...Continued from page 1

When asked, the younger Monsieur Naudan explained that the scaffolding on the outside of the café's building was not for renovations, but for testing the strength of the stonework. "It will be finished by Monday," he said.

This must be reassuring to all. You would not want your club to be meeting in some hole in the ground with weak stonework. The Louvre across the street is constantly being improved and they have nearly finished re–doing my bridge, the Pont–Neuf. It makes sense that La Corona be tip–top.

We spent quite a lot of time – maybe four minutes – discussing the merits of building houses in Florida with concrete blocks instead of straw, toothpicks, canvas and eggtrays. Which reminds me now of the wolf and his huffing and puffing, and what the three little pigs used to make their houses. But, yeah, this was just four minutes.

photo, coke cocktail of the week The cocktail of the week.

Because I am reading a good book about crime in Manhattan. It is set in 1895 and it describes New York as it was then, and includes the area where Pam lives right now. Read The Alienist by Caleb Carr if you can get your hands on it. Pam made a note about it in her notebook, which she said she had been carrying since – ah – 1980?

The Italian girls trooped out to assault the city, leaving some rare calm behind. We then also trooped out to create the Group Photo of the Week – the downpour had stopped – no club member is ever required to go out on the café's terrace in downpours that happen during meetings. Pam looked at the dark sky across the Seine, threatening to dump on the Quartier Latin.

There was one Question of the Week too. How much is the right amount to leave as a tip for the Waiter of the Week, all things being equal? As we were haggling about this Pam let slip her secret, which was a small and handy printed card showing the calculations for the correct 15% tip in New York. There, you face banishment to New Jersey if you don't get it right.

photo, sign, la corona, grande salleDrop in at this sign.

Here the 15% tip is included. Custom says you leave confetti–like change if you appreciated the service, like the décor or were grateful for being able to smoke. Pam left a nice, friendly sort of tip.

Outside, after the gaze across the river, Pam noticed some balls up in the trees over our heads. She said they were Sycamore trees, and therefore, Sycamore balls. Me, I have never noticed. It's the kind of thing you can see in winter. There's all sorts of things to see in Paris that you can only see in winter. Grey skies, you can see in summer.

About the Café Metropole Club

Your belief or not is useful because this is an typical club meeting's regular sort of report. Think of it as a perfect piece of cheese of rosy life. Slide your eyeballs to the trim outline of what we might have been doing here, to be found as usual on the About the Café Metropole Club Webpage, containing its juicy, redolent, and melodious other good stuff reeking of fresh garlic–flavored garlic. And forever, more better frites.

graphic, club location map

What's About This Stuff?

Totally unrehearsed, spontaneous club meetings, all of them, begin at 15:00 every Thursday and go until 17:00. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 15. February. These times are like 3 pm to 5 pm around other places but these meetings are held around here. Whatever you say will be truly appreciated by the other members present if they are listening, and sometimes they are, but not always – and if it should by freak chance be recorded here.* All your other, basically true, stories are welcome too.

Caution – should you have a personal need to remain unfindable via the Web, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be 404 – not found by Web search engines before becoming found. Not becoming a club member is one sure way to stay unfound.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the sheer strength of the club's café, having sat on the Quai du Louvre without falling down for a whole century, at least.

The café's location is:

Café–Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny – or – 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli, Pont–Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday, from 15:00 to 17:00.
Next club meeting on Thursday, 15. February.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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