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Happy Birthday Jerry Lee

photo, citroen ds, etoile

A Citroën DS glides around the Etoile on Sunday.

Sharks On the Champs

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 10. October 2005:– I will tell you what disturbed me about tonight's TV–weather news forecast. When it came on I turned to the maps on the back page of Le Parisien and they weren't there. There was no time, I couldn't find them, so I grabbed a sheet of paper – a electro bill – and made notes.

Usually I scribble right on the maps, drawing lines for possible fronts, discarding TV's fictions and substituting them with my own hunches and ignorant guesswork, and I do it by the TV's weak light. When I come to write my scientific opinion, I metamorphose the paper's maps with my latest scribbles, draw the conclusions, spit in the wind, and whine about what the weather lady was wearing.

Tonight I have this sheet without maps and maps without scribbles on them. Are you ready? Tuesday will begin by being mostly sunny with clouds and then it will evolve into being only partly sunny, perhaps with more clouds. Winds from the southeast were shown, but these may only be offshore and nothing to worry about even if only mild. The temperature is expected to be 20 degrees but if it is like today, it may be 22.

On Wednesday it will probably, according to TV, be cloudy all day long. If you want sunny you'll have to go out to the far western tip of Brittany and hope real hard. Expect a temperature of about 19 degrees for some reason.

Thursday is really sketchy. According to my scribbles there will be sunny periods up along the Channel, perhapsphoto, fountain, concorde being blown ashore by a 60 kph wind from the northwest. I don't know if these bits of sun will get this far. The weather lady stood in from of her map while telling us the saint's name for tomorrow, but you aren't interested in that because it's not Thursday. I guess the real news is that the high is only expected to be 16 degrees. So what? It's October after all.

On of the fountains at Concorde.

Our valued weather ace, Météo Jim over there in autumn's Pommeland, is far from lost at the moment. Jim has sent a new and extremely musical report from which I've clipped the prediction:

Tammy, Tammy, Tammy

Tropical storm Tammy began her visit on Friday, and as of Monday morning, had left 4.5 anglo–inches of rain – about 12 euro–mini–metres – around the heart of Pommeland. But she liked western Pommeland more – dumping about 12 anglo–inches or 30 euro–minis – and absolutely showered her affection on parts of New England, also known as La Nouvelle Angleterre where many Nouveau Français from La Nouvelle France had moved. This is not to be confused with Le Beaujolais Nouveau which will come pouring out next month. Parts of Nouvelle Angleterre received over two anglo–pieds – 60 euros – of rain and looked more like Nouvelle Orléans.

The rocker Jerry Lee Lewis and his refrain 'Great Balls of Fire!' have been banished to an obscure corner of Mount Parnasse by the remnants and descendants of Tropical Storm Tammy. However, clouds, rain and temperatures in the mid to upper 60's – 17–20 euro grad – will grace Pommeland until the weekend.

Since Météo Jim has raised the issue, you should check out the world's first Bavarian Web site to feature the 70 year old star of the rock piano, or step over to Snowbell Street in Munich to find out what's happening next at the Rattlesnake Saloon..

Café Life

Sharks On the Champs

I should have gone to see the DS parade even if it was darn early in the morning. The weather was clear, it was warm and still. I thought, oh, another big event on the Champs–Elysées. It is two–thirds as wide as a football field is long and it's very long. Put in 1600photo, champs elysees DS' sliding down it and what have you got? The Champs–Elysées part of their parade wasn't even shown on the TV–news. I can't trust them with anything.

After the DS parade, the usual Sunday mob out in force.

So I finally got up there, probably about three hours later, figuring that some of these DS crazies would be taking Sunday drives. A lot of people do – come in at Concorde and sweep around the Obélisque and hit the avenue with its super long view up to the Arc, and roll up there and twirl around the Etoile in the sunshine – you can go around as often as you want – it's free. And then peel off into the top of the avenue and nearly coast all the way back to Concorde, using the Obélisque as the gunsight blade behind the doodad on the hood.

Meanwhile, a quarter–million folks were on the sidewalks, one on the sunny side and the other in the shade. Most of the shops were closed but all the cinemas, restaurants and cafés were open and many have terraces even on the shady side. Plus Louis Vuitton was having a gala opening at George V – with Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman, Winona Ryder among the VIPs and 2000 other glitzer volk, not forgetting the ever–presentphoto, snack kiosk, champs elysees Catherine Deneuve of course. In the evening only the newly renovated Petit Palais was good enough for the ball, possibly because the newly renovated Grand Palais across the street was full of some other grand promo.

Catching a snack on the Champs– Elysées.

When you get to the Rond–Point you leave the 'famous' Champs Elysées for the rest, which is equally long and wide, but is flanked by wide paths and lines of trees. In these are ritzy pavilions, parks, theatres and the palaces, the Petit and Grand. The used stamp market is in here and there are rustic snack kiosks, toilets, and it is a long park on either side of the avenue, with the leaves going brown at the moment, littering the ground with golden petals like lucky pieces.

The avenue ends, or begins, at the Place de la Concorde. This is a big stone place with an island in the middle with the Obélisque sticking up and two fountains, one of the seas and the other of rivers. Folks making the trek from the Tuileries on the other side stop to inspect the gilt diagrams on the Obélisque – how to raise an Obélisque! – and wonder about the sexual aspects of the spouting fountain figures with the fish tails.

You could say that Concorde with its Obélisque and Etoile with its Arc form a unit joined by the Champs–Elysées. The whole affair is a singularly rich and unique experience several kilometres long and very large, enough for quite a wide attention span.

Others might say that it extends through the garden of the Tuileries to the east wing of the Louvre in the Cour Napoléon. If you stand by this wing you can see the close–up Pyramid, slightly off the axis, the Obélisque and the Arc way off in the distance. It is in fact a geographical unit, actually extending beyond the Arc, but the Champs–Elysées part is a piece of its own, and thephoto, citroen ds, champs elysees Tuileries gardens another. For a straight–line walk it has to be one of the best and it's hard to think of anywhere else that matches it. Of course, a sunny Sunday in October makes it better.

Here is... the Champs–Elysées... in 1960.

And I was right. Swimming along with the Sunday drivers were these shark–like cars, the dreamlike Citroën DS. Fifty years later, coming into the avenue at Clemenceau past the Grand Palais where they were first shown to an astonished driving public. Now doing the rounds of the Champs–Elysées in the sunshine with the windows open, like God in France on his day off.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The most recent Thursday 'Club Meeting of the Week' was headlined as the 'This Club Is In VO' for the very good reason of a member's discovery that 'VO' often means 'in the English language'photo, tuileries pool, obelisk when it comes to videos and movies. As for why, it could be an obvious aid for understanding what they are about. The club itself is mostly in 'VO' but not always.

And here is Paris – sans voitures.

The next Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a Thursday, as boring as this might seem. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Saint–Géraud. This saint du mois may have been the Count of Aurillac, who is fondly remembered for treating his serfs with compassion, often liberating them. This was a rare thing to do back when Géraud died, in 909, only 1094 years ago.

Two interesting facts about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page if you know how to read fine print. The other facts are not so interesting. The skilled design of the club membership card looks about as much like brown fish wrap as a telegram, if you have ever seen one. Guaranteed hors d'âge, the club membership itself is so priceless you would hardly want to trade it for 500 eBay preferred shares.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.41/42 – 4/11. Oct. 2004 – another double weeks' Café Life column had 'For the Love of Speed and Two Storms In One Teapot' for a subject. The Café column was headlined, 'No Smoking Paris, Sooner than Never.' The Au Bistro column contained 'Perrier Flat, and Holdup of the Week.' Nuit Blanche was taken care of with 'A Million Cafés.' The Scène column was back with 'Napoléon Who? Hero of the Fall Season,' and Photo Scène featured 'Photographed Photography.' The update for the 7. October meeting of the Café Metropole Club was scientific for once with the 'Extra– terrestrial Intelligence!' report. A weekphoto, sign, avenue des champs elysees later on 14. October the report was titled '5th Year Ends, Club's 6th Year Begins!' There were six priceless 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was chilly with the cool caption of, "Nuit Blanche is not a fête!"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.41 – 6. Oct 2003 – this week's Café Metropole column I was a bit dubious with, 'Johnny's Amnésia.' Café Life had, 'Matt's Mail–Art, Christophe and Bertrand's 'Nuit Blanche.' The 'Feature of the Week' was an Email headlined 'Another French Exception?' – from the Météo guy, Jim Auman. There seems to have been no dismal repeat of any Scène columns, like what I think I'm doing here, now. The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 9. October came out as the 'Ozone Dosen't Help' report. There were four pages of edgy 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week mentioned soft news of no importance with the caption of, "Because It's... Warm!" Have I read this before?

On His Birthday?

For the 30th time almost in a row, this is not about some musty old saint, but instead is a tasty 'Quote of the Week.' Niels Bohr, who might have had a birthday a few days ago, once said, "The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth." Next week right here, as a special feature, the 'Birthday Message' will be both profound and in Italian.photo, sign, air vent

If the Past Is Any Indication

Today marks the date in 1789 when Talleyrand, who happened to be the Bishop of Autun, had his modest proposition accepted by the Constitutional Assembly. They decided to nationalize the property of the Catholic church, mainly in order to raise a lot of money fast for a realm that was broke. In return the church got assurances that the state would pay priests' salaries, which were a mere pittance.

Slightly Landlocked Patapsphysics

It was on this date in 43 BC that Lyon was founded by Lucius Munatius Plancus, one of Caesar's lieutenants. The colony was established on a hill named Lugdunum so the Romans called it Colonia Copia Lugdunum, after Copia. The colony was set up as a refuge for Romans fleeing the Allobroges who chased them out of Vienna, I think. This town became the administrative capital of the three Gauls, Lyonnaise, Aquitaine and Belge, and in every August a big party was held there for 60 Gallic tribes until about 400 years later. One chief, Copium, said afterwards, "It was great while it lasted."

Faits Divers II

In 732 Charles Martel, of the Franks, along with his merry band of jolly fellows, had a big fight with a bunch of Moors, who were led by Abd ar Rahman, the governor of Cordoba. The Moors were defeated at the Battle of Tours so they returned to Spain where they built a lot of very magnificent palaces and sublime mosques and lived happily ever after for the next 700 years. It was on this day in 1913 that the Panama Canal's final obstacle was blown out of the way with a huge amount of dynamite, and this is remembered in France because Ferdinand de Lesseps started the whole thing. For some unknown reason, because of thephoto, sign, metro shoddy implementation of the Georgian calendar, there is no this day this year in Italy, Portugal, Poland and Spain. Everybody concerned is asked to try again tomorrow.

Fantastic 'Forgotten Dates of the Week'

There are only 82 days left of this year, which means this year has nearly reached less than 80 shopping days left. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1927 when Jean Mermoz and Elisée Négrin flew non–stop from Toulouse to Senegal in less than 24 hours, before flying back. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 283 days, the same number that 1971 had when the London Bridge reopened in Arizona after being sold, dismantled and shipped from the Thames River to Lake Havasu City where local conmen try to sell it back to British tourists.
signature, regards, ric

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