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Light Shows

photo, bon marche

The Left Bank's Bon Marché glowing with cheer.

And Cheese Things

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 12. December 2005:– Today's weather in Le Parisien is not on a color page so it kind of matches the sky above the Tour Montparnasse, or it would if it weren't totally black out there on account of being night. Excuse me while I yawn, but I feel kind of sleepy.

Tonight's weather lady started off by saying we shouldn't pay any attention to the huge anticyclone over Europe because it would be above the clouds. Her TV animation showed this gigantic cloud–free area from Ireland to Minsk, from the North Cape to Timbuktu. There were some clouds up north of Iceland, but that was nearly off the screen.

Down here on earth where we have our noses close to reality, there is supposed to actually be a diagonal gulch of cloud–freedom, which will gradually turn to being lightly veiled in the afternoon, as if the sky is going to slip into something flimsy. Further to the northwest it will be cloudier, with occasional sunbeams, but to the southeast there will be very thick clouds. If all goes well and it is by no means certain, the temperature may get up to 6 degrees.

On Wednesday, while 60 kph breezes slide down the Channel, it will probably be more semi–cloudy than semi–sunny. I forget what the otherphoto, sign, joyeuses fetes lines I've drawn on the map mean, except that it will be sunny on the Riviera with a cold wind blowing on everybody's neck.

There are, for Thursday, three lines on the map. Above the line parallel to the northwest expect total cloud cover. Between that line and another line slanting across the southeast, there may be cloud cover with very few blue holes in it. The southeast corner will be why people pay so much to live down there, while around here the temperature is supposed to get up to 8 degrees – which is, grosso modo, nearly average 'for the time of year' – if you believe in fanciful tales.

This week the 50 percent disclaimed weather scribbler in and around New York City, Météo Jim, sends true news of true £ and € times, inclining all to hope:–

Pre–Sales Optimism and Flurries

After Friday's snow which left upphoto, meteo jim snowmetre to 16 £inches in parts of New England, the weather for the coming week in Pommela nd will start off chilly – high temperature about 29 £grad – –2 €grad – and then warm up to the upper 30s – low 40s £grad – 4 – 5 €grad. Skies will be sunny to partly cloudy. A French twist may be added to Pommeland's transportation holiday schedule. The transit workers are threatening to authorize a labor 'action' so if the strike takes place, visitors are advised to bring plenty of shoe leather and cab fare. Photo – Jim Auman.

*Bonus – last Friday Je rêve d'un Noël enneigé, Pommeland has its second snowfall, with about 8.5 £inches – 21 €minis – and temperature about 36 £grad – 2 €grad.

Café Life

Bon Marché

I may be failing to get the Christmas events columns online in a timely way but I am getting around to see the lights, like last Wednesday when I decided to go 'out to play' by going to the Bon Marché. Part of the way there, checking out the ice skating at Montparnasse, I remembered that the past two years of going to the Bon Marché got me exactly nothing, because I went too early. The Bon Marché doesn't put its lights up the day after Halloween.

For the next several blocks I tried to remember exactly when I'd gone last year and then I gave up. One thing for certain was that it was warmer last week than last year, so I kept going. It was getting dark so fast I wished I'd started earlier, but by the department store the street is wider, and it was glowing like a big cake.

Well, not so big. The Bon Marché is an seemingly older department store, of a smaller scale thanphoto, window, bon marche the giganticos on Haussmann and Rivoli, and the Rue de Sèvres that it sits on is a bit rural. So it is human–sized outside and not gaudy with some columns of light and the river of gold under the awning over the animated display windows, with the platforms for kids.

Window of wonders at the Bon Marché.

The short way back to Montparnasse is by way of the Rue Saint–Placide to the Rue de Rennes. Placide has dozens of clothing outlets, mostly smaller shops, and there's always a lot of pedestrians, but the sidewalks are wide. They are wide in Rennes too but the scale of the shops is bigger, and the type of shops draw many more young people, and it's always a kind of zoo. Almost like Haussmann.

Tata's Vernissage

Tata Line is not my aunt nor Dimitri's or Uncle Den–Den's, but that she is somebody's aunt is pretty certain. If you go to her place there is usually some people there and some of them might be nieces and nephews, and aunts, uncles, cousins, sons, daughters, friends, casuals, so if she is having an 'opening' for her paintings, there is going to be a crowd there and we know what we're getting into.

But on Friday it wasn't at her place but at some bar in Montparnasse, which we knew how to find because Nigel got lost looking for it a couple of weeks ago. Uncle Den–Den said we should go there because it is a place that once had a rollmops party, and maybe some were still left.

When we got there, in the Rue Vaugirard, the place was lit but closed for renovations. Uncle Den–Den looked at the door and cursed softly. Then we started, I thought, lookingphoto, line's vernissage for any place that was open, and half a block away we found a bar, absolutely jammed with Friday night cocktail fanciers, which happened to miraculously have Tata Line's vernissage crammed into its tiny back room.

Smokey back room full of Tate Line fans.

While trying to get closer, while trying not to get knocked over, somebody offered me a hot cheese thing. I ate it. It was good. After several days I advanced to the back room and took some photos of people in winter coats stuffed into a phone booh. After I while I noticed the paintings on the walls, which were all water – the sea, actually – with a new feature, seagulls. Great flying seagulls.

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