Why Not Our Roofless Mall?

photo, rue d'odessa, montparnasse Saturday night action in Montparnasse.

Happy Birthday, Hungary!

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 23. October:–  No sooner do I decide to lay off the weather, quit the stupid poems about the sky full of diamonds, cool it with the snide remarks about the Channel, than it turns into a mess of winter and the Saints go marchin' in. So, first, we have to shove the weather out of the way. Please turn to page 9, elsewhere on this Webpage.

Page 9

The big news is bad news. Instead of regular weather we are to have Alert! weather and it starts tonight. All of northwest France is under the ORANGE alert tonight and tomorrow, Tuesday. The why of it will be some breezy winds, batting through here at 100 kph from the southwest and the south.

This is continue into Tuesday and then maybe drop to 70–80 kph in the afternoon. This is all part of a huge twirly thing out in the Atlantic. Despite this the temperature is supposed to reach 18 degrees and it might even be a bit sunny in the afternoon.

photo, seine, leaves, pont arts, louvre Leaves are primed for color change.

Sunshine is not forecast for Wednesday, nor are breezes. Oddly the temperature is to pick up one degree. The cloud wave exits east on Thursday, maybe to leave it a bit bright here, with another dim front lurking in the northwest. Amazingly the high is forecast to be 21 degrees. If so, I will take credit for it. If not, it's the other guy's fault.

Maintaining his form, Météo Jim molds the weather into total depression. In his very own phrases –

Toss Your Popcorn Until April

Despite the valiant efforts of Ed, Radio Ric and his cousin, Radial Ric who works for Michelin, the summer dreams of the Mighty Mets turned into the words of Dylan Thomas who wrote, "I see the boys of summer in their ruin." Nevertheless, the true believers toss their ruined popcorn and say, "Wait until next year."

photo, sign, platane d'orient, plante par buffon 1785

Not only did the believers believe, but so the the weather. Summer, like the believers, refused to give up hope, returning in the guise of The Warm and Hazies, The Great Pretenders, The Mellows and other names that hide the fear that summer and its occupants are in ruin, not to return until the sun has also risen.

That may explain this week's and the following week's weather. As the Mets gave up the last chances of their summer dreams the last breaths of summer were washed away on Thursday by the Drenchies and the Downpours on Friday. Friday afternoon the skies cleared to a brilliant October blue but washed in the gales of a wind advisory. Trees swayed and the ground was quickly covered by October's treasures of red, orange, brown, yellow and an occasional spot of green.

Now that summer has fled, the forecast for the upcoming week is truly autumnal. Temperatures in the mid 50s a–grad with cloudy to partly cloudy skies and a chance of rain on Friday, just in time to set the mood for Halloween.

photo, rue de rennes, montparnasse Shopping, walking, riding, driving in the Rue de Rennes.

A la prochaine, Météo Jim

Café Life

We were set to whoop it up at the Bélière on Saturday night. But there was a technical hitch and it didn't happen. While there was a remote chance, I still went to downtown Montparnasse to see the folks on their late Saturday afternoon business of shopping and gawking. If I hadn't there wouldn't be these photos, that I maintain are barely better than none at all.

Our Roofless Mall

There is an irregularity in Paris. Streets are not laid out in tidy grids. Sidewalks are all widths, often cluttered with scooters and parked motorcycles. Luckily curbs, while different heights, are not quite as high as some in New York – followed by a deep pothole, like stepping down into a celler. Whatever is left over after everything else has taken its space can be used by pedestrians, our lowest form of life.

photo, cinema miramar, montparnasse Bright lights, cool neons.

I'm not sure what folks are supposed to be doing around 18:00 on a Saturday night. In Montparnasse a lot of them are in FNAC picking up a handful of books, some DVDs, buying a harddisk or some surround cinema gear. A great many of them are in checkout lines, handing over cards in exchange for a 100 euros worth of media.

The rest are outside in the Rue de Rennes shopping for the latest shoes from China, the latest threads from Morocco, or crowding into McDo's for some tasty French food. There must be 25 thread and shoe shops between Placide and the boulevard, and there are a couple of video game outlets too. It seemed like the winter sales were on Saturday night, but it was probably just normal.

The crowds in Montparnasse are probably less than at Les Halles or up on Haussmann – this is just a provincial outpost down here. We are almost out of town. Of course there's the train station and I suppose folks can come in – from Chartres, or Bordeaux, but they might be coming from no further than Versailles.

Maybe it's a big thrill to come to Montparnasse for some Saturday shopping. Drop a bundle in FNAC, see a movie and have some moules at Léon, or try out the no–smoking at La Coupole.

All I know is that south of the cemetery there is very little going on. We are in our village and the late shoppers are under way but they are just getting some food and wine for the evening. The restaurants fill up and then the streets are empty until it's time to go out and sing in them.

The 'Two–pronged Shambles' Café Metropole lub 'Report'

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