...Continued from page 1

At Palais Royal I crossed to the Louvre. It was the first time I've ever seen it at night. Amazing how many people were about, in the semi–dark. I crossed back and squeezed on a full Métro for the ride to the Hôtel de Ville.

It has some Disney–like light effects on its face, and powerful lights keeping the skating rink bright. Off to one side there's a smaller rink for the small folks. The big rink seems bigger this year, and a small crowd were skating around free as birds. Looked like fun if you like ice.

The flower market seemed like somebody had planted it with a portable forest of Christmas trees and there were a few astute shoppers looking the trees over. How odd to walk past all the dark green pines, none of them smelling like anything I noticed.

The Métro for Montparnasse was crowded too. Everybody ordinary is doing their patriotic duty by shopping. Several department store patrons have been on TV news saying that they do a quarter of a year's worth of business in these last few weeks. They say this so often I suspect that they do five quarters' worth a year.

The score – 85 photos. After tossing out the duds and duplicates there are 70 left and it was after midnight. Next year I'll do them a bit at a time.

No One Has Seen Our Bomb

Last week I mentioned the explosive that gendarmes on a training exercise placed in the baggage of an unwary passenger, and then lost. Unless it was mentioned in a newspaper I didn't see, nobody has reported finding the explosive.

It went out on any one of 80–odd flights and apparently wasn't detected. No passenger turned himself into authorities to protest finding any stowaway explosives. Security authorities here are perplexed, embarrassed, and they have put the gendarmes concerned in a corner and told them to stay there until they learn to behave.

Museum List Online

As a service feature, there is now a list of most Paris museums and monuments in Metropole, featuring many fresh links to the various sites. The link to it is at the bottom of many pages.

Books Online Too

It has taken 1000 years, and never might be better than late, but now there is a book page in Metropole called 'La Librairie.' If you know of titles that you think would interest other readers, pass them on and I'll add them to the page.

Lost Anything?

Take a minute and try out the newphoto, cafe comedie francaisesearch and site map page when you get bored with this issue. The link to it can be accessed from the navigation line at the top and bottom of some pages.

The café of the Comedie Française.

Headline of the Week

Monday's Le Parisien wins yet again, with "L'affrontment" Our Prime Minister outlined how the 35–hour work week is to be whittled away, for the good of us all, and especially for the 200,000 inexperienced kids that will be guaranteed 'call–service' jobs so long as they're willing to work on Sundays. Loosening the rules for the 35–hour week will keep jobs in France according to the Prime Minister. The unions, the leftist parties, and half the French do not agree, of course.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The recent club meeting's 'We Get Blitzed' club report is still bright and online. There weren't enough members present for the traditional 'Group of the Week' photo, but Don and I toughed if out somehow.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, which is on a Thursday just like normal. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Sainte–Adélaïde, or Alice. This Burgundian saint, widow of the King of Italy, was the mother of Otton II and grandmother of Otton III. After all this she died at 68 in Seltz, in 999, on Monday, 16. December, after a rich life.

Other, somewhat simple facts about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The impressionistic graphic of the virtual club membership card on this page looks better online than printed, but who will ever notice? The club membership itself is absolutely free too, even if walking to meetings takes longer than swimming.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.51/52 – 15/22. Dec 2003 – for this double issue the Café Metropole column began with, 'Driverless Métro Line Goes Further.' The following week's 'Life' column had 'Have Breakfast, Or Else!' There were two features, titled 'The Passages of Time are the Grandfathers of Malls' and 'Trying Out Troyes – 21st Century Mediaeval.' The first Paris Life column by Laurel Avery concerned ''Somewhere Like Mars' and the second was 'Not Making Headlines.' This issue had repeats of the three Scène columns. The Café Metropole Club update for 18. December was titled as the "I Will Bring You a Blow–Fish" report. There were fourphoto, sign, maison de la truffe new 'Posters of the Week' and the caption for Ric's weekly cartoon was, 'Up, Down with Noël.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.51/52 – 16/25. Dec 2002 – this issue's Café Life column led off with 'Wednesday, 25. December' and was followed by the Café Metropole column's 'A Small Issue, For Real.' Wine News was back with with 'Tools of the Trades.' The Café Metropole Club update for 19. December was titled the 'The Amsterdam, Oh, Amsterdam!' report. There were six regular Paris type 'Posters of the Week' plus another page of Xmas posters, and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, "Turkey Pizza!"

'Countdowns' Off the Wall

The antique feature 'Quote of the Week' is back again for the seventh time in modern history. Here's a smasher – "A rumor without a leg to stand on will find some other way to get around.." This is attributed to John Tudor, but I don't know if he is any relation.

The Only Urgent, Real, Actual, 'Countdown'

Five or six weeks ago, approximately,photo, caviar tin writing from then snow–bound New Jersey Jim Auman wrote, "The local weekly French newspaper announced the upcoming 100th anniversary of the death of Jules Verne. A trip to the Encyclopedia Britannica revealed that Monsieur Verne died on March 24, 1905 – not exactly a close, upcoming event."

Possibly not for New Jersey, no longer snowbound, but for Paris this major anniversary is still a mere 102 days from now.

One Anniversary Today Is More than Enough

On this day, only weeks afterphoto, xmas bunny of the week Albania's only National Day, it is with great pleasure that I announce the anniversary of the retirement of Pope Celestin V in 1294, after only five months on office. He was the first and last Pope to quit. A Benedictine hermit, Celestin was elevated against his wishes but managed to be canonized after he died a year later, at 80. A later Pope, Paul III, chose the same day in 1545 to open the Council of Trent

Today's Other Extra 'Important Dates of the Week'

There are only 18 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in 1560 when Maximilien de Béthune, duc de Sully was born at Rosny. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 348 days, the same number that 1928 had when 'Un américain à Paris' opened in Carnegie Hall in New York. George Gershwin wrote 'An American in Paris' during a long stay here.
signature, regards, ric

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