutting the machine off and changing my shirt, packing the official Metropole bag and making sure I have Métro tickets. Slam! Out the door and down the stairs and out the street door and down the shady street.

Like last week I miss the Métro train in the Raspail station. There's four minutes until the next one comes. Some of the big ads in the station have an artful spray–painted look – to look as if they've been tagged by the anti–pub people who are against colorful but lying underground advertising.

I am only against the ads that have poor graphics and stupid text. This is, unfortunately, mostly allphoto: cafe of the week of them all the time. The spray–paint look doesn't improve anything, and shows that depraved advertisers will stoop lower than you'd thought possible.

The club's 'Café of the Week' is in a bathtub.

There are no signs that I see of increased security in the tunnels when I leave the train at Châtelet. We are supposed to be having a 'red' alert on account of the D–Day fête, but it must be wearing its invisible paint. So I scoot up out of the underground.

I skip Rivoli's cheap frenzy. I glide through my quiet back alleys. The posters at Pont Neuf are blah. Maybe there will be a second shift of them going up tomorrow. Maybe it will be a non–poster week again.

The Quai du Louvre isn't crowded. The weather is mild without being brilliant. It is between any extremes, requiring no thirst–quenchers or parasols.

The café La Corona is drowsing. All the doors and windows are open. There must be 75 free tables and four times as many free chairs. There are some civilians in the club's area in the 'grande salle,' and there is member Don Smith from Seattle sitting under his new hat, a brimmed straw one instead of the usual felt.

Don says he is staying near Château–Rouge instead of in the 14th arrondissement. He prefers Africa in Paris to rétro. Actually, he has a friend with an apartment there.

Audrey and Bruce Poole arrive. I give them the semi–remembered message from the email. They are somewhat perplexed. So am I.

We talk about the big stir caused by Professor Steven Kaplan's book 'Cherchez le Pain' – about where to find the five best boulangeries in Paris. Don says the professor should get a Legion d'Honneur because Sylvester Stallone got one.

He won't tell me or doesn't know why Sylvester Stallone got one. We can't think of a reason. Was it for selling movie tickets? Cinemas are a cultural asset just like the movies in them.

Bruce tells me that Sainte–Chapelle is closed 'for security reasons.' It is not because Sainte–Chapelle is a target but because it is inside the Palais de Justice, we think. The whole justice and security apparatus in France is paranoid these days.

Audrey and Bruce got over their disappointment by walking from the Etoile to the Grande Arche at La Défense. For good measure they started in the Jardin des Plantes. They may have been guilty of over–walking.

Doug Fuss arrives with the latest newsphoto: water of the week from the tennis thing at Roland Garros. He says three out of four semi– finalists are Argentines. Or does he say Russians? I am so busy trying to spell 'Argentines' that I forget to listen closely.

He adds that the Williams sisters got knocked out on 'Black Tuesday' – before I could see them on the TV–news. I think I haven't seen them for four years in a row. They could get more TV–time if they were French.

The club's 'Water of the Week' is without gin but fizzy.

Doug starts telling Bruce all about sports medicine. This is in connection to living on fifth or sixth floors here without an elevator. When I hint that Bruce does sports medicine, Doug switches at asking for advice about how to get a successful operation.

Bruce says, "Tell your surgeon that you want to be operated on first in the morning." Of course! – I could have said this. I saw MASH a couple of weeks ago on TV.

Then we float around a bit, hearing about how it is on the ex–France, now Norway, cruising in the Caribbean. According to Doug it is easier than golfing, and fares were pretty low for a couple of seasons recently.

Patrick the 'Waiter of the Week' brings over Carol and Ralph Enos and introduces them to the club, which they have been looking for on account of Heather, the number one member.

The Enos come from the City of Orange in California. As soon as I have it clear that it is not the same thing as the County, I declare it to be the 'City of the Week.' To be absolutely definite about it, Carol says it is 'two and a half miles east of Disneyland.'

She also says that the 'next time, the fourth time,' will be their last visit to Paris. "Because," she says, "It's time we move on to other places to visit." The 198 steps up the place they are staying this time has nothing watsoever to do with it.

Continued on page 2...
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