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The way TV showed it, you'd think it was carnival. I don't know how they cut the noise out of the reports, but they did. They took a parade that lasted five or six hours and drew a half million or 700,000 Parisians and slashed the trash sound out of it, and made it into a tidy three minute feature between the bombs in Iraq and the UMPs having a confab in Essonne.

They didn't say anything about the racket of the thing being audible kilometres away all afternoon. But they did say the sister parade in Berlin only drew 200,000 on Saturday. This is good news. Four years from now, maybe the Paris edition will turn into carnival.

Paris – Cheap at the Price

Can you imagine your home town Parisphoto: batofar paper telling you life isn't expensive here – if you are a foreigner? You could have the bad luck to live in New York where a basket of 200 standard items costs 5.3 percent more than in Paris.

Where not to dance at the Batofar.

Or, even worse, you could live in London which is second only to Tokyo for the highest cost of living. London costs 24.3 percent more, and Tokyo is a blistering 36 percent more than Paris. Moscow it right up there in third place too.

Paris, in 17th place worldwide, is sandwiched between Istanbul and Shanghai. Without knowing the exact rankings, both Madrid and Berlin are much lower down the list, below Helsinki in 23rd place. For café, go to Madrid where it is 33 cents a cup less, service included.

But how about Buenos Aires, way down at the 141st level? In BA, what costs a euro in New York, only will set you back about 48 cents, 47 cents less than in Paris. Montevideo costs even less.

Soldes d'Eté

The only official date for the summer sales – 'les soldes d'été' – that concerns us now is the final day of discount shopping on Saturday, 24. July. If there's anything left you'll need to get it by this day or settle for the 'soldes d'hiver.'

Headline of the Week

"FINIS" was how Saturday's Le Parisien summed up the French team's final score at the EuroFootphoto: roller rando, sunday tournament on Friday night in Portugal. The photo shows Greeks hugging Greeks and dancing with joy, and three French players in various stages of acute depression.

Roller folks on Sunday.

Today's headline 'Le choc' is about the weekend National Council meeting of the UMP party held in deepest Essonne. The shock was between Prime Minister Jean–Pierre Raffarin and his Minister of Finance, Nicolas Sarkozy. During the proceeding week, Président Jacques Chirac let it be known that Monsieur Sarkozy can't be party secretary and keep his ministerial post. Until his next meeting with Jacques, Nicolas intends to stay 'zen.' It's this summer's thriller.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

If you ever have a spare moment, be sure to take a peek at the latest 'Open–Pit of the Week' report. Three members who were present for the whole meeting came from Germany. Two–thirds were in Paris for shopping and one–third for jazz. The fourth member present brought his usual hat.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 1. July. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint–Thierry. This is a obscure saint overshadowed by several kings. For example, Thierry III, a son of Clovis II, was dethroned by Childéric II in 673 but climbed back to power in 675, only to be defeated at Tertry in 687, and die in 690, about. All this happened back in the darkest times, before the less Dark Ages.

Some minor and unimportant details about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The virtual club membership card on this page remains as free as clean fresh air and continues to be easily worth as much. Do not expect any 50 percent–off sale price.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.27 – 30. June 2003 – the Café Metropole column's headline was, 'A Blogged Week with a Change of Email.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was, 'Another Six-Word 'News' Report.' The feature in this issue was titled 'The Fête de la Musique was Full of Sparkles.' There were hotlinks to both Scène columns. The Café Metropole Club update for 3. July was titled, the 'Cityless of the Week' report. There were another fourphoto: sign, avenue de la republique new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's cartoon of the week was captioned as, "Just Like Last Year!"

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 6.27 – 2. July 2001– this issue's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'Saved! The Bélière.' The 'Au Bistro' column was titled, 'Triple Jeopardy.' The issue's single feature was titled 'Villa Paris – Out In the Country In the City.' The Café Metropole Club update on 5. July was headlined as the ''Surprise' of the Week' report. The Scène Eté column's title was 'Paris Open 24/24, All Summer.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'Back To Normal.'

'Countdowns' – Suspension Continues

You can find the exciting 'countdowns,' if you really miss them, in a recent issue by clicking here. Do not, I remind you yet again, forget to subtract 14 days from all count–down dates. Do not forget to ignore all other 'countdowns' that have expired. Unlike the 'countdowns' themselves, this is not a lot to remember.

A New Non–Countdown

Ever–alert, Jim Auman somehow found out that the oldest settlement in North America turned 400 on Saturday. Thisphoto: paris insurge, paris libere exceeds the age of the Jamestown colony by three years and is 16 years older than the Pilgrims' settlement in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

One of the posts put up for this summer's 60th anniversary of the liberation.

The names here are Pierre Dugua and Samuel Champlain, and 77 other Frenchmen, who arrived at a tiny island in the St. Croix River, which separates Maine from New Brunswick. However, snow came early 400 years ago and food ran out and 35 of the party died of scurvy before a relief ship arrived the following June. Those who were left then moved to Port Royal in Nova Scotia, which may have its 400th birthday in 2005, as the second oldest settlement in North America. This is a year from now.

Years Ago

It was 80 years ago today, but in the last century, that the Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, Sofia, were assassinated in Sarajevo. This was also the day in 1919 that the Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending the troubles begun by the assassination. On a happier note, we should remember that on 28. June, 167 years ago, George III's grand–daughter Victoria Alexandrina was crowned as Queen Victoria in Westminster Abbey.

This Year Becomes Better, Much Shorter

As of today there are still 186 days left of this year. This is more or less the same number of 'days left' as at this time in 1986. We might have had the best 180 days of any year in our lives so far. Or last year's may have been, or next year's will be. Whichever year you are in, make sure its 28. June has weather as good as it's been here.
signature, regards, ric

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