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 mre restaurants and night life.


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