Sumptuous Sundown

photo, sundown picnic, pont des arts, art expo Art, wine, sky, purple, smooth and long sundown.

Tango Here, Alberto There

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 12. June 2006:–  We have been dealt a winning hand. Yesterday the pharmacy thermometres were showing 31 degrees, for a forecast of 28. Today they are showing 32 degrees and we would be tangoing in the streets if some of these café waiters would only offer a free drink.

Hades in a teakettle! With weather like this we can treat ourselves to the outside life with drinks on the terraces, bridges, tiny oasis in hidden gardens, here, there, short sleeves, shirts made out of silk flags, with a breeze like a warm caress. Air that tickles the soul. The spring that wasn't is over! Goodriddence.

photo, sign, pharmacy, green cross, thermometer

I fully realize this might be an extravagant start to another small issue, but let's see what we have. Tuesday's forecast calls for more of the same – the one big sunball, with local storms – tiny ones – not near here, with an overnight low higher than the average for June, day and night, of 19 degrees. Leading up to tomorrow's predicted high of 31 freaking degrees. Add on the pharmacy bonus to get 34 Celsius.

The sunball keeps on radiating the good life on Wednesday but the top half of France will be smazed with cloud, with a change coming reflected in the temperature which is only expected to be a respectable 26 degrees.

Thursday dawns with Wednesday's cloud smaze moving east and north, perhaps even having some dark clouds but up there and not here. All the rest is to be dominated by the big sunball again but the temperature is to take a real dump down to a high of 23 degrees. That's okay. It may be fresher than the air we have now, which has been cooking here since the weekend. We'll see. Do I believe any of this? Why not?

Alberto Is No Longer Depressed

This week writing from downtown Pommeland, Météo Jim speaks, writes, in his own voice:–

Said Mrs. Météo Jim to Mr. Météo Jim last Wednesday, "Here it is, the first week of June and temperatures are no higher than 60 degrees." Said Mr. Météo Jim to Mrs. Météo Jim, "In the fourth week of June the temperatures will be around 100 degrees, 99‰ humidity, ozone instead of air, we'll have to wear oxygen masks and we'll be in the fourth month of a drought that began three weeks ago. Be grateful for small favors."

photo, pont neuf, ile de la cite Henri's bridge and his golden city.

Then, about the week that was, Météo Jim writes that, "It felt more like September in the lands north of the Saint Lawrence River where the inhabitants are reported to say, "Nous avons le fun." or October–in–the–Country–of–the–Tall–Pointed–Firs."

In the meantime, the first tropical depression of the season has formed just south of Cuba. If the winds increase to 39 mph, it will become a tropical storm and acquire the name Alberto. But either as a depression or a storm, it is going to Florida.

Here there is a pause in the narrative as the weather station gets knocked off the air, or knocked through the air. Also known as 'more than a breeze.'

More from Météo Jim:– "This just in... Alberto is no longer depressed! He has overcome his problems to evolve into a full fledged tropical storm with winds blasting at 46 mph, the first of the season. His itinerary includes Florida on Tuesday and he's looking at brochures concerning Paris Plage."

As for Pommeland, expect partly cloudy skies for the upcoming week with temperatures rising into the upper 70s. But also be ready to expect something completely different, especially since the Belmont Stakes took place and none of the winners from either the Kentucky Derby or Pimlico finished.

Thank you Météo Jim! If you ever get time off from trimming the grass give our regards to Mrs. Météo Jim.

Café Life

The Sunset Show

On Friday night the World Cup started in Munich so a good many of Europe's hundreds of millions of football fans settled in for a cozy month of intensive ball sports on TV with its attending drama, both sportive and domestic. Good weather was here too and while mumbling grumbles echoed from TVs by open windows the streets were abandoned, as undomestic stand–up fans gathered in bars and cafés and paid for drinks by the glass and wide–screen reception.

photo, purple seine, sundownThe day sighs into purple.

But on a day when the sky had been solid blue for a rare change and the temperature had finally crawled up to 'fit for June, over 25 degrees – say, 28 d'accord! – there is a certain type of person more interested in another kind of giant freebie. By any name this is the sunset show, being played by an original cast in a one–night stand called sundown.

There were some people, hardly a bottle or a sandwich in sight, who were camped on the quay between Saint–Michel and Pont Neuf. They were in shadow because Pont Neuf blocked the setting orange rays while streaming a few through its arches across the Seine to the quay on the Ile de la Cité. A restaurant barge passed, folks dressed for dinner on its roof. It was Maxim's Bateau Ivre with a load of ties and summer dresses.

A couple were perched on the downstream parapet of the bridge, which was all orange and yellow, thanks in part to its recent scrubbing. They had what was left of the sun full in the face. Below, on the quays, it looked like there was sitting room only for not many more, many with the fixings for whatever a picnic is called going on for 10 pm.

It was mainly the left bank quays where the sundown fans had lodged. The sky was going more orange as the sun dipped behind the Louvre's Flore Pavillon, turning it and its chimneys into a black silhouette and the surface of the river into a glazed sheet of mauve. The barges and peniches, and bateaux mouches, slid through the water, carrying more fans of spectacular sunsets.

It got too late for low rays to be pasting the interior courtyard of the Louvre but there was a crowd hanging out there, maybe waiting for sunrise. Out on the quay tops of buildings high enough on the island and on the left bank were still glowing, especially the diamonds of their windows. It was the best angle for seeing all of the Pont des Arts, lined with photos on display – each with a light, spanning the river from right to left banks.

The footbridge was one big picnic, in the center, along the sides. You had to step over elbows and bottles to get through. A bateaux mouche passed underneath and the slots between the boards sparkled, and then it blasted its big lights on the quay and the trees with fresh leaves become electric green. The colors looked like a bad movie where they lost control of them. Orange, purple, and too green.

photo, louvre pool, sundownNight closes the Louvre's da.

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