It's Like Tuesday Already

photo, hip hop at trocadero Part of Sunday's free hiphop show at Trocadéro.

At this Time of Week, It Always Is

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 9. April:–  We did it! Paris did it! We have just had an Easter with perfect weather. Not a spot, mar, flea, on it. I never thought I'd live to experience an Easter sans frigidity, I never imagined an Easter without air as cool as stones, I find it nearly impossible to believe that we have just had a freak long Easter weekend worthy of late May. Surely a one–time occurrence, hardly to be repeated, a rare event to be noted by Ripley!. If you missed it... but wait, there's more.

Up the Sleeve, Nothing

After four glorious days there is absolutely nothing in my trove of experience that says that April is a month typical of spring. Green wisps faze the bare branches, flower plots gleam with petals, the deep blue sky sports an occasional hint of white cloud but it's an illusion and the air is as soft as a warm promise. Am I asleep and dreaming of being in green and pleasant France or is it really real?

What is even more unlikely is the fact that these brightly days are better and even warmer than in the southern half of the country. Tonight's TV–weather news just gave us another three days – a prolongation – of sunshine right around here.

photo, quai, seine, peniche Romantic is in the Seine.

Clouds up along the northern border and clouds hanging off the Pyrenées and humbling the Riviera, but around here the forecast calls for another three days of total sunshine. There will be no winds to curse, next–to–no humidity, just a picture postcard of Paris as it's imagined but seldom manages to be.

By now you probably think I have some nasty surprise up my sleeve. Aha, I have news for you. Tomorrow's high was forecast to be 20 degrees. Wednesday is to follow with 20 again and then Thursday will come along and fill the air with 19 degrees. These are temperatures usually not seen until May and they can be rare then too. Fan–tas–tic!

Unusually, what we're doing right seems to have no positive effect for our neighbors to the west. Put out flags, hoist the tankards, because here's Météo Jim with the latest news, sports and hapless weather, without many commercials.

Voice of the Turtle

As forecast in the unforgettable film "Ceux qui m'aime regarderont la météo" the weather on Tuesday reached into the upper 60s, almost 70 all in a–grad. Many nay–sayers were saying, "Nay, lo, forsooth, for the winter is over and the voice of the turtle will be heard in the land, just as soon as they arrive on the next flight from Mi–am–mee." But the bunny's far–ranging ears were hearing sounds, and they were not the voices of the turtles. It was the sound of winter rain in April.

photo, pools trocadero A bit too soon for paddling.

On Wednesday, cold, cold rain began falling in Pommeland. Temperatures were in the upper 30s a–grad and the rain was flirting with metamorphosing into snow. And in northern New England, the metamorphose was complete. As much as 2 feet a–measurement – 60 medium e–metres – swirled down. So, for those in those climes, look for Peter Snowshoe Hare to visit your Easter basket.

Even Pommeland was not immune. Temperatures on Thursday and Friday rose into the upper 30s and low 40s – all a–grad – and snow flurries fell along with the falling temperatures and rising winds.

Easter in Pommeland will see more of the same. For those taking part in the Easter Parade on 5th Avenue, hold onto your chapeaux de paques and dress warmly.

photo, metro overhead, smart, bikes,Easter Saturday in the 15th.

But there was one bit of spring. As discussed in great detail in last week's edition, April comes from a Latin word which means to open. Les fleurs may not have opened, but the crowning rites of spring, baseball, opened on schedule. The boys of summer took to the fields of praise and glory, beginning their long migration to the hallowed halls of October where only one team will be left to sing the praises of their long efforts. Will Ed, Ric, Radio Ric and his cousin Radial Ric who works for Michelin cross The Great Pond this summer and cheer their team in Queens? On verra.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

Ed's Note:– Why wait for summer? Go Mets!

Café Life

It's Like Tuesday Already

During some weeks nothing much happens and then I end up tapping out about 3000 words here, no doubt annoying many folks who were hoping that I would have something to say and it would be worth reading. That auto–pilot writing helps to push up Metropole's word total, as if I am in some kind of competition to put five million words online.

photo, statue, palais chaillotArt is in the air.

So it can be hardly surprising that there are weeks when I get to the point of writing this and time is passing – like it's Tuesday already – and I don't have really much to say. And this, even in weeks when I do have stories – well, two – but... Let's face it – I don't feel like writing something that would make me out to be an idiot. I am not a blogger after all.

Right now this page had enough words in it, even if they aren't terribly clever or apt. I just don't have enough to do another 500 words here and then put a thousand on the Au Bistro page. Do I have writer's block?

Well, no, and yes, this week I have. Is it so terrible? There's a cartoon and some posters – this week's lame collection – and a few photos sprinkled around. It's enough. The weather is good. When the sun comes up tomorrow I want to go outside again. You would too.

This story is unlikely to be continued.

The Café Metropole Club

Most club members could not make it to last week's club meeting for reasons that are unclear but understandable. Next Thursday there will be another fabulous Café Metropole Club meeting, and the secretary sincerely promises to be there in person.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 12. April, for an absolute exclusive this year. The Saint of the Day is sort of routine. Please cheer, on this Easter Monday, Saint–Julius, also known as Pope Julius I. He was born in Rome and was Pope for 15 years in the fourth century, outlasting many Roman emperors. He succeeded Mark somebody–or–other.

photo, tour eiffel, palais chaillot From the Parvis to the tower.

Although this is unrelated to France except for it being Easter, all about the club and its eternal truths are nearby handy on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Readers who grasp a modicum of words, and all of you certainly do, will not fail to sense the sensible but hard to believe true facts about it, and should not fail to download the club's scrap of an official membership card. Thank you.

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

photo, sign, place leutenant stephane piobetta

Saying that ten years ago was 1997 may seem obvious but that was in the last century before this one. Other Internet magazines have come and gone but this loopy one stays online. The true fact about Ten Years Later is that it should be more like 12 but that's only a minor detail of history, like some of the oddball items below.

Café Life Légère 103.01

The Almighty Dollar

The Quote of the Week keeps a high level of heritage week after week, blessed by our forefathers who had little to do other than dream up cute bons mots. Today's "They who drink beer will think beer" is attributed to Washington Irving who wrote Tales of the Alhambra and Rip van Winkle. He gave us the word Gotham for New York City and its comic versions, plus managed to turn up in Catch 22 when Yossarian signed in as Irving Washington. In contrast I used my own name when I checked onto the Hotel Washington Irving in the Alhambra in Granada, 156 years after Washington Irving.

photo, sign, metro falguiere

Wobble–i Kamikaze

There are as many as 266 days left of this year, the same number that 1937 had when the Kamikaze landed at London's Croydon airport. It was the first flight of a Japanese airplane, a Mitsubishi Ki–15, to land in Britain or Europe. The flight, sponsored by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun, took 51 hours and 17 minutes. The local tabloid papers were surprised that the airmen found Croydon, dramatically disproving their claims that Japanese pilots had poor eyesight.

Great Patahistory

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 99 days, the same number that 1917 had when the Canadian Corps attacked the German lines on Easter Monday after a massive week–long artillery barrage, the biggest in history. The first wave of 15,000 Canadian troops met 5000 German defenders and then a second wave of 12,000 Canadians charged 3000 German reserves. Within four days the Canadian forces controlled all of Vimy Ridge and had captured 4000 prisoners. It was the first Allied victory in 18 months and it demoralized the German defenders who thought their position was impregnable. Estimates put the total casualties at Vimy as 200,000 killed and 800,000 wounded during WWI. Today in France the battle was celebrated in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, prime minister Dominique de Villepin and Stephen Harper, Canada's prime minister.

photo, sign, pont neuf

Joy in Brooklyn Faint

It's unnecessary to thank Metropole for reminding you of the first day of baseball at Ebbets Field today in 1913. Located in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, the field's home team was the fabled Brooklyn Dodgers. They were ever more popular but the stadium could only hold so many. When the owner Walter O'Malley hinted that a bigger stadium was necessary the borough told him to take a hike, and he did, to Los Angeles. The Mets arrived in New York to battle against the Yankees, but they chose to play in Queens after Ebbets Field was demolished in February of 1960 and major league baseball was no more in Brooklyn.

photo, sign, easter egg

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Many folks have probably been reminded that today is the anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq by forces led by the United States 1462 days ago. Meanwhile some of the rest of us are sending birthday greetings to Jean–Paul Belmondo, nicknamed Bébel, who had his breakthrough in A bout de souffle by Jean–Luc Godard in 1960. Nobody should forget that this day in 1967 was the occasion of the maiden flight of Boeing's 737 passenger jet. Finally, Hugh Hefner got his start today in 1926 and after Esquire refused him a $5 raise in 1952 he started Playboy and the rest is history.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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