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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.


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