Sky On Your Head

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Headroom for the Masses

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 5. June 2006:– This is going to be a quick, short, snappy issue of what used to be a substantial weekly magazine containing nearly everything you wanted to know about Paris this week, or last week or any old week. The first thing that went wrong was a couple of days ago when I thought I could beat the usual last–rush by putting in the issue date as 12. June.

This terrible mistake was discovered and using the modern magic of software – today is the anniversary of the Apple II by the way – the incorrect date was changed in a jiffy to 6. June. For some reason, many hours later, I chanced to verify this date – like a half day after doing 'on this day in history' – ohmygoff! – did I use 6. June as the date? Ah, anyway, today was really Monday, 5. June and I hope it rots in perdition.

With that out of the way it seems to me that it must be weather time. The TV being brainless, has no affect on the date, but I'm pretty sure today's forecast will begin with Tuesday, which as I write this is already here but it's too dark to see anything. Later on, like in two hours, it will begin to lighten in the east and the sky over the cemetery will become pink and I will pull the covers more tightly over my head and dig my knuckles into my ears – for our bonus long weekend is over for another year.

It was whatshername on TV again tonight and she did a pretty good job. So she should have because we are to get some sunshine for a change. Around here it will be sunny tomorrow and in the rest of France it will be real sunny. Don't pay any attention to the 40 kph wind coming down the Channel. That's not near here. The temperature will be new and improved, and we've been told to expect 21 degrees.

photo, visitors taking a restAfter standing in lines, a bit of a sit–down.

Somehow on Wednesday it won't be quite as sunny because there will be some stupid thin clouds between us and the sun. In the rest of France it will be very sunny of course. And that wind, it blows in the same direction, but now over land, still at 40 kph, towards Nantes or Bordeaux. Oh yeah, 22 is the predicted high.

Finally – just how long have we been waiting? – finally, on Thursday, real sunshine kicks in around here and the temperature scoots up to 24, which maybe is some sort of average 'for the time of year,' right? I forget what this line I drew across the northeast is supposed to mean – Le Parisien's map shows sunballs on both sides. I did put in the wind too, blowing at 40 kph from Lyon towards Nantes, again. That's kinda odd. I wonder what it means.

Abbreviated Dissolution

From the other side of the great ditch here is timely weather news concocted by Météo Jim exclusively for Metropole's readers bored silly by Mr. G's "That's the story!" on Channel 11. Let's welcome back Météo Jim:–

We recently returned from somewhat sunnier climes in the country of the tall, pointed firs – hereinafter known as CotTPF. It is also a rain–soaked land with additional heavenly libations pouring onto the ground. Temperatures in the CotTPF were in the mid–50's a–grad over the weekend.

From what I can deduce, Pommeland has been scorched and then put into a wet pan to rehydrate. Since the beginning of June, Pommeland has received almost 3 a–inches of libations, much too early for Beaujolais Nouveau libations. Monday will start out cloudy with the promise of the clouds dissipating, or becoming dissolute, but that's another story beyond the scope of this report. The rest of the week will see partly cloudy weather with a chance of thunderboomers towards Friday with temperatures slowly rising into the low 80's.

Disclaimer:– As usual, the usual and unusual disclaimers are in effect. Use them sparingly.

Café Life

Finding Headroom

Long suffering readers, I feel for you. Here you are dialing into this Web magazine every week ever hopeful that there will be something shiny and new here but week after lousy week it's the same thing. 'Ed' is still foooling around, fiddling with software, it is 03:27 in the morning, Tuesday, and here I am, late, late, late.

photo, seine quai, peniches, barges, stairs At the foot of the Eiffel tower, another world.

I am very tempted to simply grab 1000 words from some back issue and jam them in here, go brush my teeth, yawn, and flop. But it was almost good weather yesterday so I went over to Trocadéro to see how folks are treating the Tour Eiffel . Can you imagine it?

When you live in Paris you would think that one would never go near the thing. 'Oh yeah, that hulking tower. Just stands there.' If you've seen it once you've seen pretty well everything that it does. So I went over there and in the Métro station there were hordes of people going every which way almost as if Johnny Hallyday was giving away free tickets to his current monster tour.

On the surface, folks standing in lines to buy trinkets, buy ice cream, take their photos, scoot around on their rollers, lots of them. What? On here on a long weekend Sunday, to look at the tower, only half of them out–of–towners.

What it might be, regular people live in small apartments, and like this Trocadéro is a big place with a whopping amount of sky. The place is big, the platform between the two wings of the Palais de Chaillot is huge, and the view from the balcony overlooking the fountains and the tower across the Seine is gigantic. As headroom goes, it lifts your hair.

There was this dude taking a café with Matt Rose

on the sidewalk at Tina's on Daguerre this afternoon and after having no fun talking about Iraq he mentioned being in the mountains in Italy for a couple of weeks. Matt asked, "Did you see goats?" Yeah, he did. And sheep. Maybe mountain goats. Heard wolves. No bears though – that's the Pyrenées. As soon as they let the bears go, they hide. Somebody else is killing the cute little lambs.


Me, I'm sitting there thinking of mountains and all I can feature is the sky over Trocadéro. Get there on the Métro. Don't need to stay in a little pension, be in by 21:00 because the door's locked.

So, it seems in Paris that all of us who aren't rich, we can go to Trocadéro and see the sky with the golden dome of the Invalides twinkling off to the northeast. Or camp out on the Champ de Mars or go down in the 15th to the André Citroën park with the balloon, or up on Montmartre or Belleville or out at La Villette.

photo, kids in the bandSome on the band kids on Sunday.

This is exactly what thousands of Parisians do on Sundays. Everywhere outside on Sundays there are hordes and hordes of folks. And we are the ones not going to any of the 40 or 50 open museums, circuses, flea markets and junk fairs, protest demonstrations, bicycle tours, roller randos, horseraces, swimming pools, window shopping – anybody do this? People on bridges, gawking at Notre Dame or lining up for ice cream.

It wasn't even that warm out and every ice cream stand was mobbed. Maybe the 40 or 70 marching bands down on the Champ de Mars had something to do with it – or the Brit cyclists drinking Champagne out of the back of a van, the kids on the donkeys, the couples trying to get a grip on the Invalides. Folks go out to feel the sky on their heads. Me too.

The 'Missing' Café Metropole Club 'Report' Items

The last Club Meeting of the Week back on last Thursday took place with a member present in the room, which was about what the club's secretary least expects sometimes. Cast a goggle at the 'report' of this graphic meeting, which, with scant invention, was headlined, 'Look! No Photos!' It was yet another major and unforgettable club 'first,' although invisible.

photo, cafe tournesol, rue gaite Friday night in Montparnasse.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be real or imagined, with bogus and unusual 'firsts' such as a new 'Day of the Week.' The next 'Saint of the Week' will be Saint Médard de Noyon, or Medardus, if you fancy Latin. He was born in 456 in Salency. He was a humdrum church guy, most famous for moving to Noyon, because it was safe from barbarous attacks by the Huns. He was also famous for rain, and for Saint Barnabé reminding him to button his fly.

The largely true and vastly exciting story of the club is on the page oddly named the 'About the Club' page. Should your curiosity be aroused, shift an eyeball towards the club's original and hand–made membership card, before its eventual replacement by a paving stone small enough to fit in your pocket.

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

photo, sign, avenue de new york

Issue 8.24 – 9. June 2003 – the Café Metropole column began with, 'A See–Art Week.' Au Bistro was was absent, but the issue's feature was titled, 'The Real Daguerréotypes – Henri Cartier–Bresson's First Show.' There were two Scène columns, with 'The 'classic' Version' and the 'summer Version.' The Café Metropole Club update for 12. June was titled, 'The 'Secretary in Coma, Loses Marbles' report. There were another four beautiful 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's cartoon of the week was cleverly captioned as 'Plate of French Fries'.

This Was Metropole Five Years Ago

Issue 6.24 – 11. June 2001 – this issue's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'Free Champagne & Street Eats.' The Au Bistro column's headline was, 'Take the TGV–Med.' The issue's feature was about a 'Fête In Les Frigos – Art On Ice.' There were two Email features, 'The Flying Rhino' from Charles Fremont and from Al Riley there was 'The Politics of Orangina.' The Café Metropole Club update on 14. June was headlined as the "Something Pulled Us Here" report and the report for the 13. June meeting was titled as the 'When In Paris' report. There were four strikingly new 'Posters of the Week' again and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was simply about, 'Mole Art.'

Café Life Lite 1O1

Premature Pataphysical Obituary

photo, sign, rue delambre with bubbles

There are a whopping 209 days left of this year, which means there are hardly any whole days until the begin of the Soldes d'Eté later this month. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in 1998 when two important news services broadcast the news of the death of Bob Hope, who lived to be a 100 and died in 2003. This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 157 days, the same number that 1866 had when calculations by learned eggheads revealed that Plutowas as far as it could get from Earth and still be in the solar system. This won't happen again until 2113, in August of course. And it was on this date in 1924 that Ernst Alexanderson sent a fax to his dad in Sweden, who didn't know it was the first one and ignored it. More recently, in 1956, Elvis Preseley sang 'Hound Dog' on Uncle Miltie's TV show, which has caused all these air–tummies you see today. Finally, some UK voters participated in the one and only national referendum, and probably voted against joining Europe, because it was there.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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