...Continued from page 1

Ralph wants to know, 'what sort of hoops [to jump though] are required to come back and forth, and to live here?'

'None in particular' is Doug's answer. "Stay in a hotel for three or four days, with all the services," Doug says, "And for longer, stay in an apartment."

Tomoko Yokomitsu is greeted by the Seattle people with 'Oh Tomoko!' Patrick brings a café for me and it leaks a bit so Bruce gives me his saucer, which has the sugar wrappers twisted into little balls.

Bruce says they are 'orogamis.' Tomoko offers that 'La Grue' is the Japanese national bird. No, no, this isn't right. 'La Grue' translates into Flamingo, which is the national bird. Getting from sugar wrappersphoto: cafe of the week to the name for the Japanese national bird in French is about average for anything except for the club's own bird, Willy, who Patrick says has been flying into the café for at least two years, and is making brief appearances today.

This looks suspiciously like the 'Café of the Week' again, doesn't it?

Obviously it must be 'Group Photo of the Week' time, and Bruce shows me his Swiss Army watch to prove it. We traipse out on to the terrace and six groups of passing civilians pause while the club's secretary shoots the 'Group of the Week' from three different angles.

Back in the café's 'grande salle' Ralph wants to know about lights. Is the Arc de Triomphe lit at night? Ralph says they saw it on an earlier visit, "Lit by a Virgin–Mary type blue light." Carol says she had to see the Opéra, 'after seeing the Phantom of the Opéra.'

This reminds me that I seldom see the Arc de Triomphe at night, unless it is winter when it gets dark early. The Enos say that the Arc de Triomphe is not lit at all these days. Since I don't know, I try to sell them on the sparkle lights of the Tour Eiffel. I am pretty sure they haven't burnt out yet. Le Parisien would complain if they were.

And thus, at just after 17:00, the 240th meeting is at an end and all the members drift off. The Enos leave for the Pont des Arts to see the artists on it. A few minutes later I do the same thing, but all the artists seem to be elsewhere today. Maybe they are at Roland Garros, watching Argentines or Russians batting balls around.

'Liberty Week'

The big events of this June weekend have inspired some in Paris to begin a 'Semaine de la Liberté.' I thought this was a phantom, but there really are projections of WWII images on a screen at the Assemblyphoto: group photo time of the week National, beginning at 22:00, and happening nightly until Sunday. See this from the Pont de la Concorde.

The fence of the Luxembourg Garden will be used for hanging large photos from WWII scenes, and these will continue to be on view until 31. August. There is also to be an inaugural concert for this, but Le Parisien neglects to say when. The Luxembourg Palace has had new lights installed as well.

According to Bruce's watch it's 'Group Photo Time of the Week.'

The original program of events was more ambitious, but I was unable verify it some weeks ago. The Tour Eiffel was mentioned as being converted to tri–color, American films were slated for non–stop projection in three cinemas on the Champs–Elysées, and there was to be a 'grande fête populaire' with fireworks at the Place de la Concorde on Saturday evening. Finally, on Sunday, 6. June, 'love forever brunches were to be served in hotels, on peniches, everywhere.

D–Day II

The 60–years–after version of D–Day next Sunday has already attracted considerable numbers of visitors who are hoping to beat the million–strong crowds expected over the weekend. More are expected than took part in the original event.

They will be met, guided and channeled by 6000 gendarmes, 3300 police officers, 1500 other civilian securityphoto: leftovers of the week people and 8000 armed troops. I don't know if this includes the 2000 US troops from bases in Germany that were also slated to be present.

The club's 'after of the week' – in case you are interested.

These armed forces will be looking after Jacques Chirac, Vladimir Poutine, Gerhard Schröder, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, various other heads of state, and another 8000 close friends.

Traffic will be severely restricted in the 6. June 1944 invasion beaches area, especially near Arronmanche–les–Bains. There will be another, Franco–Canadian ceremony at Ouistreham, at the east end of the restricted area. The city of Caen is not restricted, but if you don't already have a place there, you probably won't get near it.

The headquarters of the security measures in Paris has said that Normandy is not in a 'state of siege,' but in a 'state of vigilance.' Weekend leave has also been suspended for France's various sorts of spooks.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This 'report' about today's club's meeting should give you a sketchy notion of the cozy times to be had at club meetings. The 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has all the additional information you need to know about the club. If you have a small one, what you need to know fits in an average thimble.

Become a real lifetime member of this online magazine's real, live, and free club by becoming a member in seconds by signing–in yourself any of its meetings in Paris, for free. There are no hidden costs, real or imaginary. The club's 'rules' were quashed by the club's members long ago. The club's other claim to fame is that it is the only club related to an Internet magazine that has no newsletter to send you. We all have enough spam.

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

The weekly club meetings begin about 15:00, on many days that are Thursday afternoons. Meetings continue until about 17:00, in the western European Time of Paris' – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'June's D–Day times' although they sometimes are – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Club meetings are only held in Paris unless stated otherwise.

Doing anything clever at a meeting – like being at one – is considered the opposite of not being at one. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' having a much greater 'report' value than 'true.' 'True' is perfectly acceptable too, especially if it's unbelievable.

Only one note of caution – you may have any one or two of a hundred personal reasons for not wanting to be traceable via 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 one of these flaky club reports.graphic: club location map

Former 'rules' remain 'former' week after week and have been eliminated from the club's volumes of chronicles except for all the originals still online buried deep in the archives, which you can read if you can find them. All 'exceptions' to any other 'rules' have been suspended forever, quite a bit most of the 'rules.'

Talking to other club members at meetings is an acceptable activity. If there's an empty chair sit – completely 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 members present, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here, as some of it sometimes is.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the club secretary's anxiety attack caused by the lack of security on the crucial Pont des Arts.

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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