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Fun With Hexagons

photo, group, dan, olga, sharon, elliot, lucy, doug, lennie

Today's 'Group of the Week.' Who else could it be?.

Buy this Fishing Rod!

Paris:– Thursday, 30. June 2005:– I knew it would happen. No sooner does somebody write here that the sun is shining and the air is warm than many readers think they can read between the lines and translate a rare and freak occurrence into a generalization about Paris being hot and uncomfortable in the summer.

For the past couple of weeks the temperatures have been warm – between 25 and 30 degrees. The sun has also been shining a lot, but it has been humid and these bright times have turned over and dropped tropical showers with lightning and thunder on us. None of this is 'normal,' not at all!photo, schnapps of the year

Here is a true and real forecast for summer weather in Paris. Tomorrow is supposed to be gray, not sunny. I wrote down 'partly cloudy' while watching the opening of the TV–news weather forecast, and then downgraded it to 'gray.' The overnight low could be 14 degrees and tomorrow's high may be 22 degrees. This is absolutely 'normal' for 1. July.

Saturday might be a bit cheerier, maybe working up to being partly sunny, with a high predicted of 24 degrees. We can only hope that some mucky old clouds sitting further north don't lose their suspension and fall lower.

Sunday might be a very nice day with lots of sunshine, if the cloud front hanging around the Channel isn't here by then. With a forecast temperature of 26 degrees, you could say this will be an ideal summer day, if it comes true.

The 'Plum Schnapps of the Year.' See below if curious.

This is a honest weather forecast, meant to give you an idea of the range from 'normal' weather to exceptional weather. 'Normal' is called normal because it is what happens here most of the time if we are lucky. Although France is the birthplace of exceptions, exceptional weather around Paris is extremely rare. If it could be put on a shelf, we would treasure it.

The 'Buy this Fishing Rod' Report of the Week

To start the day around noon with pleasant weather is a relief but I am not unhappy to leave my paradise in Montparnasse because some working stiffs are upstairs hacking away with sledgehammers, concrete–piercing drills, hacksaws, powersaws, pneumatic chisels and, I think, banging on old pots for the sheer hell of it. They are exuberant and I've got a headache.

So it's whee and off to the club because it's Thursday again, down under the trees that I think are limes because whenphoto, dan, olga it gets hot they give off a scent, and past the aubergiste where folks eat hearty meals fit for starving loggers, and through the cool shade from the plane trees along by the cemetery, to the Métro at Raspail.

Dan and Olga are only taking half of their holidays.

After Odéon when I am shortcutting through the Cours du Commerce Saint–André I see the Joe collecting signatures in the same place as last week. We are old pals now and he waves me past.

For an old bridge the Pont Neuf is holding up well today, and its renovations are coming along fine even if the stoneworkers are taking siestas on the scaffolding under the bridge where nobody can see them. On the other side the old lady in the paper kiosk is still holding on and I buy her last copy of Le Parisien.

Outside the club's café Monsieur Ferrat tells me that people are mean by not hanging around on thephoto, cream pot of the day terrace. I suggest that none of the horde of passing girls can afford a drink and he shrugs. Maybe they shouldn't walk around in Paris if they can't afford to sit down.

Across the street there are a fleet of trucks parked inside a fenced area adjacent to the Louvre, all the way from the quay back to Rivoli. There must be 30 trunks and caravans in there. Monsieur Ferrat says they're part of the support for the filming of the movie, the Da Vinci Code.

I let them get on with it, and get set up in the club's area in the café's 'grande salle.' Before long, within four minutes, Olga and Dan Ciupitu, join me and I put away the paper after reading that the first scene was shot at the Ritz.

Close behind are Sharon Page and Elliot Medrich, from Oakland, California, with Lucy. It is a first for Lucy, who has brought a book to read, and it is a first for Sharon and Elliot to be here in a month that is not December.

Olga and Dan were in Saarbrüken on the weekend and give a report about a colony of Russians who have settled there because the unemployment benefits are good. Otherwise Saarbrükenphoto, sharon, elliot, lucy is interesting because it is almost in three other countries. As Dan says, you might go through four frontiers just to have a meal.

While a first time for Lucy, Sharon and Elliot are usually here in December.

This brings on a discussion of geography, after someone mentions that France is nicknamed the hexagon. Again this is an exception because I claim there are only six sides, two short of... moment mal! How long has 'hex' been short for six? Ah, I see, it's Greek. Means for a long time. That's why they laughed.

So we switch to literature, and specifically to Jack London, who apparently could not get his books published – who wrote 'Martin Eden,' about a writer who couldn't get published until he changed his name and became a best–selling author.

Then Dan has a story about a Russian writer who really did this. He claimed he was the French translator of his book, and it was a huge success. Then they found out he wrote it, in French, and then everybody got sore.

To Sharon's, or Elliot's question, Dan says that he and Olga are in Europe 'seeking answers.' Most people comephoto, wine of the week to Paris to look at it or hang out, so it is not usual being philosophical. Dan doesn't think I should note this, and I haven't really.

Dan says one of the best bakeries in Paris is near where I live in the Place Brancusi. He may be right, and I may walk past it every day, but I have never heard of the place.

A couple of days ago I got an invitation to the inauguration of a new place or street, called Loulou something. What's happening is the morselization of place names in Paris. They take a perfectly good street with a name that its had for 150 years and chop it into bits and give them new names.

Like right near the club, where the western part of the Quai du Louvre became the Quai François Mitterrand. One side of the club's café is on the Quai du Louvre, but the Louvre itself is on the Quai François Mitterrand.

Which reminds Elliot of the discussion that went on in Paris back in the '70s when the speedway along the Seine was being touted. One famous architect yelled, "Do you Americans want us to live in a museum?"

So I guess when the speedway is shut and replaced with Paris Plage in three weeks, we'll be living in a museum. At this point Lennie and Doug Carlson arrive and when they exchange notes, the Carlsons and the Ciupitus discover that they've had wedding anniversaries recently, like the 28th and 29th. I have to cross out 'years' and write in 'June.'

To deflect a feeling of hopeless incompetence I suggest that it is 'Group Photo of the Week' time. Out on the café's terrace I forget the tricks I usually try to pull and shoot six identical photos, and then Doug takes one, with his 'Camera of the Week.'

Long–time member Susanne Chaney arrives. Susanne is also on a long stay in Paris, but is going to Amsterdam, instead of coming from there. Maybe it's both.

Dan tells us about leaving Bucharest. One day Olga was at home when a visitor knocked on the door, offeringphoto, lennie, doug to sell a fishing rod. Olga didn't know anything about it so she phoned Dan. He asked how much it cost, and said she should buy it anyway. Dan says he is pretty sure he still has the fishing rod in his cave in Sydney, but that he didn't use it much.

Lennie and Doug turn 'adventures' into stories to remember.

This reminds Elliot – what's with these notes? – reminds Doug? That the museum at Checkpoint Charlie is in danger of being demolished if 36 million euros aren't raised to save it by next Monday, which is Independence Day in America.

The Wall Museum, founded on 19. October 1962, had 700,000 visitors at last count, making it the second most visited museum in Berlin. The memorial associated with it features 1065 crosses, representing those felled while crossing the Wall before it collapsed in 1989.

Lennie and Doug, who will be going to Berlin, aren't sure they'll get there in time to see the museum. This is a reminder that these members – all who are here today, are long–time visitors but their stays are nearly over.

There's hardly time left to mention Doug's adventure of getting locked inside a coin laundry when the operators went home for the night. He didn't throw dumbbells through the window, butphoto, cafe of the week engaged in sign–language and used a screwdriver to dismantle a barrier, and got out but then remembered that his washing was still inside.

Luckily the Carlsons are keeping a journal, where you might read the true details rather than my half–heard version of them.

Olga and Dan provide the finale, with a gift for the secretary. This turns out to be an elegant bottle of plum schnapps. It would be my favorite fruit hooch if I drank 45 percent fruit, but it will be a treasure anyway. They promise to send news from Rumania, and I hope to pass it on here. If there's an update from Berlin it'll be here too.

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report' with enough different drinks, probably doesn't exactly clear up what this is all about. If you have time take a glance at the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its collection of words, photos and the famous membership card. You can join the club, with or without one, on any 'Thursday of the Week.'

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

Club meetings, as these affairs are jokingly called, begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, always on Thursdays and continue for two complete hours until 17:00, usually in the western European Time zone, now in its lengthened summer version. Known in other exotic places as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is not where meetings are held. Be sure to come to the café La Corona's 'grande salle.' The folks drinking, waters and other stuff, are us.

Enhance a meeting – by being at one. Hang around for a hour or two with new and old friends especially if you have the time for it. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' being equal to 'first' even if 'real' is just as likely too, and if it is an alternate form of 'true' with any sort of connection to reality, fact or fiction.

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 Throw your name into Google if in doubt.

Former 'rules' continue to be former week after week after week, month after month, year–in year–out, forever and moreover beyond the plains, divides, comets and stars. Nevertheless these may still be consulted so that you know the rules of this historical social club making it rare to repeat them, as we avoid doing.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional. There are usually empty chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Standing is permitted too. Whatever you say will be honestly appreciated by other members present if there are any that are listening, and there usually are some but not always – and if it should chance to be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of today's total surprise and repeated fly–in visits by member Willy the bird.

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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Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
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there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini