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Fives for Nuit Blanche

photo, cafe la fontaine

If Gilbert Shelton didn't have a frigo he might drink here.

A Citroën of a Birthday

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 26. September 2005:– I am not excited about the coming weather, assuming that the short–range forecast made by the TV–news tonight is accurate. It was kind of a sloppy prediction that they appeared to just toss off the cuff.

I got set for fireworks when the weather–lady showed this great white hurricane–like twirl in the Atlantic west of Ireland and said it was a low pressure area moving our way. Actually, we do not have 'pressure' areas so she did not say this exactly. I had to read it between her lines.

It is x–distance away, but it can't be that far because it is supposed to be touching western France tomorrow. Result – clouds and maybe rain way out on the Bretagne schnoz. Here in the Paris area it may be semi–sunny most of the day, but with a low high of just 22 degrees – which is 'normal' for the time of year regardless of what I think.

For some reason the mystery 'low' vanishes on Wednesday, leaving it to be maybe kind of sunny around here. All the clouds and other stuff will be in thephoto, sign, save water drink beer southwest of France, just beyond Ivry somewhere. The high is forecast to slip a couple of degrees, to 20.

Maybe that 'low' is moving in a circle because Thursday is supposed to have some clouds up along the Channel and then another band angling across France from Bordeaux to Alsace. Our band, here, will probably be partly sunny or party cloudy. Unless these bands are either sooner or later and if either is the case, the 'partly sunny' will probably be mostly cloudy. The temperature is expected to be 19 degrees, which I consider to be a winter number, not requiring gloves but maybe a dash of cognac.

Another thing to worry about is the fate of our weather correspondent, Météo Jim over there in Pommeland. Jim sent an extremely valuable list of various hurricane speeds so that we will know whether the times are '3' or '5' here. Since then, radio silence.

Blah In Manhattan

The weather in New York City depends not on the winds, oceans, jet streams, volcanos and escaping steam or the MTA's line seven, but on who is making the forecast. A quick check with the BBC's weather boffins has convinced me that they are so used to crummy Brit weather that they cannot discern subtle differences, such as between rain and sunshine in New York.

Except for Thursday, New York's weather will be like what we may have in Paris. The exception, except for Thursday, will be higher temperatures unless our prediction here is wrong. If not, expect three degrees more.

Your guess is as good as mine for most of Thursday, after a Wednesday like Paris, but in the evening there may be thunder showers. I assume these will cause the sunshine to disappear or it will be after dark and sunny in Hollywood. The main to keep in mind for Friday will be temperatures much lower than what we've been used to. While sunny in New York it is supposed to be rainy inphoto, pic, ladder, studio shelton Paris, perhaps from New York's Thursday night.

Café Life

Nuit Blanche 2005

The all–night 'Night of the Year' happens beginning next Saturday when it gets dark – sundown about 19:30 – and continues until Sunday morning – sunrise about 07:50. What happens in between is cultural so you are supposed to stay awake.

Pic adds putty to 'studio Shelton' in east Paris.

This year there are five 'paths' for you to taste. These begin with 'Points Infos,'and end with more info aids, and there will be public transport folks on hand to direct the footweary towards wheels. In general all are on the Right Bank and they are all considered to be somewhat in east Paris, except for the endstation at the Bibliothèque Nationale in the 13th.

Here are the five starting points:–
– Les Halles, corner of Rue Pierre Lescot and Rue Berger
– Parvis of the Hôtel de Ville, at the Avenue Victoria
– Place de la Bastille, between Boulevard Bourdon and Boulevard de la Bastille
– Père Lachaise, between Boulevard Ménilmontant and Boulevard de la République
– Bottom of the Butte Montmartre, between the Rue de Steinkerque and Rue d'Orcel

The Métro, buses and RER trains will run normally until 01:00 and resume at 05:30. During the night, from 00:30 until 05:30, the line 14 will operate non–stop between Saint–Lazare at the Bibliothèque Nationale, and access will be free.

A fleet of shuttle buses will be operating, circulating between the three ends of the 'paths – from the Pelouse de Reuilly to the Bibliothèque, to somewhere else. Free maps are available at Métro sales outlets, and they show the five 'paths' with color codes.

In addition there will be a special night bus service, with departure hubs at Châtelet, and thephoto, place dauphine stations Gares de Lyon, de l'Est, Saint–Lazare and Montparnasse. Another set of buses will circulate between these stations. Then a bunch of other buses will be in service to haul suburbanites out of town when they get tired. Service will be relatively frequent on all lines.

Ultra rare photo of no white truck parked in the Place Dauphine.

Finally, six of the Batobus boats will be doing their rounds on the Seine. There's a special ticket for 5€ good for the night from 20:00, up until 03:00 when the last boat leaves the Jardin des Plantes.

As with all huge events in Paris that are huge because Parisians support these things en masse, you should not expect to be alone, or at the heads of any lines. Weather permitting, the Nuit Blanche will draw hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors out to the streets, to follow the designated 'paths.' Be sure to check the Web site, and get a copy of a local paper, such as Le Parisien, on Saturday, for more details.

Note – the night buses – 'Noctilien' – have seen their service increase in the past week. The number of lines regularly in service has jumped from 21 to 35, and the former unique hub at Châtelet has expanded to include the major stations, the Gares de Lyon, de l'Est, Saint–Lazare and Montparnasse.

A Grand Street Party

This is to follow the Nuit Blanche on Tuesday, 4. October. An alphabet–soup of unions – CFDT, CFE–CGC, CFTC, CGT and CGT–FO to name the major ringleaders, – has called for a national day of action by public and private–sectorphoto, cafe terrace employees, from big and small firms, plus the unemployed and retired persons, and perhaps including farmers, miners, researchers, fishermen, train workers, teachers, judges, professors – everybody except right–wing politicians, the army and the police.

Weak autumn light on a café terrace.

A 'day of action' can mean that there will be work stoppages in Paris and throughout Franc, but nobody has called for a total day of no work. In all likelihood there will be a big street march in Paris, and this one may be very big. Spectators are not unwelcome.

50th Birthday for the Citroën DS

Café Metropole Club member Paul Vogel tipped me to the coming birthday for the Citroën DS, and said that he will be diving one in the parade on Sunday, 9. October, when 1600 of these cool cars are expected to roll down the Champs–Elysées and then assemble at the Tour Eiffel for a birthday family photo. Kick off is supposed to be at 10:00 near the Arc de Triomphe at the top of the Champs–Elysées.

The birthday party will get going on Thursday, 6. October, with a gathering at Saint–Quentin in Yvelines, not far from Versailles. If you need a replacement fender you should plan to be out there. Expect to pay a modest entry fee.

Another party for the DS has been going on at the Cité des Sciences out at La Villette and it continues until Monday, 31. October. This year's arty FIAC show will also feature the DS, from Wednesday, 5. October until Monday, 10. October.

Citroën unveiled the DS on 6. October 1955 at the Auto Salon in Paris. It came after a couple of decades and several movies featuring the ever–black 'Traction.' The DS was smooth, the DS was modern and the DS was comfortable – even if a few people got seasick riding in it. More than 1.4 million were made over two decades and a few are still seen in daily operation on the streets of Paris.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The report about the most recent Thursday's club meeting was headlined 'Big Apple Sandals of the Week' for a perfectlyphoto, churros, snack stand obvious reason – Tomoko tried them on. This had nothing to do with shoes that have coil–springs and shock absorbers built–in, but did refer to a member's shoes. As for why, it was an obvious way of not mentioning anybody's toes.

Not far from Chinatown, hot churros ready to go.

The next Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a Thursday, in the old nick of time. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Saint–Michel. This saint du semaine was an archangel who was at the side of Gabriel and Raphael, and later made Jeanne d'Arc do something at Reims, as well as being the patron saint of parachutists and pastry makers, and of Mont Saint–Michel.

One or two facts about the club can be gleaned from the 'About the Club' page should your eyeballs happen to be in that area. The sappy design of the club membership card looks about as much like birthday paper as brown sugar. Certifiably hors d'âge, the club membership itself is so priceless you could hardly want to trade it away for an iPod.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.39/40 – 2O/27. Sept. 2004 – the Café Metropole' column had the unrelated 'Villa Seurat, Motards En Colère' for subjects. The week's Au Bistro column was headlined, 'Techno Boom, Fast What?' The Paris Auto Salon was visited and 'Perfume Dispenser' was the result. The repeat Scène column repeated again with 'More Fall Program, Repeated.' The update for the 23. September meeting of the Café Metropole Club was cheery with the 'A Half–dozen Gadgets' report and the following meeting on 30. September asked, "Whophoto, sign, pour la mariage suivez la fleche Had Tea?" There were six fantasticos 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was also greasy with the oiled caption of, "I'm getting a motorcycle!"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.39 – 22. Sept 2003 – the coincidental Café Metropole column was on the mark with, 'Freak Factory and Chicken Farmers.' The weekly 'Feature of the Week' was headlined 'Visiting Edith – But Not Cemeteries, Folies or Prisons.' Silly Ed. Again there was a column by Larel Avery, titled ' A Crabby Birthday.' There seems to have been another no dismal repeat of any Scène columns. The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 25. September was called, the "Magic Still Happens Here" report. There were four classic graphic 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week mentioned hard news of global importance with the caption, "This – is 'no car' day?"

Seasonally Delicious

For the 28th time almost in a row, this is not about some dusty old saint, but instead is a delicious 'Quote of the Week.' George Eliot, who might have written or spoke, once uttered, "Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." Next week right here, as a special feature, 'Delicious Season' will be roasted.

If the Past Is Any Indication

Today marks the date in 1985 when Coluche launched the idea of the Restos du Cœur, whichphoto, sign, rue francois de neufchateau started out modestly enough but fed 64 million meals to the hungry last year. Coluche was born in the 14th arrondissement on 28. October 1944. His mother sold flowers and his father was a building painter, but died when Coluche was three. Coluche hung out in Montrouge with a band of copains, liked music and eventually graduated from elementary school. Then he became famous for being a normal mensch, had a fake marriage with another comedian, ran for president – and lost – and starred in several bad movies and at least one good one. France has been vastly duller since Coluche was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1986.

Never Shipwrecked Patapsphysics

It was on this date in history that the RMS Queen Mary was launched on the Clyde by the John Brown & Co. Construction had started in 1930 but stopped in 1931 because everybody was broke. The owners, Cunard, got a loan from the government which was more than enough to build the ship, so they ordered a companion ship, the Queen Elizabeth. The price to pay was a merger with the White Star Line, and this was effected, so construction resumed and the Queen Mary was launched on 26. September 1934. At 81,237 tons the Queen Mary was the second largest ship afloat at the time, second to the French Line's Normandie. When Iphoto, sign, crocodile crossed from Southampton to New York in November of 1964, the third class veranda bar on the Queen Mary was still in wonderful shape and the extra dry New York–style martinis cost 25 cents, plus tip.

Faits Divers

In 1973 the supersonic airliner Concorde flew across the Atlantic non–stop for the first time and shattered speed records. The needle–nosed jet landed at the new Dallas–Fort Worth airport in Texas, which annoyed New Yorkers so much that they refused to let it land there until 1977, when they finally figured out there might be advantages to being able to cross the Atlantic in three hours and 30 minutes. Scheduled transatlantic service continued until 2003, when spare parts started to become scarce. Instead of becoming faster jets have become bigger, and ocean crossings these days typically take the best part of a day and there's no free drinks anymore and nothing on board is sold for 25 cents.

Forgotten 'Important Dates of the Week'

There are only 96 days left of this year, which means this year has almost reached Halloween. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1887 when Emile Berliner inventedphoto, sign, rue christophe colomb the first phonograph record that was a disk instead of a cylinder, thus paving the way for the iPod. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 269 days, the same number that 1513 had when Nuñez de Balboa first spied the Pacific Ocean. However he was unaware of its name and called it 'Mar del Sur' instead. On foot, Balboa claimed the entire ocean for the Spanish crown, but it was Magellan in 1520 who said it was 'pacific,' in Portuguese of course.
signature, regards, ric

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