Winter On the Doorstep

photo, snack, crepes, blvd montparnasse Winter crêpes for the umbrella people.

It's a Step Forward?

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 22. January:–  Here it is Monday again and after another week in Paris – after about 1560 weeks – I am not healthier, wealthier or wiser. To be honest I am not less of any of the three. Passing another week here isn't a grinding experience. Except for things that stay the same everything changes. Even the weather, not unlocated on this page, only centimetres below here.

Centimetres Below

The weather guy on the TV–news tonight – or was it the news guy? – anyway, he said something like this: "A week after autumn is over, winter arrives!" Oh, maybe that isn't what he said at all.

photo, passage musee montparnasse One of Montparnasse's secret corners.

Okay, the weather guy. First off there's an Alert Orange that started at 22:00 tonight, for snow. This involves a big part of France that isn't around here. Skiers will be interested but this is not the Sports Report. The rest of you don't need to know about the snow, yet. However if you were thinking of going skiing, you would dress warmly for it.

And you should because the temperature around here is going to fall into a pit tonight and stay in it. There will be winds too, from the northeast, expected to racket through here at 70 kph. These will drive the thermometre down to -1 overnight and Tuesday's high is foreseen as 2 degrees. The sky will be fuzzy with muck.

This is how it will look on Wednesday too. If he said anything about wind I failed to notice, while I was busily writing 1 degree for the high. The same thing happened with Thursday when I was writing -1 degree for the day's high with more winds from the northeast.

Now I think of it, the maps showed a lot of clouds and breezy winds. Combined with low temperatures and Le Parisien's maps showing snowflakes tumbling down on Normandy, it could easily tip a fraction this way or that, and we could end up with – not a white Christmas exactly, but whatever its equivalent in January is called. It's not my wish, mind you, but there it is.

The winter weather has quit acting strange, maybe catching up with New York. Now we switch computers and go to Météo Jim way over there.

Pommeland Turns To Stupor

Pommeland received its first significant snowfall on Friday with the ground being coated with up to an inch of snow. The sun tried to warm things up to the high 30s but the wind blew the sunshine out to sea. It was definitely sunny, but it came in a horizontal direction.

photo, cafe chien qui fume A warm spot for soggy afternoons.

This Sunday is the second most holy day in the American feety ball schedule because the final two champions will arise from the ashes of wannabes and go to Miami for the Stuporbowl on February 4 – whose main claim to fame is an occasionally creative commercial, endless hype and once in a while an exciting game. Like the ads for the Macintosh in 1984.

The weather for the coming week will see a chance of snow tonight, a greater chance of it on Thursday, temperatures in the low to mid 30s followed by colder weather on Friday and into the weekend. If this does not please you, ask your friendly mono– lingual travel agent for a couple of tickets to Miami.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

Café Life

A Step Forward?

Alert readers are the only kind this magazine has, unlike its Ed who is taking nearly a year to match the new layout to commercial opportunities, ads in fact. As alert as you may be there are some complicated undersides to Metropole that I should have totally under control but I do not.

While you do not want to know about any of this, somebody has to fiddle with it. So much more restful to just out the door and wander around looking for photos to fall in my camera. Kind of like letting Paris take over and let its corners be found, towing me around in and out of streets and alleys, under the sky and past the walls.

photo, passage d'enfer The renovation here hardly shows in winter.

Then it's back here to take care of the photos. After a hour they are logged in and then there's the unfinished business. But these days instead of flipping on the TV I crawl into the guts and set about setting things straight, except when I can't stop myself from setting the TV alight.

So, especially with this issue, you will see some changes. In addition, I managed to put up a few coming events. Long–time readers will realize that these – three of them – are favorites. "Does he have to go to the Salon de l'Agriculture every year?" I hear you ask.

Well yes and no. But this year I can't miss Rétromobile because it'll feature a birthday for the Fiat 500, in advance of its replacement to come in September. It's not the old Scène column but it's a tiny step in the right direction.

To be continued...


Reminder of the Week Continues

The Soldes d'Hiver, blah blah blah, began and they are to continue until about the third week of February. TV–news has quit saying anything about them and switched to non–stop election news which is exceptionally all the time now instead of just 23 hours a day. Traditionally, Parisians go shopping to escape, especially those who intend to vote for lower taxes.

photo, reflects, fondation cartier Reflections on Raspail.

The Next Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Last week's club meeting managed to happen with two members present. The server–lady didn't come but she didn't write in advance to say one way or the other. This week on Thursday there will be the another Café Metropole Club meeting and unless I am mistaken it will be the third and last in January.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 25. January. The Saint of the Day on Thursday is not so mysterious. It will be Saint–Paul's turn. He was martyred sometime in the year 65 in Rome on Nero's orders, according to an inscription on a sarcophagus discovered a couple of weeks ago by Giorgio Filippi. "Paolo Apostolo Martyr" says the inscription, which is kind of like "buried treasure buried here."

Fuzzier facts about the club and its legendary legends are on the page usually called the About the Club Webpage. Many readers who have a notion of English won't require much of it to understand the fable, some boring musings, and don't forget to view the club's tedious hand–crafted membership card before its renewal, pending now for the next 48 months.

photo, sign, boulevard du montparnasse

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

The other Internet magazines that claim to have been online for 11 years make daring claims. This and a nickel gets you next to nothing – like no free phone calls, no videoblogs, no flashy animations, no instant messaging, no other upload your photos, no practically anything other than words words words. It seems worth the lousy deal it seems to be. You may as well send me the nickel after all.

Café Life Légère 89.9

The Blue Myths

The Quote of the Week is not so boring this week. After last week's stunner I thought nothing would ever top it. So I was wrong. "History is the present. That's why every generation writes it anew. But what most people think of as history is its end product, myth." Let's all wish E. L. Doctorow happy birthday today, whether it is or not, myth, fact or fancy.

photo, carafe ragusa, villeroy & boch

The Wobble–W Mac Corner

There are a mere 343 days left of this year, the same number that 1984 had when the Apple Macintosh was introduced to the world via TV commercials that plagued the 18th StuporBowl XVIII that were produced by Ridley Scott, a famous sense–fiction movie director. Two days later you could actually buy a Mac for a mere $2,495, not exactly a cadeau at the time. Aside from the operating system included, there were two free programs, for writing and drawing. Since then, for 23 years, we have been paying.

Aeronautical Pataphysics

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 22 days, the same number that 1952 had when BOAC put the de Havilland Comet into service as the first jet powered passenger airplane. But it was underpowered and under–designed and it developed a new airborne terror called metal fatigue, which caused some Comets to crash to earth. Comets were eventually improved but Boeing flew its prototype 707 in 1954. Still, the first scheduled transatlantic flights were made by Comets, beginning on 4. October 1958.

Early Dot Com Hero

If it were not for Metropole to remind you of Porfirio Rubirosa Ariza and his vital contribution to human knowledge, you would probably remain unaware that he is credited with being the world's first playboy. He was a Dominican diplomat, polo player and Formula One race car driver, but was best known for his rapid lifestyle and legendary prowess with women. His wives liked to give him money and châteaux, and two of them gave him B–25 bombers when they divorced. If he hadn't crashed into a tree in the Bois de Boulogne in 1965 he would be exactly 98 today. His legacy – the rubirosa, a very large pepper grinder. Many folks wept at the funeral.

photo, sign, essence, sans plomb, gazole

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Many other folks are probably unaware that today is the night of the Burns Dinner. This is a memorial dinner staged in many parts of the world by those who would like to pay homage to the Scots poet Robert Burns, by gathering together and reciting poems and drinking Scottish cocktails which consist entirely of whisky and eating delicious traditional Scottish dishes such as haggis. This is like a big balloon–shaped sausage filled entirely with dry oatmeal. According to custom no hot sauce is allowed to spice up the tasteless treat and the latter half of every Burns dinner is spent giving thanks for the whisky, at least.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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