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Jamais Content Returns

photo, cafe haussmann

Saturday night terrace on Haussmann.

Haussmann Lights Up

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 7. November 2005:– In the future I am going to turn on the light while scribbling the TV–weather news on Le Parisien's weather maps. I've been doing it in the dark and I see now that I made a mess. It looks like a detailed sketch of a key rugby play on top of the four o'clock race at Maisons Laffitte in Paris Turf.

New readers can just skip this part until the meat starts in the next paragraph. Other, regular readers will recall that 'Indian Summer' left us a couple of weeks ago after an over–long linger, and that fall is here now even if it hasn't bitten hard yet.

Tomorrow's weather is expected to be very complicated so I will confine my observations to the Ile–de–France and Paris, where it may be kind of sunny if it isn't overly cloudy, and it will certainly by a bit cloudy I'm sure. Do not worry about rain striking Brittany's nose, or about the 60 kph wind from the south here. Try and enjoy to the fullest the high temperature of 17 degrees, slightly higher than seasonally average.

Not only is Wednesday's weather more complicated, it has more scribbles on it. Here it will be like Tuesday with one difference. There will be clouds up around the Channel andphoto, balloon, grand palais northwest winds there, and it will be cloudy to the east of Paris and there may even be snow down south where doesn't matter. The 'one difference' will be a low high of 12 degrees.

Airy headroom in the Grand Palais allows for indoor sports.

Thursday might be pretty bright, or no less bright than Tuesday and Wednesday, and the wind will not be here but where it is, it will be 60 kph. And the snow will not be here either, but near the Alps where it belongs, and finally, a nasty high of only 12 degrees again. If you skip being out on Tuesday you'll be sorry you did.

Metropole's marathoning but in–shape weather scribbler, Météo Jim, presents us this week with a 'golden September' in metro Pommeland, noting that high temperatures make the marathon classic, or Greekish.

Election Weather

There will be an election in the Pomme – as well in Pommeland and places not part of Pommeland – ie. the rest of the US. Les Grosses Pommers will either elect a new mayor to be le Maître des Pommes or keep the current Maître. Western Pommelanders will choose a new governor to replace the current one. Since he is highly regarded, effective and competent, he has decided not to stay in office. Temperatures for election day – the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November – will be sunny and temperatures in the lower 60's a–grad but still too warm for this time of year. They will provide an excuse for the low election turnout – "It is too hot to go out to vote!" The rest of the week will be partly cloudy to sunny with temperatures bouncing around from the low 60's to about 70 and possibly cooling off by Friday. *

*Disclaimer – is officially discontinued.

Café Life

Passion Transports

Without asking my permission somebody organized an exhibition about transport in the Grand Palais over the weekend. I'm lucky I listen to radio news even if it's cluttered with commercials, because one of them was for this show, which seemed to be without promotion or posters.

The best thing about it was free entry, and I only had to stand in line in fine weather for 30 minutes to get in on Saturday, with all the other Parisians who only go to free shows. At the door I was handed a questionnaire, which I haven't bothered to look at until now. Since there is no address on it I'll answer it here.

Yes, I was passionné with the expo. Why? is easy. The expo of past, present and future transport was slight enough for there to be lots of room inside with all the Parisians who go to free shows, yet it was rich enough in parts to engage the attention for five or ten minutes.

For example, there was the justly famous 'Jamais Content' was there, in all of its bullet–shaped gray glory. Imagine, the first car ever to go faster than 100 kph was streamlined, way back in 1899, and here it is, today, still streamlined.

The Grand Palais is very big inside, with a huge volume of space, cubic hectares of it. In this space, with the blue sky outside, nicely contrasting with the green ironwork inside,photo, balloon motor there are some balloons flying around. Ah, these were not tethered. They were powered by men, as in peddling wheels to turn propellers, or with wings attached to arms, gently flapping.

Close–up of balloon power detail.

Ultra cool, to be standing on firm iron, watching balloons float around inside, moving slowly, being steered this way and that, taking off and landing, all inside this fishbowl. Obviously when the Grand Palais was built in 1900 its designers knew we would want this to happen in 2005, and that I would be gaga about it.

There was a bunch of other neat stuff too, like the egg–shaped future car, and a giddy Goldberg flying machine, with about 10 propellers. For a free show it had great entertainment value and I would recommend it to everybody if it wasn't over already. The concurrent art shows on in the Grand Palais are probably interesting too, no matter what they cost.

Bright Lights Back

The balloons put me on a roll so I hopped into the Métro and whizzed up to Saint–Lazare to get a early seasonal gander at the Christmas lights put up by Printemps and Galeries Lafayette on their stretch on the Boulevard Haussmann.

It seemed, as it is another free show, that a great number of Parisians were there with their kids, the usual strollers, and a lot of their cars. In some towns it might have seemedphoto, interior grand palais like the crowds on the last Saturday before Christmas, but here, no, I suppose they were swelled by folks bringing back defective trick or treats for Halloween.

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