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Whew! That's Over

photo, sidewalk cafe, buci

Not full summer but it seems like it in the Quartier Latin.

Coming Up Next...

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 16. May 2005:– I'm amazed again that it's Monday and time for the weather. I was amazed last week too but after being amazed two weeks in a row I'm going to give it up. It doesn't take a crystal ball to figure out that a week from today it'll be Monday again, it'll be weather time again, and the actual weather will be pretty much the same unless there are high winds.

There are no high winds foreseen or predicted for the next couple of days. Even though there is supposed to be some sort of front moving this way from the north, the TV–weather news lady forgot to show it on her map. It should be safe to take your umbrellas out for walks.

Since it is somewhat unlikely to rain, taking an umbrella is optional. Tomorrow is forecast to start off gray and as the day goes on it may get lighter. But it is not going to be warm with a predicted high of only 14 degrees, which is not at all nifty for May. Over Manhattan it's supposed to be partly sunny and 18 degrees, possibly making it worth while to fly over for the afternoon.

The best day of our three–day forecast may be Wednesday when it will ne nice and maybe get nicer. It should be a bit warmer too with an afternoon high of 17 degrees. Again, Manhattan will beat this by three degrees.

While it probably won't be quite so fine on Thursday – there will be a bunch of clouds lurking around northern France – it should be even warmer, but not a great deal over 18 degrees.

Therefore our weather map for Paris represents Wednesday and the one for La Grosse Pommeland is an indication for Thursday, when rain is expected late in the day. Over there also slides in the temperature department, to 16 degrees, so it might be wise to fly back and spend the afternoon – at the Café Metropole Club.

However, Jim Auman provides a detailed and technical meteorological report from his pointgraphic, weather map of view for La Grosse Pommeland to bolster the rich mine of information already present in our weather map. Jim's report:–

Pluviôse Missing

Last week Thermidor arrived in full force, accompanied by his entourage of Chaleuristas, Thermidoristas, Sandalistas, Haltertopistas and Sans–whatever they could be sans and not get arrested. Yesterday, Sunday, two seasons were engaged in combat. Thermidor sent his Soleil ally only to be counterattacked by Les Nuages d'Hiver. The outlook for Pommeland for the coming week seems to favor Les Nuages and Frimaire. Temperatures in the mid to upper 60's anglograd, which is about 18–20 eurograd. But missing from this is Pluviôse. La Sécheresse seems to be the substitute.

Café Life

That Was the Monday that Was

Now that it is out of the way – on the 'Au Bistro' page along with some non–news about a palm war – we can return to our regular program, which is all about voting in the referendum, for or against 'oui' or 'non' for the new European Constitution.

This may be of absolutely no importance to anybody visiting Paris and France and Europe, but it is a bigphoto, seine, bridges, barges deal here. Today France got through its day of 'solidarity' on the same day that the official campaign for the referendum begins. Politicians are on TV tonight explaining what we did today while trying to steer the discussion around to why we should vote for or against accepting the Constitution on Sunday, 29. May.

The barges are not about to collide, but it's a tight fit.

There was so much local noise that last week when the German parliament voted overwhelming in favor, it was nearly overlooked – it was worth exactly one mention on TV–news, after the vote. They drank Champagne of course.

The situation in France is unclear. Polls are yo–yoing back to giving the 'non' a slight advantage after a week when 'oui' clawed its way up to a thin lead. Some think this sway is caused by Socialist voters. François Hollande, national leader of the PS, explained it by saying that the 'left is exasperated, ready to vote against the first ballot that comes along.'

So far the 'official' campaign consists of TV–spots shown before the evening news. Every major party gets a slice of air time, so the viewers will get five minutes of 'oui' and 'non' every night until it's over.

The poster panels that have been in place for weeks will now be plastered with 'official' posters. The ones you will see in this issue are, I guess, 'unofficial' posters. So far I have not received the promised printed copy of the Constitution.

But since the referendum is purely France–French, I have no right to vote anyway.

Fake Contest's Real Winner

Last week's contest, asking 'what was wrong' with the photo of the Golf that wasn't the Pope's, was won before 'Ed' even got up on Tuesday. "I say the clue is that the car's shadow goes to the right of the car and the awning's shadow goes to the left," wrote Bob Patterson from Los Angeles. This was surprising because Bob claims to be the 'world's laziest journalist.' Motto – "You could look it up by Googling 'World's Laziest Journalist." Thanks also for entries from Kathy Bahri, and Stephan Nowak in Köln, who asked, "Is there anything right in this picture?"

Salty Paintings

This coming weekend artists in the 14th arrondissement will have their doors open, hoping that you'll drop in to visit. Because of geography the 190–odd open ateliers are roughlyphoto, line's oyster grouped around the Leclerc–Montsouris, Daguerre and the Plaisance–Pernety quartiers, with another 15 near the Boulevard Montparnasse. Open on Saturday from 14:30 to 20:00, and on Sunday from 11:00 to 19:00.

Also on Sunday, 22. May, between 11:00 and 19:00, you can find Line 'Saline' McKie in a spot on the Boulevard Edgar Quinet, possibly showing off her marine paintings, or peddling six–packs of oysters, part of the salt water decor of her stand. According to reports it will be the only artist's stand that may look like a fish stall in Honfleur. The Marché de Création on Edgar Quinet will have about 200 artists on Sunday too and a 'Fest'Yves' is planned, plus the Rue Campagne Première may be having a block party as well.

Uncle Den–Den Rents

The Daguerrèotypistas' favorite Uncle Den–Den is going to an important graduation party, leaving his apartment behind. In Montparnasse at the top of five flights of walk–up stairs, it's a one–bedroom affair with kitchen and bath, without TV. Free for three weeks from 2. June until 21. June. Write to 'Ed' who will forward. Uncle Den–Den will reply with a snazzy info–photo.

Headline of the Week

One of the shorter headlines of the week in Le Parisien is today's 'Drôle de lundi.' Told to work forphoto, fiat 500 of the week nothing, on a holiday, many French seemed to decide to be civically disobedient, by being away from work for various reasons, or by being on strike.

Why it's the 'Fiat 500 of the Week' again!

The paper says that the government's plan for raising a lot of money for aid for the older generation was 'expressed poorly.' The French have sympathy for the old and poor, but they see the 'work for nothing' day and the suppression of a holiday as a sneaky way of extending the hours of work.

Disk Full

It's not even a big issue but when it was time to upload it to the server, the message was 'this disk is full.' By now this technical glitch has been resolved. If you have been inconvenienced by this 'Retard of the Week' the entire staff of management of Metropole Paris is very sorry, but does not wish to say that it won't happen again. Gremlins are always lurking, eagerly waiting to pounce on dubious certainties.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Last Thursday's club meeting report had no answer to the question, "Where are the Gypsies?" This is part of a another question often raised by club members – 'where are the musicians who used to perform in the Métro?' These days, plugged in iPods are a poor substitute for riders without them.

The next Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a Thursday, around the same time as last week. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Saint–Yves. This 'Saint of the Week,' born in Brittany in the 13th century, became a brilliant lawyer and wound up as a judge of the religious court at Rennes. Yves Hélory aided the poor and left his manor to them, and was such an all–round good guy that he became the patron saint of lawyers.

More, somewhat vague and confused facts about the club can be consulted on the 'About the Club' page. The dim design of the club membership card on this page looks as little like a membership card as any other piece of waste paper, but it is. Entirely free, the club membership itself is virtually valuable, especially when you join in person on any Thursday.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.20 – 10. May – this week's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'Below Par, Good Bread News.' This issue's Au Bistro column proclaimed, ' Sarko Says, Consummez!' The 'Feature of the Week' was headlined 'And Now for the Winners! – of the Bumper–Sticker Slogan Contest.' There was a double–repeat Scène column with the title, 'Par Amour de l'Art, and Thread Trips.' The update for the 13. May meeting of the Café Metropole Club cried, 'Big Moment ofphoto, sign, boulevard de la somme the Year' Bungled' report. There were four amazing 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was straight from the Foire de Paris with the 'Baguette News from the Inventors Corner.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.20 – 12. May 2003 – in this issue the Café Metropole column wasn't shy, with 'Bring Your Own Tapas.' The Au Bistro column wasted no words with 'In 6 words: 'Mardi Noir' Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.' The lone feature's headline was, 'On a 'Typical' Street No More than Just Average.' The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 9. May was titled as, "We've Just Hung Up Our Sleds!" report. There were four stupendous 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week promoted the rails with, "No Trains to Nantes."

A Bit of Pseudohistory

For the eleventh time almost in a row, this is not about some dusty old saint, but instead is a true historical fact. On today's date in 1770 the marriage conceived by Choiseul to cement the alliance between France and Austria at the expense of Prussia and the British took place in Versailles when Marie–Antoinette, daughter of Marie–Thérèse of Austria and François 1st of Lorraine, was united with Louis, grandson of Louis XV. She was 14, Louis was 16, and both lost their heads in 1793.

If the Past Is Any Indication

Today marks the defeat, 641 years ago, of the justly–named King of Navarre, Charles II 'le Mauvais,' as a resultphoto, poster, oui, non, posters sarkozy, ump of a victory led by the Breton mercenary, Bertrand Du Guesclin, who was in the pay of Charles V, 'le Sage.' It permitted Charles to add a bit of luster to a tarnished image left by his father the inept Jean II, 'le Bon,' who died a few weeks earlier in a London prison. Du Guesclin was named Count of Longueville, near Dieppe, then he was captured by les Anglais. Charles V paid a ransom of 100,000 livres to free him, and Du Guesclin went off to Spain to bother the King of Navarre some more. It was, by the way, Charles V who had the Bastille built, for repressing Parisians who had a ready tendency to revolt.

Remembering 16. May

Fanciers of fine drinks will want to celebrate today because it marks the 189th anniversary of the invention of root beer in Philadelphia by Charles Elmer Hires who threw some sarsaparilla root, sassafras root bark, vanilla, cherry tree bark, licorice root, nutmeg, anise, molasses and other secret stuff together to make the wonderful drink we all know and love. He may havephoto, poster, a ta sante, je vote non, pcf added some dandelion root, spikenard, pipsissewa, juniper, ginger, wintergreen, hops, spicewood, allspice, birch bark, coriander, yellow dock, honey, clover, cinnamon, prickly ash bark, yucca or dog grass, but exactly which and how much is also secret so most root beer is made from concentrate rather than fresh roots. Hardly needless to mention that it took 27 years, until 1893, to bring bottled root beer to the market.

Other 'Notable Dates of the Week'

There are only 229 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1920 when Pope Benedict XV canonized Sainte–Jeanne d'Arc. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 136 days, the same number that 1913 had when Woody Herman was born. He went on to give a new meaning to the word 'herd' and set off a lot of jumping.
signature, regards, ric

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