Standing In the Gutter

photo, trio indian file, cafe bar afghan karole Diners carefully approach the Afghan lounge.

And Other Exotic Places

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 11. June:–  Unlike Monday, 30. April when I wrote that some farmers were cheering the rain, today some farmers were mourning the deaths of 3000 little duckies that were bombed with big mean hail stones last night. Other farmers were contemplating their crops, pulverized by the elements, while some folks in towns hit by the storms were wondering what they were doing to do with all the mud in their cellars and shops.

Is Summer Over Yet?

It just goes to show something or other. I managed to have the warmest December in New York and then the warmest winter in Paris, which was followed by summer here and then I returned to New York and had some more premature summer with temperatures touching 90. It seems to have cooled off a bit but all my windows are still open and all I can say is, if I ever wanted to live in Florida, I am glad I stayed where I am.

Now it seems, according to tonight's TV–new and weather, that the season of spring has arrived. I do not mind. Spring can be a pleasant time of year even if it has waited until two weeks before it is officially over. That there was a spate of winter in May while I was in New York in summer is piepegal.

photo, sign, el rumbero bar cafe

For tomorrow we have a forecast that may present sunny skies here but we are on the edge of some mucky weather so I could just as easily be that way too. There is some sort of low lurking out in the Atlantic and it is sending alternating waves washing across France. A temperature in the area of 24 is to be expected.

This type of stuff keeps up on Wednesday with the arrival of another wave. If it isn't quite here the skies will be blue but if it gets here faster then the skies will be grey. This iffiness continues into Thursday, wave follows wave, and again we will be on the edge between worse and better. Temperatures remain about 24 degrees. Meanwhile Madrid will have a high of 30 tomorrow, 2 degrees more than New York.

Meanwhile where I just was, way over west of here, the weather is like a delicatessen. Send a Ruben, pass the umbrellas, put out life rafts, because here's Météo Jim with another uplifting forecast, like the ones we used to have before we set records.

Groundhog Goes Woof

After not being published for over a month, the Groundhog became severely irked, quit his job in Pommeland and bought a ticket to the sultry climes of Paris Plage where he can loll on the steamy sands of Paris Plage, enjoy the hot items on sale at les soldes d'été and spend the night in the Server Lady's garden.

photo, sign, new york city taxi fare, yellow cab

In the meantime, a tropical depression formed during the month of May. This may not sound unusual, but it is a baby hurricane and hurricanes are not due until at least June 1. In addition, another mini–cane formed during the early days of June. What will happen this summer and autumn in Pommeland? Stay tuned to Metropole for the latest updates.

As for the coming week, there is a low pressure trough in the Gulf of Maine that can't make up its mind which way it wants to do. Some days it wants to backslide and move west to Pommeland; other days it wants to go to Paris Plage. As a result, nobody is certain what the weather will be. Sunny, rainy, cool, warm. Take your pick.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

Ed's Note:– That low pressure thing is over here.

Café Life

Standing in the rue Daguerre

I can put about five stories to the 300 photos I took in and around New York last month but I am jetlagged. While befuddled Dimitri phoned to tell me he would be playing disk jockey at Paris Accordéon on Saturday so instead of writing the five pieces I went there and hung around in the street with a bunch of local folks, who hang out in the street listening to old–timey music for free.

photo, accordeons on daguerre Twirl and dance to music of angels.

Uncle Den–Den was one of these locals and he introduced me to Terrance Gelenter, who is not local at all because he's from San Francisco, where he spends all his time dreaming of living like we do, standing in the rue Daguerre listening to free music. Patrick the patron, had groups organized to appear each time Dimitri showed signs of flagging, and they were probably a modern who's who of the old–timey accordionistas.

Despite having food on hand – and drink! – we gathered up Dimitri and repaired to the nearby Afghan bar and café lounge. Inside, Terrance – not Terry! – said it reminded him of Marion's funky tavern high in the snowy mountains of Nepal in the first Indiana Jones epic, set in 1936. We cozily settled into the original décor and fronds and ordered from the short menu.

photo, trio, dimitri, terrance, dennisTrio includes Dimitri, Terrance and Dennis.

When in Afghanistan you can't go wrong with a kebab so that is what I had. The others had little birds and eggplant and rice and a bottle of wine and a fake beer and more rice, and the whole thing only cost a couple of euros because it was an Afghan place, full of mystery and smoke. If I may say so I have had worse kebabs and fairly recently too.

By the time we got out of there it was dark and they were playing the last set at Paris Accordéon. Terrance removed himself for a snooze. Uncle Den–Den retired too, and I cruised back here, a whole block away. All I have to do is keep my bathroom window open so I can hear the next time Dimitri is spinning his old 78s.

This story is quite unlikely to be continued but you never know.

The Café Metropole Club

Less than two percent of the club's members made it to last week's club meeting so you haven't missed hearing about all the good stuff especially if you read the report. Next Thursday there will be another Café Metropole Club meeting, and the secretary promises to be there in person, hand on heart, and breathing.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 14. June, another in a series of inter–election days. The Saint of the Day is ultra rare. Please consider Saint–Eliseus, who was hard to track down. The story goes that Elias tossed his coat over Eliseus' shoulders. This caused – don't ask me why – Eliseus to bump off his own yoke of oxen and then boil them, using the wood from his plough for the fire.

photo, my kabab My delicious kebab.

This is unrelated to Paris because it happened somewhere in the Middle East. You can read all about the club and its two known facts on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Readers who actually understand, and all of you surely will, will not fail to grasp the mysterious but true myths about it, and should endeavor to download the club's official scrap of a free membership card. You are welcome.

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago was still 1997. Every issue I used to look up what had been in Metropole the same week the year before and two years ago, but after doing it for nine or ten years I got tired of doing it and so I quit. But it has taken some time for me to admit that I quit and so I dangle this tease every week, hoping I will feel like doing it again, but realizing that it is 20 minutes of my life I would rather spend on Web surfing, or goofing off, as it used to be called.

photo, accordeon, last act, saturdayThe last act at Paris Accordéon.

Café Life Légère 91.2

So What?

The Quote of the Week has a connection to Ed, who has been around. Today's long–winded quote is, "A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us – when adversity takes the place of prosperity – when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us – when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." This blah–blah is from Washington Irving, who I nearly visited at Sleepy Hollow last month.

photo, sign, mets baseball ticket

Wobble–History of BA

There are as many as 203 days left of this year, the same number that 1580 had when Juan de Garay founded Buenos Aires. An earlier foundation by Pedro de Mendoza with the name Nuestra Señora del Buen Ayre took place in 1536 but it annoyed the locals and they destroyed it. For some reason all of this happened – the second foundation – on 11. July so here I am mentioning it a month early, a month too soon to be on this day.

The Meucci System

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 167 days, the same number that 2002 had when Antonio Meucci was declared to be the real inventor of the telephone, while he was recovering from injuries suffered from a boiler explosion aboard the Staten Island ferry. Actually he invented the telephone in Italy and in a theatre in Havana, and only filed papers about it later when he lived on Staten Island. A plaque in Havana says, "Antonio Meucci expatriado italiano en la Habana entre los años 1835 y 1850 aquí en el teatro Tacón realizó aquellos experimentos de tranmisión acústica que lo llevaron a la invención del teléfono."

photo, sign, no loud radios

The Patazone Chronicles

It's unnecessary to thank Metropole for reminding you that today marks the anniversary in 1184 BC when Troy was sacked and burned. The war, if it ever happened, was about Paris who stole Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The armies of the Achaeans went to get her back and the rest is history. Other dates for the destruction of Troy are 1135, 1172, 1193, 1209, etc., etc., – all BC – and exact dates of 6 or 7 July, 26 May, or 23 Sciroforion or 2 Ponamos. I thought everyone would like to know.

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Many folks have probably been reminded that today is the anniversary of the death of famous actor John Wayne, in 1979. Equally interesting is the birthday, in 1983, of Jose Reyes, who is the leading thief of bases in one of the American baseball leagues this year. Go Mets! Other sports news reminds us of 1907 when George Dennett, assisted by the unforgettable Gilbert Jessop, dismissed Northamptonshire for 12 runs, the lowest total in cricket. Finally, this date in 1962 recalls the successful escape from Alcatraz of Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin, who nobody ever saw again.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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