Bikinis of Spring Coming?

photo, roast chickens at the horse butcher Winter take–away; the horse butcher's hot chickens.

We Heads Into Another Year

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 8. January:–  I will be honest and confess I caught a cold in New York. It wasn't anybody's fault. I went to Brooklyn but I didn't go to Coney Island. I should have gone. To prove it wasn't New York's fault, two days after I left the thermometre blasted up to 72 degrees in Central Park. Today's stink of gas in Manhattan had nothing to do with me. I was here, in Montparnasse, walking around in the rain. Details follow, on page 96 below.

Page 96, in the First Section

Yes, it is raining here in paradise. It is a sort of drizzle that stops and starts and sometimes turns into actual drops but this does not last long and it's back to the drizzle until it stops entirely. Readers should not try to read between the lines here and imagine I mean torrential downpour when I write drizzle. The drizzles we have here are so feeble that you could think it is merely the pigeons spitting or maybe some sloppy person squeezing oranges in the next arrondissement.

photo, meal of the year on air france Was this the airline Meal of the Year?

Tonight I have watched the TV weather–news very carefully, twice. The big picture showed a big mass of soggy air and clouds pinwheeling clockwise over the Atlantic, sending curving waves as big as a twirling Texas whirling over here, over all France excepting Corsica, just wave after wave of this soggy stuff.

On the second look–see I saw that there isn't any sign of rain. But there were arrows pointing northeast indicating winds of 70 kph offshore and 50 to 70 kph batting through here, the centre of the world that isn't Times Square. Got it? Winds coming through here, 50 to 70 kph. Winds going one way and clouds another.

The way it is supposed to play, there might be some sunny periods around here on Tuesday. I don't see how but that's what the weather dude said. Add to this an unseasonable high of 15 degrees. Then Wednesday, more cloudy, same winds, maybe sunshine peeps, high of 12 degrees. Thursday may be identical to the day preceding, but with only 11 forecast. All these temperatures are lots higher than normal.

photo, sign, galette du roi

Pommeland Weather On Fritz

This week, every week, I'm weeks behind schedule. There is no Pommeland forecast because Météo Jim got a new computer three weeks ago and wrote to me Sunday offering new weather reports from ,Pommeland but I didn't have the strength to read his email and respond. By next week this may be in gear. Please note that it is I who is the weak link for Pommeland weather, not Météo Jim.

Café Life

Nobody Wrote To Ask

Since nobody wrote to ask about the great Sardine Party I assume that everybody saw the high definition video coverage on CNN during breaks in the Situation Room reports or read about it in the food and styles section on page 386 of the weekend New York Times. At this moment we are feverishly hacking away on the DVD version and preparing a treatment for a major Hollywood studio. A major major factory in downtown China will be making the t–shirts any day now. The original sardines are still available in Saint–Malo if you care to pick some up for your personal use.

photo, street snack kiosk in paris Street eats in jolly technicolor.

At this time of year most magazines have year–end roundups of their best stuff from the past year. This magazine used to do this when it had best stuff from the past year but it hasn't had much for several years now and I am real sorry about this.

This leaves the possibility of a year–begin feature about the really terrific stuff the magazine is going to contain this year. Frankly I am a little concerned about just doing what used to be the standard fare in these pages. You know, like, going out and walking around and writing a bit about it so you will know that Paris is a great place for fooling around. There are no rules here no matter what you read. Look at me. I don't even follow my own rules.

To be continued...

Alert of the Week

The Soldes d'Hiver begin on Wednesday real early in the morning and continue until about the middle of February. Due to the mild weather many folks have not bothered getting new winter duds and stores are rumored to be full to the bursting. Everything must go! Even though the weather is still mild and there's no cold in sight, you will be exceedingly happy next winter to be wearing last year's winter fashions bought at half price. Be warned though – in the case of global warming you will not be allowed to exchange your new winter coat for the bikinis of spring.

photo, cheery cafe, handy tabac Cafés are gaudy, well–lit, and
sell tobacco.

The Next Café Metropole Club 'Report'

While I was in New York there were no club meetings in Paris. This changes this week on Thursday when the Café Metropole Club meetings resume at the usual time in the usual place if it hasn't been demolished to make way for a new gigantic luxo hotel and clothing boutique, urgently necessary because Paris is slipping badly in this vital area of human activity.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on the Thursday, 11 January. The Saint of the Day on Thursday is now known at this time. It concerns Saint–Paulin d'Aquilée, who was was running around the Bordeaux area in the years from 750 to 800. Frankly I am not positive this Paulin is the right guy because the date doesn't seem to stick and I don't think he was martyred or anything. Our Paulin was a poet and that's enough, isn't it?

photo, fake cow at the cheese stand, home sweet marche Return to raw cheese from local cows.

Some actual facts about the club and its true legends are on a page called the About the Club Webpage. If you have a smidgen of English you won't require much more of it to understand some theories, some idle speculation, and don't forget to overlook the club's moldy hand–crafted membership card before its update, impending now for the past 42 months.

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

There are exceedingly few Internet magazines that can claim to have a 10 years ago but this is one of them. However this is the new, better, wonderful, era – of Google, for example – which means that everything that ever was here is findable if you know what to look for. It certainly wasn't the case in 1996. But no New Years resolutions! No promises. No bigger, no better, more color, high definition, podcasts, videologs, Flash animations! Just more ads, to pay the rent.

Café Life Légère 99.8

Meaningless Lying

The Quote of the Week is a whopper this week. Get this – "All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense." With my hand on heart I swear I did not make this up. I found it on the Wikipedia Quote Website and it is attributed to Principia Discordia. If I didn't know better I would suspect that they were inspired by Metropole.

photo, sign, yellow cab, toy car

The Wobble–W Corner

There are a mere 357 days left of this year, the same number that 1297 had when François Grimaldi, dressed as a poor Franciscan monk slithered into Monaco and captured the place, nicknamed The Rock, without having to pay for an expensive siege or bump off a lot of defenders. Monaco had been the property of Genoa since 1215 and the Grimaldis had been kicked out of there twice. For some reason the Genoans let them have it, probably because it was far enough out of town.

Necro Pataphysics

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 8 days, the same number that 1499 had when Louis XII of France married Anne of Brittany. Only 23 years earlier Louis married Jeanne of France – no relation! – only a daughter of his second cousin, but he got that marriage annulled so he could marry Anne, the widow of Charles VIII, the rich daughter of Francis II of Brittany. There were plenty of raisons d'étât for all this but even by the low standards of those days it was really sleazy.

photo, sign, cat and bird almost in hand

Early Dot Com Dropout

If it were not for Metropole to remind you of Alfred Vail and his contribution to the 1838 invention of Morse Code you might think he was just another clever inventor tricked out of his proper due, for being in on the beginning of the commercialization of the telegraph. But he wrote to Morse, "I have made up my mind to leave the Telegraph to take care of itself, since it cannot take care of me." Morse, of course, became a gazillionaire.

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

In 1324 Marco Polo died at home in bed in Venice after a long life and many travels to far off places like China. Legend says he introduced ice cream, the piñata and pasta, especially noodles, to Italy from China. However it seems as if the Etruscans might have been enjoying spaghetti and meatballs as early as 400 BC, according to walls decorated with these tasties. The Etruscans are not known for having invented ice cream, however.

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

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
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