I Gotta Go

photo, junior's restaurant, fulton st, brooklyn Brooklyn landmark café Junior's.

First, Out of Here; Now Out of It

by Ric Erickson

New York:– Sunday, 31. December:–  That beautiful fall we had, with the warm days, gentle breezes, Champagne nights and the leaves hanging on the trees like they were married to them – well, it kept on and on and on. Like, if you lived it, please turn to page 22, splashed elsewhere on this lonesome Webpage.

Page 22, At Your Service!

Here in New York I conscientiously noted the first snowflake on Monday, 4. December. There were six other snowflakes and all of them were very tiny, and that's all there were. Mr. G., doing the weather news on local TV channel 11, said we should go golfing. The next heavenly event happened on Monday, 25. December, when it rained a bit in the afternoon. Aside from these exciting times, the temperatures have been running from 45 degrees to 60 – from 7 to 15 on the metric scale, mainly on account of me losing one of my gloves on Wednesday, 22. November.

photo, dry martini, bar six, manhattan Weather of the year – a very very dry martini.

The Very Good Friend of Mine – the VGFoM – has been urging me to buy a pair of street gloves but I have been weaseling out of it, saving five bucks at least, and ensuring that the temperatures stay tidily up there. Yeah, sure, I miss the bitter cold and the freezing streets and the breezes like frigid knives chopping off freezing whiskers, howling through Manhattan's canyons, either devoid of light or bitterly bright. As it is, you see folks walking around carefree, in short pants.

Take tonight, which just happens to be New Years Eve. Instead of forecasting a temperature of 14 F for the crowd gathering in Times Square, the outlook calls for a high of 47 today, with an overnight low of 39 degrees. "Hey! Look Times Square – no gloves!" Rain is expected tonight.

Meanwhile across the Atlantic in Paris there is a consensus that the temperature will vary from 8 to 10 today. This amounts to 46 to 50 on the F scale. Whether there will be rain too is unclear, but you might expect it for the rest of the week. In New York you only need to expect rain on New Years Day, which is about par for all of December. For both cities expect daytime temperatures of 45 to 54 F, 7 to 12 C until Thursday.

Out of curiosity I looked up Paris' weather for December to find out what I've missed. For all of France the temperature has been calculated as 1.2 degrees higher than normal for the year. This is less than the heatwave year of 2003 but maybe second highest since 1950 and equal to 1994.

photo, money order Everything store in Jackson Heights.

For extreme weather I only had to look back to Thursday–Friday, 7–8. December, when a tempest roared across France, with winds that were measured as 110 to 120 kph inland and up to 140 on exposed coasts. The wind was attributed with killing one and injuring 20 others. Other than this, the fall was exceptionally mild, balancing a cool spring, and the summer had its three weeks of hot, hot, hot.

This week I'm weeks behind schedule. There is no Pommeland forecast because Météo Jim's computer broke down three weeks ago. So I look out the window. See above

Café Life

Happy New Year 2007

What more can I say? I should say something about the great Sardine Party. There were a dozen gathered to taste 19 different kinds of sardines, mostly brought over from Saint Malo and augmented by various 'finds.' I mean, there are Korean supermarkets here, and Greek and Mexican ones. There were more sardines than many had ever seen before. Or since.

photo, empire state building, 34th street, 30 nov 0634th Street and the Empire State Building.

What should I say about going around New York to see how folks were getting ready for Christmas and New Years? Take the tree at the total Rocky tower in mid–town. It was totally mobbed. Weeks before New Years Times Square was totally mobbed. Even where nothing was happening everything was totally mobbed. It not anything like how quiet and villagelike it is around Montparnasse.

To be continued...

Before You Go, Here's 2006

Completely out of ideas, at least there's a few photos you might not have seen already. There is no Fiat 500 to close out the year and I didn't shoot any of the rare Vespas running around Manhattan's cratered streets, but I kept two cameras going fairly steadily. Check out this issue's contents page for sights seen here, from Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.

The Small Bar Six Café Metropole Club 'Report'

While I've been in New York there have been no club meetings in Paris. One afternoon I ran into members Pam Shoemaker and George Broadhead at the Bar Six on 6th Avenue. This led to a short tour past e. e. cummings' house in a dead–end lane, and other sights in the Village as it was getting dark. Obviously there should have been a full report but it was an unofficial meeting, without any waiter of the week.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on the 2nd Thursday in January. The Saint of the Day on 11. January is still unknown at this time. Other than Saint Edmond, I couldn't even find a saint for that Monday in November. My calendar said Saint–Edmond but they have saints to spare but no Saint–Edmond on Wikipedia. What's the matter with them?

Many facts about the club and its legends are sprinkled around a page named the About the Club Webpage. If you have a highly developed grasp of English you won't require much of it to understand some stories, some speculation, and don't overlook overlooking the club's moldy hand–crafted membership card before its update, impending now for the past 35 months.

photo, 19 sardines to tasteSelection of 19 sardines for tasting party.

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

This highly popular feature has fallen by the wayside after being updated every flipping week for 9.5 mindboggling years. It continues to be unavailable this week because I'm far from my door this am. After dreaming up a new flimsy excuse–à–week here for the past 15 weeks this is the best I can do. What more to know than Ten Years Later...? again and again.

photo, pay phone, verizon, new york city

Café Life Légère 104.9

Regular readers should ignore the following items because they are unchanged since the last issue sometime in November, except for a couple of days–left mentions. If you are regular reader you can skip to this week's posters or this week's cartoon. Neither of these are wonderful but skipping to them gets you off this page and over your bitterness over the lack of new nonsense here. Unregular readers should read on as if this mention were not here and you haven't read it yet.

photo, fire hydrant, new york city

Widespread Lying

The Quote of the Week has been having hard times but this week we have a splendid one for you, even if it puts you to sleep. For some reason Margaret Atwood once said, possibly wrote, perhaps whistled, "It's a feature of our age that if you write a work of fiction, everyone assumes that the people and events in it are disguised biography – but if you write your biography, it's equally assumed you're lying your head off." Enough is enough. First I'm lying and second this is fiction.

The Wobble–W Corner

There are a mere zero days left of this year, the same number that 270 had when Gaius Valerius Galerius Maximinus was born. He was originally a peasant named Daia, born in the Danubian region of Europe, in the newly reorganised Roman province of Dacia Aureliana. To cut a long story full of Roman names short, our Daia became emperor for exactly 5 years, and the rest is dismal history.

Helio Pataphysics

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 365 days, the same number that 1902 had when Henri Desgrange and fellow journalist Géo Lefèvre flew the first helicopter in – no, that was last week's wonderful Pataphysics. This week's two geezers invented the Tour de France bicycle race and made their newspaper famous, sold lots of copies, and popped off so many magnums of Champagne that this drink became famous too. Actually this Henri was very shy. That's what it says here.

photo, combo hoy, super xtasis, $8.50, new york city

Wretched Red Plonk Day

As hard as it might be to believe thatBeaujolais Nouveau was invented, it is nevertheless true. What began as a gimmick to get rid of bathtub wine in 1951 has continued to get rid of bathtub wine with considerable success. You are supposed to drink it all on the third Thursday in November, which this year is on the 16th, but if you can't get rid of it all you can pretend it is rosé and serve it very cold, up until next summer.

What Is In Names

Often forgotten if it were not for Metropole to remind you that John the Duke of Burgundy and Louis of Valois once had a solemn truce that lasted three whole days until John had Louis bumped off. Actually there are too many Jeans in this story for me to provide the details in a manner that any sane person could understand. Suffice to say that after a long time another Louis was king until he lost his head and the French lost their taste for having Louis' for kings.

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

In 1912 an emperor was born today and he grew up to become Otto von Habsburg. Austrians as they were then known, were pleased to have a king whose name could be spelled backwards, and the rest is, quite naturally, rather more dismal history. 'Born today' actually means weeks ago, as regular readers are no doubt aware. Whatever your reasons for reading this far, learning accurate birth dates cannot be one of them.

Happy New Year! A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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