Cantina La Corona

photo, group photo of the week, randall and josef, pont des arts Randall and Josef hold up the Pont des Arts.

It's Summer In April

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 12. April:–  If you are in Paris these days you will know I am not making it up about the exceptionally mild weather here. Folks really are walking around outside without umbrellas, although some ladies have parasols, and most folks are trying out their summer clothing to see if it has the right degree of skimpiness, see–thoroughness and plain latex, stretch plastics, wispy scarfs passing for skirts and many other choice items of attire to boggle the eyes.

Today at noon the thermometre was probably edging up to 25 degrees, slightly surpassing the forecast 24. The sky wasn't true–blue but it was putting up a close substitute. Winds were nil. It was a fore–taste of summer, a very rare occurrence here in April, but none of us intended to complain about it.

Today's Le Parisien asks if tomorrow is going to be good or bad. They have the whole country to think of but in this report we are only concerned with around here where we live. Spring is not about to return because it never went away. Some parts of France can expect cloudy times tomorrow but here isn't those parts. The forecast calls for sunshine with 23 degrees of temperature.

photo, sunshine on the seine and the quartier latinWeather outlook today – brilliant.

We can, if we really believe, expect Saturday to be even better with more better sunshine and a high of 25 degrees. It's like locked in because Sunday is going to be the same – sun, sun, sun – and I have bo doubt there will be surfing somewhere but it is unlikely to be around here even though the temperature is expected to be 25 again. Drink it all in and we're laughing!

The Summer In April Report

As a change of pace I left for the club early today. I like to do this sometimes in case I come across something new and unusual. But it seemed as if an extra 15 minutes wasn't sufficient for rewards by fate, that fickle mistress that is sometimes confused with luck, at least according to the famous philosopher Waldo Bini.

The sun was definitely blazing down on all out on the streets and byways of the Quartier Latin. This included the traffic angrily stacked up in the narrow rue Dauphine, the traffic clogging the left bank quai and for that matter, my personal bridge and the right bank quais. What could have been on their feeble minds, sitting in those overheated cars, trucks, city buses, police cars, ambulances, tour buses, delivery trucks, including motorcyclists and bicyclists? Who cares? I was pedestrian.

photo, today's waters Today's waters, welcome refreshment.

The club's café La Corona looked magnificent. Its red awnings screened the sunlight but turned everybody pink in their shade. The folks dressed more or less like the homeless, sprawled at their leisure on the terraces punctuated by the flitting waiters in the black and white official waiter costumes.

Inside was like outside with all the doors and most of the windows wide open, with the two exposures shifting slight breezes through the interior aided by differences in pressure and the languid arrival and departure of folks with a licence to be idle.

I contemplated this for for all of 30 seconds before turning to today's paper, Le Parisien. Oh, it was the usual stuff – the election, a strike at Orly, an argument about pay – some dude got canned and everybody is upset about his severance pot of 8 million euros. Nobody mentions that this was foreseen in his contract. Then the same company that paid him off fired 10,000 employees who hadn't done anything but work.

photo, randall with guitarRandall serenades the secretary.

Things like this become the theme of the day in the election campaign. How can so many people know so little about how things work? Anyway, further on in the paper there are the faits divers, golly, three whole pages of them. Oh my goodness! After the Paris section there is a four–page section devoted to Walt Disney. It's the 15th anniversary of – what's it called now? – Disneyland Resort Paris. The paper thanks monsieur Walt.

At about this moment Randall Rattray arrived to joint the club. Randall said he was from San Francisco, the city, and didn't seem to be anxious to promote his home town Mentor, Ohio which he left 30 years ago.

You may think I am letting a significant City of the Week slip through my fingers but there were a couple of aspects to Randall worth noting. He was wearing a beret and he was carrying an odd guitar, – it looked almost like a baguette with strings – which he immediately began to play. It added a lot of atmosphere to the café's grande salle and I cursed myself yet again for not reading the user manual for the digital recorder I have.

photo, lively beer of the week Beer of the Week.

Thus Randall provided an important first, namely being the first club member to bring a musical instrument and play it during a club meeting. I think I remember bringing one of my kazoos once but I certainly didn't play it. Plus, get this, Randall played really well. He said he has had his Martin travelling guitar for many years and it fits in an airliner's overhead bin without trouble. On eBay they cost about $100 he said.

And here's why Randall brings a guitar to Paris, which he often does. Last night he was playing in public on the Parvis of Notre Dame until 3 in the morning with a bunch of other musical types. "It's an old–pair–of–shoes guitar," he said, "And because it's small it doesn't make much noise."

Time was drifting towards the end of the afternoon So we went out on the café's terrace for the Group Photo of the Week. Under the red awnings it was pinker than ever. Once back inside member Josef Schomburg glided up from somewhere, and he asked to try out Randall's guitar.

photo, josef and guitar with live beerJosef tries pick–fingers.

Thus there was another first and it was gentle sounds from the guitar off and on throughout the meeting. I asked Randall if he could come to every meeting. I'll read the recorder's manual if he does, and put the results into a podcast.

The afternoon drifted on and then Randall drifted off. Josef and I gave the café the later signal and headed into the fierce sun setting to the west. Then on the Pont des Arts we reunited with Randall, which gave me the opportunity of re–shooting the Group Photo of the Week. Some days everything just works out fine.

About the Café Metropole Club

Hands off the dial and stay tuned to your club via the meeting reports on this waveband. Reading reports is simpler than being here but only a sixteenth of the fun. Think of the club secretary's photo–shooting finger. The official version of what we might have been doing here, can be found as usual on the About the Café Metropole Club Webpage. Add some sharp mustard for those more better frites.

graphic, club location map

At But, At But, At But?

Spontaneous as always, unplanned, unrehearsed, out of control, anarchistic, musical and poetic. The club meetings are actually from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 19. April. These times are identical to 3 pm to 5 pm around some other places, while meetings are mostly 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 sheer freak dumb luck fluke chance be inscribed here.* Your other, totally true, stories are all welcome too. Everybody can use a good laugh.

Caution – should you have a personal desire 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 being a club member gets you found last if ever.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the the gentle and melodic notes sounding from Randall's guitar, which he has promised to bring back one of these days.

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, 19. April.

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