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Hot, Hot, Hot

photo, cafe tournesol

Gaîté on Saturday night.

More Rude History

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 30. May 2005:– We are lucky that there was any weather news tonight. France had a brilliant election yesterday and the outcome was so astonishing that nobody can talk about anything else, and they are doing it by the dozens on the streets, in the Métro, in supermarkets, in barber shops and poodle parlors, in bars and cafés, over the radio and on all TV channels, nonstop.

This is so interesting that I almost forgot to watch for tonight's TV–weather news so it caught me by surprise with my mouth full. By great good chance the coming weather is not a bit complicated, it will not be extraordinary if it holds to the forecast, and it will not feature rain, rain, rain, or be hot, hot, hot.

Tomorrow is going to dawn, pretty much like every day after today, kind of early in the morning, about 05:55. It will be semi–cloudy to begin with and then it will switch to be semi–sunny for a while, after which it might be mostly sunny, except for some clouds. As nice as we're warned it could be, it may be no warmer than 19 degrees.

Wednesday might even be more simple, with a forecast for semi–sunny all day. But you might likephoto, breakfast in paris Wednesday because the temperature is supposed to hop up to 22 degrees. Thursday has a good chance of being even more simple, exactly like Wednesday, but with a high of 23 degrees. On both days there will be some clouds up along the Channel but that is so far away that they might as well be in Holland.

Déjeuner of Montparnassians.

The TV–weather news didn't mention Friday but Le Parisien thinks it will be more simple again than Wednesday and Thursday, maybe with more degrees, just as much sunshine, tiny little clouds, and clear up by the Channel.

Over on left side of the Atlantic Jim Auman sends a personally– experienced view of weather without mentioning what it will be like in New York between now and next Thursday, which is not 'le weekend' anyway. Here is Jim's exciting report:–

L'Exception Américaine

On Friday the northeaster had enough of Pommeland and la ville aux fèves and left, leaving these towns in the care of a relative Thermidor. Temperatures in Pommeland reached 80 degrees anglograd – 27 eurograd – accompanied by a yellow object in the sky. On Saturday, the temperatures dropped 10 degrees anglograd – 5 degrees eurograd – along with rain in the afternoon. The chief groundhog weather forecaster is predicting temperatures in the low 70's anglograd – 22–23 eurograd. Sunday, millions of speed fans are watching the Indianapolis 500 race which features cars driven around a circular track over and over again at high speeds for 500 anglomiles.

Café Life

A Hot Time In the Whole Town

I am bathing in glorious self–admiration for the stunning accuracy of the weather forecast I had the guts to pass on along with the last Café Metropole Club report. In it, after getting the details from the TV–weather news, I predicted a high temperature for Friday of 33 degrees.

According to Saturday's Le Parisien, the thermometre topped out at 32.6 degrees at 16:00 in Paris. Their headline for the day was, 'Chaud, chaud, chaud!' which was accurate but doesn't sound quite asphoto, square vert galant nifty as 'hot, hot hot!' Since it is not mentioned, this was probably not a record for the date. One was set in Clermont– Ferrand, with 31.4 degrees, the hottest 27. May since 1923, which was also when Météo France started keeping numbers.

Loungers littering park's green.

Normally May is a month full of long weekends so normally the weather is less special than normal, and 'normal' is nothing special. In fact it can be quite cold in May. For that matter it can be cool in June and cold in July, and really awful in August. Having a two–week heat wave in August is really rare, and any days with temperatures over 30 degrees are exceptional.

Personally, I prefer temperatures that are exceptionally high rather than exceptionally low. For one thing I can open the window without freezing to death. If I could, I'd leave the windows open all year round and wear short sleeved shirts with bananas on them.

Well, Friday was our May heat wave. It wasn't so sunny on Saturday but the temperature went higher than my forecast. Sunday was much lower and a few drops fell while folks were voting. When the 55 percent who were winners went out to celebrate at Bastille, it was raining.

Friday and Saturday, 3 and 4. June

I thought I was getting an invitation to Barcelona, but instead it is an invitation to see La Mekanica's production of Rui Silveira's 'Insider' right here next weekend. This is part of the Festival Portugais, with the show beginning at 18:30, at the Point Ephémère, 200. Quai de Valmy, Paris 10. Métro: Jaurès or Louis Blanc. InfoTel.: 01 40 34 02 48.

Sunday, 5. June

There is to be some sort of 'a grande fête sportive' on the Champs–Elysées next Sunday, to have something to do with Paris' bid for the summer Olympics in 2012. Last week they were filming a cast of thousands in costumes capering around the Arc de Triomphe, possibly as a preview of a Parisian reaction to getting the games. While I don't have times for this on hand, you should know that Paris is hosting a baseball championship from Tuesday, 21. June until Sunday, 26. June.

Soldes d'Ete

photo, tabac, boul montparnasseAs is becoming usual the summer sales were announced as beginning on Friday, 24. June and continuing until about Saturday, 23. July. This doesn't suit everybody but it never does. It just goes to show that if it takes more than four weeks to find a tiny bikini there must be more to it than meets the eye.

Rio de Bastille

Wednesday, 13 July, is the eve of 'Basille Day' and the star guest at big fête at the Bastille will be Gilberto Gil, Brazil's musical ambassador and current Minister of Culture.

Headline of the Week

One of the Le Parisien's snappier headlines of the week was last Friday's 'Panique à l'Elysée.' Then the French went out and voted on Sunday and angst over the result of the voting turned to dismay.

The good news is that the uncertainty is over and we no longer need listen to arcane discourses about the finer points of a big boring Constitution. We can go back to discussing all the unfinished business that has been unresolved since the spring of 2002. Whoopee!

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Last Thursday's club meeting report was partly based on all new members doing some 'All Talking At Once.' Thisphoto, metro vavin is right and good and is wonderful to hear, except that the club's secretary is not a speed–listener and an even slower writer, so if you want to get a true unvarnished flavor of a club meeting as they really are, you know what you need to do.

The Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on next Thursday once again. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Saint–Blandine. This 'Saint of the Week' is France's best–known martyr, one of 48 Christian slaves in the time of Marcus Aurelius, arrested for not paying homage to the correct gods. On 2. August 177 Blandine was tossed to the bulls and torn to pieces in the Trois Gaules sports arena in Lyon.

Some really vague and confused lore about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The sketchy design of the club membership card on this page looks as unlike a membership card as any other Eldorado map used by De Soto, and it isn't. Essentially free, the club membership itself is virtually priceless, without actually being worth anything.

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.22 – 26. May 2003 – this issue's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Men with Naked Ties.' The Au Bistro column's title was, in 6 words, 'Tour Eiffel Lights Up Again in June.' The 'Feature of the Week' was headlined as 'The Key to Cable–Access is the Garbage Room Door.' There was the repeat Scène column with the title, 'Choo–Choo Champs–Elysées.' The update for the 29. May meeting of the Café Metropole Club was headlined as the "I have a Thing for Macaroons" report. There were four ordinary 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weeklyphoto, sign, rue fermat cartoon was straight from the tennis graveyard with a caption like, 'It's Roland "Swivel–Neck" Garros Time Again.'

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 7.22 – 27. May 2002 – this week's version of the Café Metropole column was extra topical with, 'George Visits Jacques.' The Au Bistro column wasted no more words than other weeks with 'Europe Needs Immigrants?' The Scène column's headline was, ' The Everything Weekend.' The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 30. May was billed as the "Where Are All the Flower Stalls?" report. There were four so–so 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was very 'social' again with, "Eddie, Wake Up!"

A Bit More Rude History

For the 13th time almost in a row, this is not about some musty old saint, but instead is aphoto, sign, towing, de camions true historical story. Jeanne d'Arc, who had helped liberate Orléans, was captured on her way to Compiègne by a weasel of a Burgundian who sold her to Les Anglais for 10,000 crummy livres. Jeanne was tried by the Inquisition at Rouen and found guilty of relapsed heresy, and burned alive at the stake until dead on this date in 1431. Luckily she was exonerated 25 years later, but without any help from Charles VII.

If the Past Is Any Indication

Today marks the landing in 1539, of Hernando de Soto, who was born in Jerez de los Caballeros in Extremadura. He landed somewhere around Tampa Bay in Florida more or less on purpose. Three years before he had returned to Seville with a pile of stolen pesos and he married Inés de Bobadilla, the daughter of a comrade he had foully double crossed. De Soto saw a report about Florida and imagined that he could become as famous as Pizarro or Cortez, but Florida was fuller of swamps and mosquitos than gold, and it was extremely hot and humid too. De Soto did not have a happy end, and it's unlikely that anyonephoto, figurine, accordeon player who ever met him wished him one.

La Gazette

It's a birthday today for France's first newspaper, a weekly sheet named after the Venetian coin which was the paper's price, or would have been if the paper was available in Venice instead of Paris. La Gazette was founded by Louis XIII's doctor, Théophraste Renaudot, who had the support of Richelieu. Another paper, started some months later, did not fare so well on account of its mouthful of a name which was 'Nouvelles Ordinaires de Divers Endroits.' Most successful of all was London's boringly named 'Weekly News,' which had been launched seven years earlier, in 1624.

Other, Barely 'Notable Dates of the Week'

There are only 215 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1574 when Henri III became king of France. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 150 days, the same number that 1883 had when the rumor went around that the Brooklyn Bridge was falling down, and a dozen New Yorkers were stampeded to death by accident.
signature, regards, ric

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