Not Going Far or Often

photo, pont des arts Wide bridge of setting sun last Thursday.

At Home With Tristan Tzara

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 26. March:–  While there were no club members last week moaning about crummy weather, it took a turn and gave us a Saturday to remember. And I would have remembered it too if I hadn't got up so late I thought it was night again already. It was a night of rain in the day and since my original Hamburg lifering is at the repair shop for its annual revision, I ventured out only with caution. But wait, things are looking better.

Muddle Gulch

I don't suppose any of you are particularly interested in a big, strong high over Scandinavia. It's the kind of thing that might interest weather professionals but down here French TV–news and weather hardly shows much north of Brussels and even it doesn't rate a dot on the map.

All of the coming, all three, weather maps did show two lines. On the west side, the left side, the outlook is grey, wet, cloudy and horrible. On the east side, the right side, the days should be fairly sunny. Well if they aren't, who cares. It's not anywhere around here.

Tuesday morning in the middle, between the west and east lines, may show us a bit of low morning mist or fog, especially outside Paris. It will be the excuse used if it fails to get a bit semi–sunny here, which I think it will, but what do I know? The good news is that the temperature is supposed to get up to 16 degrees, which it might. It would be more likely if only 14 were forecast but we like gambling.

photo, inside cafe, rue daguerre Too wet out to sit in the café.

Then Wednesday, semi–sunny here in the middle, with a high of 14 degrees seeming to be possible. Add Thursday as a ditto but with a high of only 13 degrees, low enough to be reached and also low enough to be easily surpassed, except for it being March when getting much above 10 is a singular feat.

Beyond the sea, from across the ocean, we learn that something continues. Pinwheel our heads and twirl our arms, clear the scuppers, hoist a flag and here's Météo Jim again, with the latest from the weather zoo's lone species.

Groundhog Sings In A Flat

Spring arrived last Tuesday at 8:07 Advanced Pommeland Coffee Gulping Time – or APCGT. To show support for the first full day of the stuff, the temperature on Wednesday was 37 a–grad – 3 e–grad – with plenty of icy snow cones covering the landscape. You could hear the Groundhog thumping his tail in delight.

But the weather warmed up to seasonal 53 a–grad and was slightly warmer than seasonal temperatures accompanied by ice–eating rain. Now there are only a few patches of ice which look like yesterday's discarded newspapers breathlessly announcing the latest news and advertisements, without which we could not be au currant.

photo, sign, cup and saucer of the week

Depending on which Groundhog channel you want to believe, there will be a chance of rain and donnergeblitzen thunderboomers Monday night with Pommelandian temperatures rising to the upper 60s by Wednesday.

As for the rest of the week, temperatures will cool down to the 50 a–grad range with a chance of more rain on Saturday. Comme d'habitude, the weather will do what it will do and it won't do what it won't do and the usual claimers and disclaimers are hereby disclaimed and claimed. See section E of Metropole for the free gift coupon and map.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

Café Life

photo, washing machine, my tuesday date My steady date on Tuesday.

At Home With Tristan Tzara

On the first day of Daylight Saving I got up too late to see the sun but I went out anyway to find those little sights that are strewn around this page. These are all new every week. Sometimes I don't feel like going far – not to the other side of the city – so I have to be careful to avoid repeats. It's a hard job. I wonder why anybody does it.

I had finished this chore, with a semi–complete tour of the northern side of the magic triangle, and was within a block of my bakery when I was hailed by Matt z'Artz. I haven't seen Matt for a while, so I stopped and glanced up at his fourth floor window, but he was on the sidewalk. Matt was out!

He loitered outside the bakery while I purchased my daily bread. Then we walked up Daguerre, inspecting everything as we went along. There is always something new turning up but there was nothing new yesterday. At the top Matt induced me to jaywalk in front of the police station, noting that it was obviously built to repel attacks by Parisians.

photo, pasting bove posters over sarkozy Poster hangers working on Sunday.

Then around the corner in the rue Raymond Losserand we found a tiny park I had never seen before. Small wonder as it looked like a Paris version of a needle park, or a lonely place to be depressed. Matt decided not to take the oak chair frame dumped just outside. It would have made some nice firewood.

Further down Losserand we fell to arguing about how ugly Paris can be. Yes, the part north of the Pernety métro station is a lot less than fantastic, but just to the south it becomes, well, funky Parisian. After the rustic alley named rue des Thermopyles – great locale for block parties! – we discovered a rare sight.

photo, sign, fresh bread automat Matt z'Artz gets his
fresh daily bread.

This was a cabinet outside a bakery, intended for selling bread. A bread automat no less. A hand–lettered notice said it was out of order so we went inside to enquire. The baker, dressed for Sunday afternoon rather than Sunday morning, said the manufacturer had disappeared in 2000. No replacement parts were available. He had to disactivate it after a little kid got his hand stuck in the bread slot. He said he didn't know what he'd do with it. Matt thoughtfully didn't offer to fix it.

Once that far along it wasn't a big jump to cross to the 15th arrondissement, which in outlook parallels the 14th on the other side of the SNCF tracks. Both working class quartiers with lots of public housing made of cheap concrete – possibly more comfortable than what it replaced. The difference – the 14th has more restaurants and night life.

We went north towards downtown Montparnasse but I had been there earlier on my brief tour. I was getting full of walking. Back in front of my building Matt pitched me again on appearing in his video documentary. His idea – from my place I cross the street to visit Tristan Tzara where he resides in the cemetery. I am to say that a parcel like his is what Matt aspires to, leading the camera there and pointing it out.

Aha! This was the goal of our random walk. If I had known we could have just gone over there, and maybe checked out Serge Gainsbourg to see how he's doing. I don't want to hang out with Tzara until the camera is turning. Matt's video has to be totally spontaneous.

This story might be continued.

The Café Metropole Club Blessed by Texas

During the last club meet the club picked up three new members, all from Texas. Some other members, both far and wide, some of them, remained inexplicably absent, more or less as unexpected sometimes. Next Thursday there will be another new Café Metropole Club meeting, and the secretary promises to be more alert than he promised to be last week.

photo, terrace, cafe coronaThe club's own café on Thursday.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 29. March, on the same date as in February if February had 29 days. The Saint of the Day is a duet. Please welcome Saint–Gwynllyw and Sainte–Gladys, or Gondèle and Gladuse. They were a married pair of 5th century Welsh saints, the parents of Saint–Cadoc, who is not next Thursday.

Although Wales is related to France, all about the club and its veritable truths are right here on a page called the About the Club Webpage. All readers who possess a modicum of English, and all certainly do, will not fail to grasp the true but hard to believe facts about it, and should not neglect to peep at the club's scrap of a membership card in passing.

photo, sign, rue saint amand

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

Just like last week, well, well, here we are again. Nearly no other Internet magazines claim to have been online for 41 years, for any reasons, otherwise they are fabulating. The truth about Ten Years Later is that it should be something else like 12 but to exclaim this high and loud would seem to be beating my drum here when all I want is Internet, telephone and TV for $99.

Café Life Légère 102.03

Six Feet To Lie Down

photo, sign, havana club ashtray of the week

The Quote of the Week maintains its boring heritage week after week but at least it's longer again, a situation that has altered little since last week when it was much too brief. "What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade." Let us all tip the old bookmark to Sterling Hayden, who was born today in 1916.

photo, inside cafe, rue daguerre Too wet out to sit in the café.

Sterling Hayden, at 1.96 metres, was five inches taller than that six–foot bed. A one time spy in the OSS, he also joined the US Marines under a phoney name, and every time he got enough money from Hollywood he ran away to sea. On one occasion this was on a barge moored in Paris. He was in Dr. Strangelove and played the loveable part of General Jack D. Ripper, the very one who sent the B–52s on a one–way bomb run to Russia.

Wobble–G Blade

There are as many as 280 days left of this year, the same number that 1814 had when Joseph–Ignace Guillotin died of fairly natural causes, like a carbuncle in effect. Against the death penalty, in 1789 he nevertheless proposed a more humane method of bumping folks off because up until then hacking off their heads had been a casual business, marred by many skip–ups. Dr. Guillotin did not actually invent the guillotine and his family went so far as to change their name – perhaps to Leroy – when the government refused to change the name of the guillotine to something else, like maybe, couperette.

Pataphysical Best Friend

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 85 days, the same number that 1978 had when Edouard–Jean Empain, who had been kidnapped on 23. January, was released after a ransom reported to have been 100 million francs was paid. The Belgian industrialist had been held so long that his associates and family had given up all hope of seeing him alive again. At the time of the kidnappers' trial in 1982 he said the only welcome home he got was from his dog, a Labrador.

photo, sign, porsche design pipe of the week

Fancy Sharpshooting

It's unnecessary to thank Metropole for reminding you of the injury of Richard the Lionheart today in 1199 which caused his death 11 days later. The crossbow shooter was Pierre Basile, one of two knights defending a French castle from a siege by a bunch of English, mostly with broken–down equipment, including using a frying pan for a shield. This was so ridiculous that Richard left off his armor, and the result is history. Before he died of blood poisoning Richard is said to have paid 100 shillings for Basile to be left in peace, but he was flayed alive and hanged to death anyhow.

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Few folks probably recall that today is the anniversary of the introduction of the driving test in 1934 in Britain. Also to be remembered, in 1953, was the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk which went on sale a year later. Few famous people picked 26. March to be born but several checked out. Some include Ludwig van Beethoven in 1827, Cecil Rhodes in 1902, Sarah Bernhardt in 1923 and Raymond Chandler in 1959.

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