...Continued from page 1

Renaud finally forgets that his saucer is sticking to the bottom of his glass and it drops on the floor and shatters, making us all jump at the noise. Patrick arrives like a fireman with a broom and says "No problem!" and whisks the pottery away and gives Renaud a new saucer to drop.

Then Fran and Sheila are trading tips about where to buy food. They are on a level above Monoprix and I can't say I blame them, except that my jam tastes just as good at a Monoprix price as it does for a ritzy price.

Tomoko suddenly remembers that she's had an email from members Lauren and Steve, who returned to California. She says Steve just finished a stint of running a help desk in Bombay or somewhere.

Without warning Fran, as suddenly as Tomoko, remembers that she has found out something vital. She hauls a Pariscope out of her bag and we say, "Right!" but this is not it. Then Fran is flipping through the pages of the movie listings, mumbling, "I learned something..."

We wait and wonder. Fran finally finds it. "VO," she exclaims. She has this apartment and in this apartment there are hundreds of videos of movies copied from television and she just assumed that they were all in French – until she read Pariscope and figured out what 'VO' means.

Back in the flat she found a video titled 'Maltese Falcon' marked 'VO' and lo, and behold, it was in English. Nearly all the VO movies are in English. Some are in German or Chinese, of course. And yes, itphoto, table of the week is true that French television does broadcast movies in VO, and they will have subtitles in French. Not only this but movies in TV are not interrupted by commercials, unless you happen to watch TF1.

Remains of a thanksgiving table unrelated to the club.

So this discovery of Fran's is a hot contender for the 'Tip of the Week.' Living here it is quite easy to forget important details like VO because we take it for granted that movies are in their original versions. This sometimes also means that the version shown here is often the complete original, not the one intended for US audiences.

The import of VO is so great that it seems unimportant to point out that the Cinémathèque Française is back in business. It is the place to watch for the classic films. It may be the only place in the world to see some of them. At the Cinémathèque VO is a rule rather than an exception. If you like movies Paris is heaven.


Leaving the club I swing across the Pont des Arts and amble up the Rue de Seine, which is full of galleries having openings on the first Thursday of the month, which is today. I lurch off to the right with the Rue de l'Echaude and do not get far before stopping at 'New York Underground' outside this small gallery, which often has a dirty green Volvo with German plates parked illegally outside it.

Inside a stevedore is testing the red varnish while waiting for the photographer, Nat Finkelstein, who photographedphoto, galerie gordon pym et fils everybody who was in Warhol's Factory in the '60s. In fact this is the exhibition, photos of Andy and Nico and Lou. They all look like college people, well–pressed and clean. If the stevedore is Gottfried Tollmann, he tells me how he became a chess pro at four and retired at 41, and how these '60s hipsters weren't clean at all. "They were dirty," he says, slugging off half a plastic cupful of rouge. As Matt Rose might say, he talks art like it barks.

See A Tale of One City featuring photos by Nat Finkelstein of the New York underground, 1964–67. On view until Wednesday, 26. October at the Galerie Gordon Pym & Fils, 5. Rue de l'Echaude, Paris 6. Métro: Odéon or Saint–Germain–des–Prés. InfoTel.: 01 46 34 18 64.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This club meeting 'report,' deftly picked out with my own little finger, gives only hint about what this is about. If you can squander part of your vital life give an eyeblink to the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its queasy photos, sappy writing and the ridiculous satire of a membership card. You can join the club too, without ID or plastic, credit or money, on any 'Thursday of the Week.' Fridays, even if you prefer them, are foggy.

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

Club meetings, if truth be told, begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, on Thursdays and continue until 17:00, always in the western Euro Time zone, now in its slog through autumn to winter. Known in faraway locales as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is not where meetings happen. Come to the café La Corona and seek out its 'grande salle.' Bring a friend or two. The folks in the rear of the big room, without the frites, are us.

Attend a meeting – by being at one. Hang out for a hour or for a whole meeting with new friends. Real 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' being equivalent to 'real' even if 'first' is more than likely too, and if it is an alternate form of 'reality' with any sort of connection to truth, like true lies or fictional facts.

A note of caution – you may have 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' ingraphic: club location map one of these club reports. Dump your own name into Metropole's search if you have forgotten it.

The 'ex–rules' that we used to have continue to be former. Nonetheless these discontinued rules may still be accessed so that you can learn that this somewhat hypothetical club of no purpose repeats them seldom as they are already on record, even if skillfully hidden.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional. There are usually several empty chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Nobody will mind if you stand. Whatever you say will be truly appreciated by other members present if there are any 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 Fran's quite spontaneous 'Tip of the Week' about movies and VO and video in general and cheese in particular.

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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