Black Nuit Blanche

photo, auto salon, mini cooper s Plug in your iPod and tune in your Mini Cooper S.

Weather Still On Page 13

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 2. October:–  What was I thinking? Why did I think I could sit for a couple of hours at the club meeting on Thursday, go home and do the photos and eat something, and then ride up to the Grands Boulevards to sit through the lengthy Beatles Story, and then go home a do its photos, write its report and write up the club report too? But first, let's get the weather out of the way. Please turn to page 13, elsewhere on this Webpage.

Page 13

As far as the weather is concerned the times have changed. We may get some more of the brilliantly blue fall skies on occasion but on days that are becoming to seem normal gray is the color and rain is in the air. The overnight lows are not into single digits yet and the highs are no longer topping 20. The summer of 2006 is a has–been.

I think I've have forgotten how to interpret TV–weather news maps of France that are obliterated by clouds. I was looking as fast as I could tonight but the details, an alarming number of them, failed to register, as details. First off, there's a big D for depression somewhere off to the northeast, maybe over Berlin, and our weather is being sucked up there.

photo, pont neuf Before the car, the bridge of dreams.

It means that right here we are in the pathway of a bunch of Atlantic mucky times. Tuesday may be blotted out with clouds and stuff. While the low tonight may be 12, Tuesday's high will be no more than 17. There may be rain too, but it's that low high that gives me the jitters.

Wednesday confused me. I think it will be a mess and it will be full of rain at times and at the best of times in will be murky, with a high of no more than 16 degrees. My television was cranky tonight too, with the color dropping out, so it was hard to tell if there were thin holes of blue visible between Thursday's clouds. I wrote "semi–semi" and 16 degrees again. The Soldes d'Hiver are too far off to wait to get a new sweater.

Between Muggies of Summer and Cools of Autumn

This week Météo Jim shows us new words for old things, like autumn, tornados and New Jersey. In his very own words –

The Muggies made their weekly attempt to regain their old number one spot but they were overtaken by the Cools from Autumn. The Cools played to the mid–60's group on Friday and Saturday, accompanied on Sunday morning by the Downpours. They still can't attract enough of a following because the Muggies are predicted to make another boring return this week, possibly topping the charts with a 79 on Wednesday. The Cools seem more determined to fight back this week with hits only around 60. As usual, they will begin to fade and give way to the 70's by next weekend, which is when North America celebrates Columbus Day and the Inventing of America.

photo, grille, rolls royce The Rolls toaster of the week.

I don't know if Paris has ever experienced a tornado but if it does, here are the guidelines so you will know you are in one when it wipes out your mobile home.

The Fujita Tornado Scale

F0– Gale tornado, winds 40–72 mph, damage to chimneys, tree branches. Kind of annoying.
F1– Moderate tornado, winds 73–112 mph, can destroy garages, overturn mobile homes. Medium nuisance.
F2– Significant tornado, winds 113–157 mph, mobile homes demolished, large trees snapped off. The kind that could be worse.
F3– Severe tornado, winds 158–206 mph, roofs, walls torn off homes. The kind that is worse.
F4– Devastating tornado, winds 207–260 mph, cars launched, well–built homes leveled. Devastating–type chaos.
F5– Incredible tornado, winds 261–318 mph, strong frame houses carried off foundations, then disintegrate. Devastating, severe, incredible chaos.
F6– Inconceivable tornado, winds 319–379 mph. Extremely rare, devastation so complete it would be hard to discern from F5. Chaos this bad is inconceivable so it's called F6.

A la prochaine, Météo Jim

Café Life

Nuit Blanche Number 5

Once every year these days Paris holds a thing called Nuit Blanche which is supposed to be about being sleepless, being outside in the dark cruising around town consuming culture, cafés, wines, crêpes, standing in lines, seeing stuff you normally wouldn't watch for free on TV, and generally having a bang–up time meeting fellow Parisians who are likewise suckers for a free show.

photo, rex cinema The leaning cinema of Rex.

Don't get me wrong. The Nuit Blanche is a great event. So great that you don't even need to come to Paris anymore. The whole world is having Nuits Blanches these days. But you have to ask yourself this – would you rather fool around being arty in Toronto in the dark, or in the one place in the world that has trademarked the slogan, City of Light?

It is not, in fact, merely that Paris has lights after dark, but what they shine on. Paris has good ruins. Yeah, sure, so does Rome. Definitely, if you like pasta with your dark and ruins, Rome is a better choice. It might be warmer there too, the cafés are good and there's always the good old La Dolce Vita to consider.


Meanwhile back here, with the big night only a week off, the program has finally appeared online. Compared to what I knew before, this is a major improvement. Be sure to check out autres quartiers for the extra stuff that's a bit offside.

photo, autodata, autodada Comics on wheels.

In case you skip it and intend to just go out and wander aimlessly around, you should know that I haven't seen anything about public transport after 01:00. No buses or métros are mentioned. But the city is making 2200 bicycles available for free, and I believe there may be randos planned for both bikers and roller fans.

Anyway, rain or shine – in the dark! – this Nuit Blanche is happening next Saturday night and it continues until Sunday morning. As usual, next Saturday will be 7. October. And remember it's all free, except for cigarettes, cafés, crêpes, wines and other drinks, taxi rides and shoe leather. Thank the mayor Bertrand Delanoë on your way out and close the door.

Tickets Still Left for the Auto Salon

The Mondial de l'Automobile, at Paris–Expo at the Porte de Versailles, continues until Sunday, 15. October. Open from 10:00 to 20:00 or 22;00 daily. Entry: 12€. Also featuring vans, trucks, racing cars, prototypes, dream cars, sub–mini cars, and other stuff. This salon fills up most of Paris–Expo's eight halls so it is most important to remember to wear comfortable shoes.

The 'We Love Them – Yeah, Yeah, Forever' Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The fourth club meeting of the week in September last Thursday happened as foreseen. The secretary was there and and two members posed for the famous photo like usual. However the report of this this classic meeting failed to be written. The members were Terrie Blazek from Chicago and Larry Mann from Portland, Oregon.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on the first Thursday of October which is the 5th. The 'Saint of the Week,' will be Sainte–Fleur about whom I learned nothing. At the club meeting Terrie said she'd flown with American Airlines on its flight 42. Mine was flight 44. She had the same view of France as I had a month ago, saying "Better than Google Earth!" Then they discovered that they both have cats. "We have a Bombay," Larry said, adding that another cat's name was Mozart. "In August when it died it was 21.5 years old." Then Terrie's iPod with the cat photos wouldn't turn off.

The equally strange legend of the club is on a page of utter gloom inaptly named the About the Club Webpage. Exercise your facilities of logic with a few minor facts, and note the club's edgy and blotchy hand–fashioned membership card before its imminent oblivion, now promised for the past 14 months.

photo, poster, sweet lips

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

This popular feature, once updated weekly for nine years, continues to be unavailable this week for murky reasons, partly because Ed is out of time. What does he do with it?

Café Life Lite 101.5

What's That Song

Today marks the date in 1535 when Jacques Cartier discovered Montréal. Unlike many other early explorers, Jacques found the town to be a place where folks lived and at first they were pretty friendly and without them Jacques and his fellow tourists from France would not have survived until the charter boat took them back. It was Jacques who also first noted the name, Canada. This was, if you please, a long time before any WASPs arrived at Plymouth, which was not, of course, a town named Plymouth already. For comparison, it was exactly 254 YEARS later that George Washington sent the constitutional amendments to the states for the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

photo, sign, quai des grands augustins

Lifestyles of the Rich and Pataphysical

There are a mere 90 days left of this year, the same number that 1835 had when some Texans won the Battle of Gonzales. This was – and is! – the name of a town in what used to be Mexico. The Mexican army had lent a small cannon to the town to use for protection, and when they politely asked for it back the Texans gave them a hard time. The Texans were either the fighting 18 or 32 or 140 and they kept the cannon, partly because the Mexican officer was under orders to treat them nice. Gonzales was named after Rafael Gonzales, governor of Coahuila y Tejas, when the town was founded by Empresario Green DeWitt in 1825.

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 275 days, the same number that 1890 had when Julius Henry Marx was born in New York City. Due to a haphazard youth young Groucho failed to go to much school and after being a very funny guy for more than half a century, his death went somewhat unnoticed due to his kicking the bucket three after Elvis Presley in 1977.

photo, downstairs, upstairs

Invented Here Last Week Already

With the Auto Salon here it seems like a good time to mention that the automobile was invented in France by Nicolas–Joseph Cugnot whose birth was not today in 1725. His steam wagon, the first to translate up and down piston travel into rotary power, first ran in 1769. Called a Fardier à vapeur it was also the first car to have a crash, in 1771. The rest of Cugnot's life was downhill but the Musée des Arts et Metiers in Paris has an example of his 1770 model on display. Cugnot died today in 1804.

In a Class of Her Own

This date in 1901 should be remembered as the birth date of Alice Ernestine Prin. Her other name was Kiki and she was famous, notorious, for leading the women's movement in Montparnasse in the 1920s. Kiki was an artists' model, occasional painter and writer, but she was better known as the best friend of a great number of Montparnasse bars and cafés such as Le Dôme, La Coupole, Le Select, La Rotonde and the lamented Dingo. Kiki knew everybody and everybody knew Kiki and she had a very big funeral in 1953 and they planted her across the street, within 300 metres of most of her favorite places.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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