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No Smoking Paris?

photo, resto montparnasse 1900, hotel terminus

Nuit Blanche in Montparnasse.

Sooner than Never

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 4. October 2004:– Even with Le Parisien on strike I can see that the weather is pretty good for a day in October. There is blue in the sky, some sunshine, some clouds, hardly any wind and it feels warmer 'than average.'

Tonight's TV–weather news confirms the temperature estimate. It is supposed to have been 26 degrees here. How it can be 26 degrees without feeling like 26 degrees is a minor mystery. I would've sworn it wasn't a tad over 23.

Ah, but with Le Parisien on strike I have no up–to–date weather maps to scrawl notes on. Why I use Friday's paper instead is also mysterious. If I can't see better than this, what use me watching the TV–weather news?

First the Channel. There's going to be a wind blowing up it at about 60 kph. Meanwhile a great low fromphoto, peugeot quark the Atlantic is going to drift in from the ocean, and gradually swirl counter–clockwise down from the northwest, to cross France over the next three days.

Peugeot's new version of a – they call it a Quark.

Today's temperature will drop seven degrees right here in the Montparnasse part of Paris, to 19. Then on Wednesday there'll be this same diagonal band of cruddy weather sweeping further down, and as it sweeps, down goes the temperature to 16 degrees. The same is predicted for Thursday.

The TV–weather maps didn't show totally gray days, but then they hardly ever do. La Isabelle Martinez said it would be 'variable.' It means it can be cloudy and the sun will peep out a bit and then it will be cloudy some more. With our glasses half–full, I have written half–sunny on Friday's weather maps. There's no telling.

Café Life

No Smoking Paris?

On Tuesday, 26. October, the city is rumored to be launching a new label, 'Etablissement sans tabac.' It was ten years ago that a law was introduced, mandating no smoking zones in restaurants and cafés.

Since then some restaurants that set aside small zones have found that no smoking is appreciated, and the small zones are now reserved for smokers. Joël Robuchon's latest restaurant has its kitchen in the centre of the dining room, so there is no question about smoking in it.

Some Parisians are getting tired of all thephoto, barred posters things that are becoming forbidden. Some think they may as well stay home, where they can do what they want. Some thought that cafés were their homes. Some are surprised that the century has changed – in only two years.

The syndicate of the hospitality industry has found that 70 percent are satisfied with the dual zones in cafés and restaurants. It is going to start a campaign to try and get the smokers to respect the rights of non– smokers.

Some posters are well–guarded.

Smoking was banned from many trains beginning last year and expanded this year. Last year a few faculties banned smoking, but was extended 14 out of 17 universities in the Paris area for this year.

Meanwhile, the retailers of tobacco products who are located near France's borders have been protesting against high taxes in France – taxes that are driving customers across borders to seek lower prices.

Headline of the Week

Last Friday's Le Parisien posed the question, "Mais à qui profite la croissance?" While the economy is supposed to perking along nicely, unemployment gained by half a percent in August, for a rise of 2.2 percent for the year.

The paper's explanation is that employers do not trust the better business climate and are holding off on hiring. But Peugeot is hiring a lot of people to make cars, tourism is supposed to be expanding, and services are doing well. At the end of August the official unemployment rate was 9.9 percent of the workforce, slightly higher than the rate in India.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

You can find the latest "Who Had Tea?" club report online as the season slides into fall. Beforephoto, aixam mini car the meeting Patrick didn't say there was 'beaucoup du monde' waiting in the club's area in the 'grande salle,' and they produced some bona fide miniature 'photos of the week' on the backs of their digital cameras, again.

When little cars are made, France will make them smaller. See Auto Salon in the last issue.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 7. October. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint–Serge. This early christian was born in 304 and spent some time in Syria, before being martyred on the banks of the Euphrates. The location became a reputed destination of pilgrims..

Equally useless facts about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The tacky graphic of the virtual club membership card on this page looks two times better online than printed, but is free either way. The club membership itself is totally free too, because it doesn't cost much.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.41 – 6. Oct 2003 – the Café Metropole column's title was, 'Johnny's Amnésia.' Additionaly there was a Café Life column headed, 'Matt's Mail–Art, Christophe and Bertrand's 'Nuit Blanche.' The issue's Email feature from Jim Auman was headlined 'Another French Exception?' Laurel Avery's 'Paris Life' column was called 'High–heeled Banana Shoes.' The Scène column was titled 'From Cocteau to Chen Zhen, Piaf and Lollobrigida.' The Café Metropole Club update for 9. October camephoto, sign, rue hippolyte maindron out as the 'Ozone Dosen't Help' report. There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and the caption of Ric's weekly cartoon was "Because It's... Warm!"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.40/41 – 30. Sept/7. Oct. 2002 – the head for the Café Metropole column 1 was 'The Big Cheese Thing' and for Café version 2 it was 'The Move and the 'White Night.' News was present for a change with the Au Bistro column's 'Dwarf–Tossing Nixed by UN.' The 'feature of the week' for this double issue was 'The Silly Car Show – World's Biggest, Etc Etc.' The Café Metropole Club update for 10. October came out as the "Paris Is Almost Normal" report, and the update for the 3. October meeting was called the "Numbers of Ducks?" report. There were 8 wonderful Paris type 'Posters of the Weeks' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, "It don't look like much, but it's home."

Semi–Repeat of the 'Countdowns'

The countdown to the 100th anniversary of the death of Frédéric–August Bartholdi, the designer of the Stature of Liberty, is over. He died 100 years ago today. Honest.

Seven days ago it was on this date 182 years ago that Jean–François Champollion discovered how to readphoto, laundromat hieroglyphic writing. Napoléon stole the Rosetta Stone from Egypt, and Nelson stole it from Napoleon, and gave it to the British Museum. Champollion got a copy of the hieroglyphic writing, which was duplicated in Greek and Demotic, which was a simplified form of ancient Egyptian.

More Nuit Blanche, every night.

Cleopatra's name leaped out of the mystery and Champollion passed out. It was only five days later that he was able to tell anybody about his discovery, which made him famous until he died young in 1832. He has had a cinema in the Quartier Latin named after him.

Famous Anniversaries

We should remember today for the birth of Buster Keaton in 1895 in Piqua, Kansas. It was also the birthdate of Richard Cromwell, Jean–François Millet, and of the first transatlantic flight of a jetliner. Also, the first shovelful of dirt was dug for the Paris Métro on this date in 1898, with the first line going into operation on 19. July 1900.

Some think that the night of 3–4. October 1226 marks the date of the death of Saint Francis of Assisi, when he was about 44 years old. Before becoming a saint he was named Giovanni Bernardone, but his father called him Francis, which was a popular name in France at the time. In 1202 Giovanni or Francis took part in a war with Perugia and was captured, but fell ill and went on a pilgrimage to Rome. On the way he had a vision, and the rest is history.

Today's 'Significant Date of the Week'

Monday, 4. October 1582 was the day that Pope Gregory XIII put the Gregorian calendar on the map, vaporizing 10 days forever. In Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain the following day was Tuesday, 15. October. In France it was still 9 days earlier.

Today's Other 'Important Dates of the Week'

There are only 88 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in 1289, when Louis X, 'The Headstrong,' wasphoto, wallace fountain, detail born. Louis married Margaret of Burgundy, whose daughter Jeanne II married Philip, Count of Navarra, and gave birth to Charles II, 'The Bad.' Louis' second wife Clemence of Hungary, produced Jean I, king from 13–20. November 1316. Louis X was King of Navarra for nine years and king of France for two. This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 278 days, the same number that 1337 had when Edward III of England publicly insulted Philippe VI of Valois, and launched the 100 Years War, which lasted 116 years.
signature, regards, ric

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