...Continued from page 1

About the visit, he says the highlight was meeting 'Monsieur Oyster of 2001.' He admits that he wasphoto, don smith, hat offered a glass of Champagne in the oyster barn, but nobody coughed up a free oyster. I think you have to go to Champagne to get free oysters.

Don also mentions that the Bretagne is a long trip, if you come back by road. "It only took three hours to get there on the TGV," he says.

Don and his eternal 'Hat of the Week.'

Heather, also known as 'Paris Secrets,' has her usual grabbag of tips. On hotels – "Check the promotions online," she advises. "You can stay in an average hotel for 150€, but often for only 50€ more you can stay in one of the 'palaces' for a weekend."

About the 'Soldes d'Hiver' – "Some start at midnight!" Sort of like something to do after a night of clubbing – get new shoes! Heather tells us about the new glasses she's going to get. She says she'll be 'Heather version 2005' when we see her next.

While the members discuss TV shows I'll never see, I sit looking at the camera's batteries. I am looking at the onesphoto, wine of the week that were in the camera and the replacement ones and wondering which are which. Don suggests that I put some in and if nothing happens, then it's probably the others. There are random bangs in the café that disturb my concentration.

Another useful tip from Heather – "Don't go to the flea market on New Years Day." This is a clue to why Heather is known as 'Secrets of Paris,' in case you were wondering.

This can only be the 'Wine of the Week.'

Next week – who says this? – the notes say something like 'Geeks in the Gobi desert' and 'ground whole peas and garlic,' possibly about some 'secret' recipe.

And we learn Heather's own incredible secret. Heather has never eaten an oyster in her whole life. Her excuse, that she lived on the Riviera, hardly holds water. We all chime in with ideas of where she can remedy her situation.

A 'starter' tip – find an oyster bar and order six mediums and a glass of Sancerre. Heather says she doesn't like Sancerre. No doubt she's had too much of that Riviera rosé.

Support Member's Books, Dept.

photo, book, adventure guide, parisHeather's big news is about her book's official launch in Paris. This will happen on Wednesday, 19. January, at 20:00, at the Abbey Bookshop. This is in the 5th arrondissement at 29. Rue de la Parcheminerie, just off the Rue Saint– Jacques. Go early and buy a dozen copies so that there's room enough to stand inside the place.

Shopping & Soldes d'Hiver Alert VII

Beyond Monoprix, the official word is that the coming Soldes d'Hiver will begin on Wednesday, 12. January and continue for a bit more than five weeks until Tuesday, 22. February. Credit terms will be easy but cash is better.

More About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' without any 'City of the Week' again, at least had a mention of oysters. The 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has a passel of legible small print, but you can skip it all and not miss anything important. If you do decide to skip absolutely everything, you need no more than to know that the club can be joined by anyone so long as it's a Thursday.

You can become a lifetime member for ever of this online magazine's real, live, and free club by becomingphoto, heather stimmler hall, hat a member super–flasho on a Thursday blah blah etc etc etc., and–so–on, and–so– forth etc. If you've skip this paragraph, read the proceeding one.

Far from least, Heather and her 'Hat of the Week.'

The club's 'rules' evolved into obscure legends, created by the club's members 389 years ago. The club's other distinction is that it is the only club related to an Internet magazine that subsists with no forms to fill out, no newsletter, regardless of how many requests there are for one. To unsubscribe, unhook or disconnect, stay cool.

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

The club's meetings begin about 15:00 on the hour, on Thursday afternoons and break off around 17:00, about the hour, on the same Thursday afternoon in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'ZOIC' although it sometimes is – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. The club's secretary never gets any offer from San Francisco, but hopes, so far, vainly.

Be fiendishly clever at a meeting – like being at one – and become somewhat famous for a day or two if it is your fondest desire. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' having approximately the same Francfort–frites value as 'Food of the Week,' especially if mustard is concerned. 'True' is perfectly acceptable too, if it is an outlandish type of 'first.'

Note of Caution – you may have any one or more personal reasons for remaining unfindable 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 club reports. Google yourself if in doubt.graphic: club location map

Former 'rules' continue to be 'former' week after week after week, month after month, year after endless year, and have been eliminated forever from the club's hyper–texts of archives except for all the original texts still online buried in the deep and dark cellars of the outer Gobi desert.

Talking to other club members at meetings is warmly encouraged rather than optional if there aren't any. If there's a free chair, sit – wherever you like, or haul one over from another part of the café. Bring your own if you want. Whatever you say will be much appreciated by other members present if there are any that are listening, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here, as oodles of it is, profusely.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because this week's meeting was the first to be one week before 'Heather version 2005' appears.

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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