...Continued from page 1

So far the bridge lights weren't on, just the lights for the photos on display. It was darker than it seemed under the big sky, which just wouldn't quit. The street lights were still off too. Away from the river, through the arch into the rue de Seine, it was almost pitch dark. Here on Friday night it was closed, except at the Palette where the usual hubbub was out on the terrace, lit only by the feeble yellow lights of the café. Far overhead the sky had shifted from marine blue to ink and the near–full moon was sailing out of sight over Montparnasse like a silver peso.

Dream Gig – Playing Pétanque

If you are hanging out in the area of Avignon – the Lubéron area, enjoy a little pétanque, and speak English fluently, Philippe Boets has a small proposition. Philippe runs Pétanque America but he has to return to Miami, and he wants someone to organize informal boules sessions in southern France.

photo, bar des ferrailleurs, rue lappe The iron worker's bar opens in the rue Lappe.

Notice I said this is a 'gig.' This means it is not a job. Philippe writes, "Comment ça marche?" – or the other from proposing, "You want to try it?" Thousands of Americans have returned home wondering why thousands of Frenchmen are constantly tossing metal balls around. I suggested to several hotels that I teach their guests. Better yet was proposing the idea directly to several US tour operators. "Of course, let's try it," was the unanimous reply.

"Since then I have organized numerous little tournaments at apéro time in all the hotels around Saint–Rémy de Provence. Folks who had never met at 6 pm started high–fiving at 6:15 and bantering by 6:30, with or without pastis influence. It's been wonderful and I have met a tremendous amount of charming, interesting people." Philippe is not looking for champion players. He will give you all the necessary details about this gig if you write to him at PetanqueAmerica@Gmail.com.

Matt Rose Shows 'Affordable Art' in New York

I was admiring the elevated temperature on a pharmacy sign this afternoon when I was hailed by Matt Rose, who was acting very morose because he'd just sold an artwork, or because he had to get on a jet plane and fly to New York tomorrow. He mentioned the administrative hassle of travel, so he came with me to Monoprix to get some drink – six different kinds of cola if I counted right.

Although he hasn't told me this, he is showing some stuff at Miami Beach's Art Vitam booth at the Affordable Art Fair. This will be in the Metropolitan Pavilion, at 125 West 18th Street, on the ground floor, in New York City. The dates are next weekend, from Friday, 16. June until Sunday, 18. June, usually from about noon to 20:00 or 18:00 on Sunday. If you happen by, be sure to drop in and say hello to Matt. He is a real Paris artist, and shops at Monoprix like me.

The 'Cute Pompiers' Café Metropole Club 'Report'

photo, paradise for cats, green courHidden courtyard for sleepy cats.

The most recent Club Meeting of the Week way back last Thursday took place with two members present, which was twice as many as the club's secretary expects sometimes. Throw a blink at the 'report' of this jolly meeting, which, without a smidgen of invention, was headlined, 'Send Us Your Cute Pompiers!' Heather and Kate were not being naughty, exactly.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be real or true, with live or dynamic 'firsts' such as a new 'Thursday of the Week.' The next 'Saint of the Week' will be Sainte–Monique, because I looked her up and liked her story best. Born in 331 or 332 in North Africa, she married a pagan named Patrice qu'Augustin who was mean and violent. But Monique is best known as the mother of Augustin d'Hippon. She just managed to convert both of them before dying, and then Augustin died in 387. The other saints had far less interesting lives.

photo, fiat 500, blurryThe blurriest Fiat 500.

The more and vastly exciting story of the club is on a page oddly named the 'About the Club' page. Should your curiosity be piqued, send an eyeball towards the club's original and hand–made membership card, before its eventual replacement, now threatened for many months.

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 9.25 – 14. June 2004 – this issue's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'Let There Be Light – Unknown Time Slot.' The Au Bistro column's title was, 'Euro Unmuddle – Polling Station 14–55.' There was no 'Feature of the Week' again so readers could hop straight to the repeat Scène column with the title, 'Ready for Summer with Any of 220 Events.' The update for the 17. June meeting of the Café Metropole Club was called the 'Past Kodachrome' report. There were four rather simple 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was direct from nowhere else with a boring caption like, 'Any One of These?'.

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 8.24 – 9. June 2003 – this week's Café Metropole column was extra topical with, 'A See–Art Week.' A 'Feature of the Week' was titled 'The Real Daguerréotypes – Henri Cartier–Bresson's First Show.' There were two Scène columns, a 'Classic' Version and a 'Summer' Version. The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 12. June was trumpeted as the 'Secretary in Coma, Loses Marbles' report. There were four hardly wonderful 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was extra 'social' again with, 'Plate of French Fries.'

photo, sign, pharmacy, green cross, thermometer

Café Life Lite 1O1

Ugly, Dirty, Pataphysical Wind

There are a heap of 202 days left of this year, which means there are hardly any whole days until the begin of the Soldes d'Eté at the end of this month. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in 1964 when Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment forever. Exactly 30 years later he became president of South Africa. This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 163 days, the same number that 1969 had when a rabble of funny mecs and some filles took up the comedy life at the Café de la Gare in Montparnasse. These included Coluche, Miou–Miou, Patrick Dewaere and Gérard Depardieu. The café's slogan was C'est moche, c'est sale, c'est dans le vent! and it was a huge success, as well as a spawning platform for two presidential candidates. "It's ugly, it's dirty, it's in the wind" needs reviving.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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