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Fun At Beaver

photo, resto, chez clovis, les halles

A 'normal' night at this bistro in Les Halles?

Dark Nuit Blanche

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 3. October 2005:– I was out on Saturday night and I put on a few extra clothes, but the season has changed, and I think I caught a chill. I think it is a short pit of rotten weather just to remind us that winter isn't far off and we better get used to it or face some consequences, such as pneumonia.

This 'short bit' of crummy weather continues this week. Tomorrow morning the skies are going to be gray and in the afternoon they are going to get grayer, while a wind of 50 kph blows down the Channel. This is, actually, the good weather. The rest of France is going to be unspeakable compared to here. Meanwhile, the temperature may go up to 18 degrees, which will be three more than today.

On Wednesday one tiny sun ball will be peeking out from behind a cloud in Brittany. From what the TV–weatherphoto, hotel de ville, nuit blanche news said tonight there are not going to be any other sun balls peeking through anything. The ray of hope is left to the temperature which is supposed to get up to 19 degrees.

Giant screen at the Hôtel de Ville, with crowd causing projections.

Of all places it is the Channel coast that is supposed to nearly have semi–good weather on Thursday. My notes say 'a bit sunny' and then the whole rest of France is covered with cross–hatching. The sun may shine in Marseille but this is under the scribble too. Up here in the north the temperature prediction is for 21 degrees, which is just swell 'for the time of year.'

Our valued weather correspondent, Météo Jim over there in Pommeland, is not as lost as feared. Jim has sent a new extremely valuable report from which I've clipped the California details:

Sun Will Drench

The weather forecast for Pommeland as well as the East Coast signals a return to September. Temperatures will be in the lower 80s anglograd – 27+ eurograd – but near seasonal temperatures at night – mid 50s anglograd, or about 12 degrees eurograd. Sun will drench a dried out landscape, tempered a bit by occasional clouds. Pommeland is so dry that an official drought alert has been issued by the weather forecasters. But will Thomas Wolfe's promise of an October that "had come again and that year it was sharp and soon" come true? The Official Weather Groundhog says that cool weather and rain – about 50 drops! – will arrive at the end of the week, bringing temperatures back to normal, and normal for Pommeland is the mid–to–upper 60s anglograd – 17+ eurograds.

Café Life

I am starting this out with four items, two of them news of a sort. But my feet are cold, my nose is cold, and my eyes are faint. Therefore instead of a long, windy column full of useless words I am going to attempt brevity, starting now.

Bopping At the Beaver

Dava is visiting Paris, hanging out at Thé Troc and at the Studio Shelton, and spending time in a recording studio. I mentioned guitar and she said "Whee!" and then she went up to Pigalle and found one. Then she said he was going to sit in at the Beaver on the Ile Saint–Louis Wednesday night, so I went there and heard some live rock'n'roll and Dava – it was all great.

It reminded me of being in a garage club in Moose Jaw because this Beaver place was shaped like a shoebox with snowshoes and log walls and fur hats hanging from the logs, and it was full of people who were trying to act like Canadians by drinking a lot of beer and talking loud, but the two guitar guys, Los Dos Caballeros, were louder.

By the time they got extremely thirsty, and half undressed, and it was Dava's turn, the faux–Canadiansphoto, dava at the beaver were even louder, and Dava couldn't quite overcome the atmosphere even though her new French guitar had a microphone and the sound system was muscular, but she was great.

Dava, midway between rock'n'roll and poetry.

The place was kind of dark and dim too, so I did a club routine for the 'Photo of the Night' and asked Dava to step out in front of the place, but it had less light outside than a speakeasy, so that was another idea that didn't work. But it was great to see Dava again, and meet Phil Demetrion – a rock'n'roll correspondent, and do a lot of shouting at folks who didn't know anything – like the names of these Caballeros; They said, "Grab a flyer," so I did, and maybe their names are Perry and Dr. Kev.

Like I say, it was great. It must be several years since I was in Paris' other Canadian nightclub, the Moose. If I heard correctly, this Beaver is a branch logpile, and if you like Canadian snacks like what they have up in Prince George or someplace, this Beaver is a good tip. Pass it on.

Nuit Blanche

This was on Saturday night, and it wasn't too warm for it, but it wasn't raining when I was out there with about one million folks walking around town from one modern art cultural thing to another, mostly like missing four–fifths of them in the darkness.

The program was in Saturday's Le Parisien just as I thought it would be, but the Métro wasn't free when I started out. I glanced at the paper but left it behind on the theory that one has to be able to navigate a 'Nuit Blanche' by dead reckoning, rather than race from point to point to get ticks on a program checked off.

At Les Halles I did not see any Brazilians, I think. There were a real lot of people under the trees and somethingphoto, marais, nuit blanche was being projected on Saint Eustache but it was a bit dim. There was a very loud bandstand with lots of flash, and it was very loud, and dark, and lots of people – crowds barging this way and that, tripping over roots or something.

Nuit Blanche in the Marais.

Further along, towards Saint Opportune, I got a copy of the 'Nuit Blanche' booklet. Its black maps were a bit hard to read, so I kept going towards Beaubourg with about 50,000 other people. At the museum there was a big line to get in, as near as I could make out in the dark. By Saint–Merri there were some red and white figures doing something, but it was a bit far away as well as dark.

I crossed Rambuteau with about 25,000 other people and bumped through the narrow streets of the Marais, a bit like a swamp in the dark. Some cafés I expected to be open were not but others were, and more folks were heading east on parallel roads.

Hundreds were waiting to get into the Swiss place on Francs Bourgeois, and those that couldn't filled the whole street, right along to the Hôtel d'Albret, and it was plugged solid too. But it looked exciting as I went past. I guess I missed the Crédit Municipal show.

Crowds thinned towards the Place des Vosges where I neglected to make a left turn to the Swedish cultural centre. Over on the Boulevard Beaumarchais there didn't seem to be much happening other than seeing roving bands, so I went past Bastille and down Henri IV towards the Seine and crossed the bridge and saw 10,000 folks trying to get in to the Monde Arabe.

That's where I started to feel cool. That's also where I decided 300 guitars on Montmartre were too far away, as was the 'Drôles d'endroits' in the 11th arrondissement or the 'Nuit de Fête' up at Stalingrad. More accurately, from Père Lachaise to the Quai de Valmy.

The city is saying that 1.2 million folks were out on Saturday night, along with a lot of other big numbers and superlatives. I don't know how all these Parisians got counted in the dark. But I don't doubt that they were there. I don't doubt other people have sniffles today either.

Cimémathèque's New Home

Just a quick note about the reopening of the Cinémathèque Française at Bercy in its new building that has been converted into a shrine for the movies. It's big and wonderful, has four cinemas and a museum, and if you are a movie fan it is the nec plus ultra.

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 bephoto, cafe l'etoile, nuit blanche 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.

Part of Nuit Blanche involves sitting.

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'

Last week's most recent Thursday's club meeting was headlined as the 'Yoohoo of the Week' for no obvious reason other than to signal yet another 'new Waiter of the Week' about members' thirst. As for why, it was an obvious way for getting a drink.

The next Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a Thursday, as it has been in the past. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Sainte–Pélagie. This sainte du semaine is not the same as on my calendar, which has Bruno instead. Pélagie might have been Syrian, and she jumped off a high place in 283 so soldiers couldn't grab her. She was 15 when she did this and some fondly remember her better than Bruno.

Several interesting facts about the club can be mined from the 'About the Club' page should your pick and shovel happen to be in that area. The edgy design of the club membership card looks about as much like brown sugar as Monoprix toilet paper. Guaranteed hors d'âge, the club membership itself is so priceless you would hardly want to trade it for a personalized credit card.

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.41 – 6. Oct 2003 – the week's Café Metropole' column had gossip with 'Johnny's Amnésia' for a subject. A Life column was headlined, 'Matt's Mail–Art, Christophe and Bertrand's 'Nuit Blanche.' New Jersey weather guy Jim Auman sent an email, asking 'Another French Exception?' The Scène column tuned in again with 'From Cocteau to Chen Zhen, Piaf and Lollobrigida.' The update for the 9. October meeting of the Café Metropole Club was cheery again withphoto, fiat 500 brochure the 'Ozone Dosen't Help' report. There were four so–so 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was apt with the heated caption of, "Because It's... Warm!"

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 7.40/41 – 30. Sept / 7. Oct 2002 – the double week's Café Metropole column I was a bit smelly with, 'The Big Cheese Thing.' Café Metropole II had, 'The Move and 'White Night.' Au Bistro news featured 'Dwarf–Tossing Nixed by UN.' The 'Feature of the Week' was headlined 'The Silly Car Show – World's Biggest, Etc Etc.' There seems to have been no dismal repeat of any Scène columns. The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 3. October resulted in the "Numbers of Ducks?" report and the meeting on 10. October gave us the "Paris Is Almost Normal" report. There were four pages of 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week mentioned soft news of slim importance with the caption of, "It don't look like much, but it's home."

On His Birthday

For the 29th time almost in a row, thisphoto, sign, jcdecaux toilet is not about some dusty old saint, but instead is a delicious 'Quote of the Week.' Gore Vidal, who might have written or spoke, once uttered, "There is not one human problem that could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise." Next week right here, as a special feature, the 'Birthday Message' will be in braille.

If the Past Is Any Indication

Today marks the date in 1918 when King Boris III climbed on the throne of Bulgaria. in the same neck of the woods, 11 years later but on the same day, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was created out of the old Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. This is not be confused with the Land of the North Slavs, which was further north somewhere.

Hardly Shipwrecked Patapsphysics

It was on this date in 1990 that the Germany was reunited and millions of Berliners sang some Beethoven songs and waved their red, gold and black flags around, happy that the Wall had fallen down, which allowed them to visit 'daruben' and even buy property there for less than what slums in Kreuzberg cost.

Faits Divers

In 1932 Iraq became independent. On this day in 2005 there was a solar eclipse, which was not so visible in France but perfectly clear in Madrid, where it was sunny and warm. In 1559 the Duc d'Anjou beat up Coligny at Moncontour and everybody said what a hero the futurephoto, sign, verpasian Henri III would be, but he really owed his success to old generals like Cossé et Tavannes. The writer Louis Aragon was born today in 1897, exactly 30 years after the painter Pierre Bonnard.

Remarkable 'Forgotten Dates of the Week'

There are only 89 days left of this year, which means this year has almost reached only 80 shopping days left. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1925 when Eugene Luther Gore Vidal was born. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 276 days, the same number that 42 BC had when Mark Antony and Octavian had an indecisive battle with Caesar's assassins, Brutus and Cassius, which is fondly remembered by one and all as the First Battle of Philippi.
signature, regards, ric

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