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A 'First' of 'Firsts'

photo, meringue, food of the week

'Food of the Week' award goes to raspberry meringue.

Extraterrestrial Intelligence!

Paris:– Thursday, 7. October 2004:– There should be a lot of things I can say about the weather but I can't think of many. Weather happens every day after all, and sometimes the only thing worth mentioning is whether it's daytime or night.

Night weather is not so interesting as day weather. For one thing, there's less to see. When you look up atphoto, wine of the week night and it's raining, you don't see stars. You feel invisible rain in the face. It's the same thing with wind at night. You can't see it.

For a change, rain will probably happen in the daytime tomorrow. First, there will be a 50 kph wind slanting down the Channel from the North Sea. Second, dirty black clouds will be rising through France, to dump on Paris. Thirdly, it's going to be freaking cold – only 14 flipping degrees. The weather map looks like a true horror.

As there was only one, this is the 'Wine of the Week.'

Then on Saturday the whole thing changes. Wet clouds attack France from the west and maybe dribble a bit of rain on the city, between bits of sunrays peeping out from behind passing clouds. For, from the west, expect two degrees more – a high of 16 degrees.

Then on Sunday, because it's named after the sun, it should be mostly sunny. Clouds will be white and fluffy like popcorn, it might be raining in Reims, but here it should be dry and 18 degrees in the afternoon. 'Afternoon' in France begins at 15:00 after several hours of 'midi' and lasts for a hour, until 16:00, when 'soir' starts. Actual sundown will be about 19:00, because it's only still October.

The Only Club Report of the Week this Week

It is cool but not cold on the way to the club today. It is always warmer in the Métro, so I abandon it at Saint–Germain and walk down the Rue Bonaparte with the vague idea of visiting the Louvre, without actually standing in line for anything.

The Rue Bonaparte has very narrow sidewalks and too much traffic, so I quit it at Rue des Beaux–Arts, which has police guarding its entry. They seem to be guarding a scaffolding. The rest of the street has swank galleries and one features some drawings by Jules Pascin and another has gouaches by Serge Poliakoff.

A bit of culture on the way to the club is uplifting. Crossing the Pont des Arts is like outdoor sports, withoutphoto, mara beck breathing hard. For the first time I notice that it's possible to see right through the Louvre to the Rue de Rivoli. Therefore I go through the Cour Carrée and look at the buildings in the Rue Saint–Honoré on the other side of the Rue de Rivoli.

After this three minutes of thrill, I still manage to get to the club's café ahead of time, note the date and whatnot, and note that the club's area has 33 places. It's like a big living room without any TV, but with room service.

To be awake for the club, Mara slept for three hours crossing the Atlantic.

I am skimming Le Parisien, which isn't on strike today and am just about to read about an evening at the China Club when a new member approaches.

This is Mara Beck from Brooklyn, New York City. Mara arrived at Roissy early this morning, so she is not going to be held accountable for anything. "Internet comes to life," she says.

Mara also says she recently visited Coney Island a couple of years ago, after not seeing it for 20 years. Like most New Yorkers, even ones who live in Brooklyn, she can take it or leave it, and mostly leaves it.

The sun has come out and is blasting into the club's area so at first I can't figure out that a shadowy figure, with cold hands, is Metropole's very own server–lady, Linda Thalman.

Mara receives Linda's 'Paris In Sites' newsletter so they practically know each other already. They trade countries they've visited, with Linda saying, "There's lots of buddhas in Thailand!"

Mara's lunch story was about the restaurant so small that its no–smoking zone was 'one table.' Then the two discuss how to sneak six–packs of water into hotels with mini–bars.

Or how to have a drink on some airlines that fly to the Middle East without drinks. This is a variation on asking for a bowl of ice and freshening up water glasses with a mickey of scotch.

Then Susanne Chaney arrives with her broken foot. She says she told me last week that it happened by making a misstep on a movie place staircase in Amsterdam, but it sounds like a new story to me. She broke her 'Jones bone' she says.

She plops a bag on the table and takes a meringue out of it. Some people like it. I think meringue likephoto, lynn airy cement. The one in the photo is raspberry–flavored, but she says she has a plain one. What is plain meringue? Doesn't matter – it's the 'Food of the Week' without question.

Linda shows us a roadmap for Abu Dhabi. She is taking it for the airline pilot to use during her flight there. I guess there are châteaux there that need inspecting, or maybe it is always in season.

Lynn balances living in Oakland with working in San Francisco.

Although not all members are present, Linda is going, so we do the 'Group Photo of the Week' shorthanded. The sunlight manages to disturb the camera, and all four photos are total writeoffs. Therefore I substitute the 'Food of the Week' for the 'raté' 'Group of the Week.'

Susanne says that she used her broken foot to jump lines during the 'Nuit Blanche.' Actually she says she didn't understand the 'Nuit Blanche' at all. It is just an excuse to stand in lines after midnight instead of only during the day.

About here two new members from Oakland, California arrive. Jeff and Lynn know exactly where Susanne's Fairfax is, but I forget to listen. Jeff says they saw a giant pigeon at Saint–Michel.

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