...Continued from page 1

Frankly the Italians were on their phones too. These were the week before Italians, some of whom will be in Rome next weekend. These Italians were not so well–dressed. These were the ones from the auto factories in Turin where they make the new Fiat 500, or they were from Naples. I could tell because they looked like unshaven football fans.

Nonetheless the sun was shining and it was warm. All the folks who didn't ride the Funiculaire, the electric bus or the little train to get to the top, walked up. Looking over the ramparts you could see them struggling on the steep slopes. You could see how some would pause at a handy café. You could see that you would never see them close–up.

By the boulangerie in the rue Norvins I heard an accordion. I found a sunlit wall to lean against and I listened for a while. Most of the hustle and bustle faded away as one tune flowed into another. I dreamed that I was on Montmartre during an off weekend in November. Accordéon on Montmartre. It was what I came for.

This story is unlikely to be continued.

The Café Metropole Club

The last club meeting was somewhat uneventful, with only two members present. Most other members, both far and wide, some of them, remained inexplicably absent, more or less as expected sometimes. Next Thursday there will be another new Café Metropole Club meeting, and the secretary promises nothing other than to be there.

photo, accordeon player Making music that matches Montmartre.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 5. April for the first time this year. The Saint of the Day is unexpected. Please greet Sainte–Iréne. Along with Sainte–Agape and Sainte–Chionia, all three maidens from Thessalonica, they fell afoul of Emperor Diocletian's laws in in 303 and the result is history. The St. Irene Chrysovalantou Greek Orthodox Church in Astoria, Queens, New York City claims to have an original hand that once belonged to Sainte–Iréne.

Although this is unrelated 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 grasp a modicum of English, and all of you certainly do, will not fail to sense the true but hard to believe facts about it, and should not overlook a peep at the club's scrap of a membership card in memorium.

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

photo, sign, rue lucien gaulard

Ten years ago was 1997 but that was in the last century. Nearly no other Internet magazines claim to have been online for 31 years, for any good reason. The truth about Ten Years Later is that it should be something else like 12 but to exclaim this high and loud would be futile. In an age of instant messaging who cares?

Café Life Légère 102.04

Emile Zola – "J'accuse"

The Quote of the Week maintains its exciting heritage week after week but at least it's shorter again, a situation that has altered little since last week when it was far too gassy. "Truth is on the march, and nothing will stop it." A tip the old hat goes to Emile Zola, who was born today in 1840 and died a bit too soon in 1902. At one point he was convicted of libel, so he fled to England.

photo, sign, hotel of the week

Wobble–C Magnus

There are as many as 273 days left of this year, the same number that 742 or 747 had when Carolus Magnus, or Charlemagne was born of fairly natural causes. His dad and mom were King Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon. He was crowned emperor by good old Pope Leo III on 25. December 800. But of what? The Holy Roman Empire didn't exist then, or at least, it wasn't named that. Charlemagne also paved the way for the later Ottonian Dynasty but this is news to me.

Lingo Pataphysico

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 92 days, the same number that 1513 had when Juan Ponce de León arrived in Florida by boat and claimed it for Spain. This was during Pascua Florida which is Spanish for Flowery Passover, which is today, which is a holiday in Florida. Then he sailed around discovering interesting things such as the Florida Keys, sailed to Cuba and sailed to Puerto Rico. On top of it he might not have been the first European in Florida. Americans, some evidence suggests, got there first and they spoke to him in Spanish.

photo, sign, bar, neon, of the week

Fat End of the Telescope

It's unnecessary to thank Metropole for reminding you of the birth of George MacDonald Fraser today in 1926. This is the writer who created Harry Flashman, a hero of British colonial deeds in the 19th century. In general, Flashman gets mixed up in every scrap – "...the sun never sets, etc..." but not in the heroic way of our textbooks, although all the historical backgrounds are well–researched. Another title by Fraser was, The Hollywood History of the World: From One Million Years B.C. to Apocalypse Now.

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Few folks probably recall that today is the birthday of Lucien Ginzburg in 1928 in Paris. Little Lucien changed his name to Serge Gainsbourg because he was disillusioned as a painter, forced to earn a living by playing piano in bars. The name change did the trick in 1965 when his song Poupée de cire, poupée de son won the European Song Contest for Luxembourg, which had changed its name from Luxenzburg. Serge bought the original manuscript of La Marseillaise to prove that his lyrics for his reggae version of Aux armes et cætera... were historically correct. Since 1991 Serge has been about 50 metres from where I am now sitting, in the Montparnasse cemetery.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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