...Continued from page 1

About here Heather Stimmler–Hall arrives with a shopping bag full of free magazines. At the same time I see a troop of mounted Gendarmes in the bus lane on the far side of the Quai du Louvre. If they weren't wearing képis, they might be Mounties, stuck in a traffic jam. There must be about eight of them.

By the time we are on the café's terrace for the 'Group Photo of the Week' the horsemen have gone, but the traffic is just as snarled. We get this chore wrapped up in record time and return to the café's interior about a minute before Roman Payne arrives, late, from a vital guitar lesson.

Well, he's not late. Guitar lessons don't grow on bushes so they have priority. Roman used to be from Seattle, but he's been all over the place, including living in Paris for a couple of years. This gave him the inspiration to write a book, which was published last fall. Its name is 'Crepuscule' and the first paragraph is a long one that is not about the trials of the hangman's profession, but about a deportation – so you know it's really about Paris.

Meanwhile Jacob, who has also been around a lot of places thanks to the airline business, is telling us about a joint called 'Saddle Ranch' on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Or he is saying that he's never visited the famous and wonderful caves at Nerja. Neither have I, so we have this negative in common.

Bill confesses to visiting New York City for the first time in his life a few months ago. This comes about because we are talking about favorite places and Bill has said, for most of his life he never knew New York was his favorite so he's glad he's finally seen it and realized what he's been missing.

There is a huge crash of dropped dishes, cutlery and glass from the direction of the bar. The traffic outside on the quay is heaving and seething with impatience. The Métro line seven underground is rumbling the floor tiles.

Carolyn is saying, "The South doesn't drink in front of each other." In Canada, in Ontario, it'sphoto, roman payne another place that doesn't drink 'in front of each other.' I wonder about that millennium we celebrated so recently. It's the first I've heard about this not drinking. It's not a club thing, not drinking, although sometimes I skip having a café to annoy the 'Waiter of the Week.'

Roman fishes for – what else? – a 'Hard Euro of the Week.'

I've heard it before but it's worth mentioning. Members in Paris are amazed that they're walking. Bill says he started at the bird market on the Ile de la Cité and took photos all the way along to the Louvre. There he had to change a film, and thought he had exposed it while taking it out of the camera.

So he put in a new film and went back to the bird market and did the whole photo tour over again. As it was, he only lost two or three shots from the 'exposed' film, and ended up with two films of the same scenes. He says the walk didn't kill him.

This has brought us to about 30 minutes into overtime. Roman has to hike off to the 7th arrondissement and Heatherphoto, huge beer of the week says she's taking the line seven, so I ride with her up to the Place d'Italie – past the closed, I think I hear 'Legoland' station – Gobelins, I guess – and take the crosstown Métro six to Denfert.

Jacob's 'Canadian–sized Beer of the Week,' no less.

Cheer for Club Member

See Laurel Avery's latest works at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants, starting tomorrow. The 116th edition of this salon celebrates the 50th anniversary of the death of Maurice Utrillo. Look for Laurel at stand C–36 and say hello. Expect to find 800 other artists, some from 26 other countries, all on view until Sunday, 1. May. Open daily from 11:30 to 19:30, and until 22:00 on Thursday. At the Espace Champerret, near the Périfreak, Paris 17. Métro: Porte de Champerret. InfoTel.: 01 45 63 39 15.

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' with attendance somewhat about average, had no food and barely more to drink other than a lake of café, a pot of wine and a towering beer, all consumed in front of ourselves. The poetic 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has a few fuzzy photos, but you can skip them all and miss little more than an impression of words. The club can be joined on any 'Thursday of the Week' is the short version.

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

Club meetings begin about 15:00 on the hour in the afternoon, on Thursday and continue for two hours until 17:00 or after on the same afternoon in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'TZZs' although it sometimes is – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is not where meetings are held so be sure you come to La Corona.

Be mildly clever at a meeting – by being at one or more. Lounge for a hour or two with new friends especially if you have the time for it. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' having more added value than 'true' regardless if 'first' is perfectly believable too, and if it is an acceptable form of 'true' with any sort of vague connection to fantasy.

A 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.graphic: club location map If in doubt toss your name into Google.

Former 'rules' continue to be 'disconnected week after week after week, month after month, year–in year–out. Nevertheless these may be examined so that you know the history of the past and will be hardly condemned to repeat it like we often try to avoid doing.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional if there aren't any. There are usually free chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Standing up is okay too. Whatever you say will be somewhat appreciated by other members present if there are any that are listening, and there usually are some – and if it should happen to be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because the club's membership is crying out for a nifty mascot, according to Tomoko who accosted me on the Rue de Rennes yesterday.

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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