Two Jacques in the Hand

photo, fete musique, ricard, denfert Free, loud music, standing room only.

And a Big Bertha In the Bush

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 26. June 2006:–  Tonight, so that we won't be confused at Bastille Day, our illustrious leader Jacques Chirac spoke on TV–news, mainly to tell us that we have been confused by the media and everything is going according the plan regardless of what we think or read in the papers. I mean, even before his jolly face appeared on the screen, I was pretty certain that it is not Bastille Day because it is still June.

I wouldn't mention this in the spot for the weather report except that the old boy had quite a few points to make – minimum wage rise, unemployment down, a million jobs created – no mention of the other disappeared 1.2 million jobs – and we should quit picking on the prime minister, suave Dominique de Villepin, so he can continue carrying out the president's plan without all the grief we sling at him. Hey! I like Dominique, even if he called François Hollande a coward last week.

I mean, figure on it, if you were in the Assembly National day after day and your own party was heckling you, you would lash out at the opposition party for asking reasonable questions – such as, "Does the government foresee selling EDF to the Chinese if they offer enough fortune cookies for it?"

So tonight we listened carefully to the president, and watched carefully for signs of impending gagaism, heard him out and then France–2 TV–news dealt us 66 percent less weather. I don't know about you but I was willing to give him the benefit of a doubt, until the météo shortchange. The honeymoon lasted 22 minutes and now it's over.

photo, fete musique, cafe naguere Local café has seats but most stand anyway.

Tomorrow's weather will be pretty good if you are anywhere around Madrid or Valencia. Around here is will not be so fine and in fact it will be rather crummy according to tonight's brilliant forecast on the leftover of the TV–news. There will be clouds, thunder, gunk, junk, to the east, from the Pyrenees to Luxembourg and then there will be another blob of it glommed onto Brittany's pointy nose, and we will be between these two fronts or waves, under passing clouds and stuff. And if you like your damp warm, then rejoice with the 24 degrees forecast.

Summed up it is to be variable if polite and chaotic if not. Briefly, for Wednesday and Thursday, Le Parisien has predicted rottenness like tomorrow for Wednesday with 25 degrees and an outbreak of sunshine for Thursday when the temperature is supposed to reach 26 degrees. This forecast holds for Friday too.

A Tropical, Sticky Heatsink

Yet again the ever popular, direct from the hochburg known as Pommeland, Météo Jim writes, using his rusty word processor:–

The past week in Pommeland brought very warm – the weather channel defines hot as 90 degrees and above – and somewhat steamy days. But, the intense heat wave and drought that began at the beginning of June and is going into its third month that was forecast by Météo Jim for the fourth week of June will not come to pass, at least for the fourth week of June, 2006. Stay tuned for the drought of June, 2007.

Instead, a cold front has run into a warm front to produce an occluded or stalled front. As a result, this will act as a conduit bringing warm air from the Gulf of Mexico to drench Pommeland with showers all week long, even possibly into the coming weekend which is the kick off to la Fête de la vie, de la liberté et du Poursuit du Bonheur.

If the Parisian weather channel has Mademoiselle Nathalie, then the Pommelandian weather channel has a row of synchronized lightning bolts doing their best Rockette or Folies Bergère routine for the week ahead.

Café Life

Jack's Big Week

Most of what goes on in this town we can blame on the mayor but this has been an eventful week, a loud musical week, very loud even, and it's all Jack's fault. Jack Lang, when he was a bonzen in a Socialist government about a thousand years ago, he said, 'we should have music on the first day of summer,' and this we have had for the past quarter century. Then Jack, a frizz–haired guy who gets around, got to Berlin, heard techno, and brought it back to Paris, where the locals turned it into a celebration of Gay Pride accompanied with loud noise instead of Judy Garland songs.

photo, gai parade, baissez chic The 'Gai Parade' with its cute slogans.

On Wednesday we had Jack's better idea, the Fête de la Musique, which is not just Parisian, having spread to many distant parts. On this day and especially in the evening, we might hear not Judy Garland but if in the right place, we might hear a replica of Edith Piaf, or Django, or the Hot Club de Paris.

Meanwhile down at Denfert–Rochereau the booze folks Ricard had erected a big stage surrounded by a wagon–train of crew wagons, goon wagons and who knows why they needed so many wagons? To be fair the whole colossal shebang sounded a lot better than in the past, possibly because they have the musicians audition first instead of just downloading them willy–nilly. Good stuff for free, but you have to bring your own booze.

Over, back on Daguerre, there were some choral singers in the deserted fruit stand. Golly, maybe they were Baptists! I slipped past them before anybody could slip me a tract. The Café d'Enfer was rocking with blues with some good old boys and their three powered guitars, and their unpowered power drummer. There was a guy with a loud, scratchy DJ setup by the second cheese place, but at Enfer you couldn't hear it at all.

Another rock group was set up outside the Café Naguère, plugging out more in the rock line, maybe equal to the Enfer crew but different. My accordion guy was doing his accordion thing out of his shop. [They were in there doing it on Friday night too, with the cheese and wine, and the lady from downstairs in this building.]

And then, up near the top, the Babylonia Café had a rock group too and there was a big crowd filling the whole street. Only grudgingly did people move for the few cars trying to get through. Of course it wasn't be until they cleared these that they could see an even bigger mob outside the Naguère. The Babylonia is the neighborhood source of true news from Baghdad, if you care for this type of news.

I've skipped mentioning all the other places with recorded music. These aren't in the spirit of Jack's idea, which is that musicians should show off their stuff for us humble non–musical folk.They did say, however they know these things, that there are 800,000 musicians in France.

photo, gai parade, dsk, anne sinclairPresidential hopefulls ride techno to the polls.

As a break from all this Jack's great, hulking, colorful, brand–new museum opened on Friday on the Quai Branly and faster than they can turn the old pope into a saint they are already thinking of calling it Jack Chirac's great, hulking, colorful, brand–new museum. Being free, which wasn't mentioned until Friday morning, everybody in town went to see it, and by ten the wait was three hours to get in. I might have made a mistake telling new club members about it on Thursday but nobody's perfect. The museum is full of 'folk art' in case you are interested; nearly all of it looted from places we used to call colonies. At least it's all in a clean, well–lit place now.

Part two of the first Jack's afflictions happened Saturday – was it only Saturday? This thing that should be called the Techno Parade, but is actually called some alphabet soup that includes 'gay.' For the past several years this has started in Montparnasse, possibly because there's enough room to line up without wrecking all of the city's Saturday shopping, and then it goes to Bastille by way of the Quartier Latin.

Let's pretend you are gay. Then you might very well live in the Marais, and if you are thinking of crawling across town all day Saturday while being assaulted by very loud noise, you would rather end up at Bastille near home than far off Montparnasse with its Saturday night gang of bozos from the dim, possibly intolerant provinces.

So early in the afternoon they lined up fifty lightly decorated flatdeck trucks, each carrying an airforce–grade generator and four tons of colossal loudspeakers, loaded on some confetti, balloons, g–strings, cases of condoms, haded out earplugs to all the responsible adults, and set off east on the boulevard, oh so slowly.

Continued on page 2...
Go to page : 1 - 2
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini