...Continued from page 1

It seemed to me the kind of crowd that you get at an event, but in this case the event was the canal and the open sky above it, blue, but not quite blue enough to keep the water from looking mossy. Nobody seemed to be bothered by this. All the way, up to Stalingrad and down below, by the locks, folks were parked, camped, installed on the few café terraces, in the parks nearby and beside the canal.

I am not any beaver of industry. At least I don't think I am. What struck me about this crowd yesterday was that they were not gathered for an event. They were just being there. If there is a lot of this going on somebody is going to start worrying about it.

photo, canal loafers, flags, bannersAnd what are those blue bedsheets?

In fact, in this particular area, I think people are worried about it. Some time ago folks started moving in around the canal because it was lower–rent and quite neighborhoody with its old cafés and modest restaurants, and of course this put a pressure on prices, making it more expensive for those not so fast, and for those who were there first anyway.

Now there are all these non–event people crawling all over the place. Yeah. They live in other parts of town, like say, the 15th arrondissement, and instead of going up to Montmartre they come over to the canal, to hang out. Apparently younger folks hang out in the evenings, as if the canal were a café terrace. It stands to reason the other people who paid good money to move in here, don't want freeloaders sitting around in the open air under the sky beside the canal.

My guess is that people get tired of continual events. There are so many that the TV–news can hardly fit in regular news anymore. There are these blockbuster museum reopenings, new exhibitions, salons, super gigantic sports events, parties on the Champs–Elysées, Les Soldes, demonstrations and protests galore – so many that only war breaking out or a devastating earthquake can get air time.

So you can hardly blame people for wanting to find a flat spot beside the canal. And if they bring something to eat and drink, what's the harm?

Tempest Last Chance

The Tower Theatre Company will be presenting a Shakespeare version of the Tempest rather than one produced by weather, in the Jardin Shakespeare somewhere near the Pré Catalan in the Bois de Boulogne, beginning tomorrow. This is the 15th year that these players have presented Shakespeare in a beautiful setting in the fresh air, somewhat distant from a Métro station.

photo, sign, momo, french llicence plate

Check out the Web site for details plus directions. The show continues until Sunday, 4. June so don't wait until next year. For info, tickets or plain fun, phone Robin Baker at 01 45 20 67 30 or click his name for the email link.

The Huge Thing of the Week Returns

Aerial photos of Paris are rare because the city is a well–kept military secret. Very few civilians are accorded permission to overfly the city and even fewer take photos from above the Tour Eiffel. got permission somehow and took his camera up there and then put some of his 1000 shots on his Web site, which is called Paris Sky Pictures. Forty of these photos also appear in his book titled J'aime Paris. If this isn't enough there are also other photos of France, from the 1950s. Worth a look.

A 'Tasty' cafˇ Metropole Club 'Report'

The last Club Meeting of the Week back on last Thursday took place with members present, which was about what the club's secretary least expects. Cast a glance at the 'report' of the super–meeting, which, with scant invention, was headlined, 'Finger Lickin' Good – Alligator for Eight,' for another major and unforgettable club 'first.'

photo, cafe pont tournant One of few terraces with service.

The coming meeting of the cafˇ Metropole Club will be real or imagined, with new and unusual 'firsts' such as a new 'Day of the Week.' The next 'Saint of the Week' will be Justin de Naplouse, who has no public holiday that can be confused with his alternate names of Justin Martyr or Justin the Philosopher but is still on the calendar despite being suppressed about 1892 years ago, possibly because he wasn't a Samaritan but a Greek or Roman.

The largely true and hardly exciting story of the club is on the page called the 'About the Club' page. Should your curiosity be piqued, shift an eyeball towards the club's original and hand–made membership card, before its eventual replacement with something just as crummy.

photo, sign, rue dieu

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 8.22 – 26. May 2003 – the issue began with the cafˇ Metropole headline, 'Men with Naked Ties.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was, 'In 6 Words, Tour Eiffel Lights Up Again in June.' The issue's feature was titled, 'The Key to Cable–access is the Garbage Room Door.' The repeat Scène column was still titled, 'Choo–Choo Champs–Elysées.' The Cafˇ Metropole Club update for 29. May was titled the "I have a Thing for Macaroons" report. There were another four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's cartoon of the week was captioned, 'It's Roland "Swivel–Neck" Garros Time Again.'

This Was Metropole Four Years Ago

Issue 7.22 – 27. May 2002 – this week's cafˇ Metropole column was kind to pals, with 'George Visits Jacques.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline asked, 'Europe Needs Immigrants?' The Cafˇ Metropole Club update on 30. May was headlined as the "Where Are All the Flower Stalls?" report. There were four astonishing and new 'Posters of the Week' yet again, and Ric's cartoon 'Caption of the Week' had the caption, "Eddie, Wake Up!"

photo, sign, rue bichat

Café Life Lite 1O1

Finest, Mauve Pataphysics

There are a whopping 216 days left of this year, which means there are a whole lot less days than there were until the begin of the Soldes d'Eté. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time last year when the French voted against their political leaders and defeated the proposed European Constitution.. A year later, like today, they are not a bit sorry for what they did. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 149 days, the same number that 1627 had when Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, also known as la Grande Mademoiselle, duchesse de Montpensier, daughter of Gaston d'Orléans, niece of King Louis XIII, and cousin of Louis XIV was born, most likely in France.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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