...Continued from page 1

On Saturday we went to Chinatown. It is as hard to get to as ever even though it has a new métro station, Les Olympiades on the line 14. Valerie decided I didn't know where Tang Frères is so she asked a passerby who not only took us there, but also led us up to a Thai restaurant where we could get some obscure sort of spicy Thai soup.

Then we went to Tang Frères. There was a huge shipment of fresh durians just outside, under the hanger, and it made sense that hotels in Thailand don't want them in hotel rooms. Folks were pinching them to see if they were ripe. They must have had broken noses.

I found some hot sauce and oranges, grapefruit and bananas, all fresh and juicy, all cheaper than at Monoprix. The problem with going to Chinatown is coming back from Chinatown with all this stuff, weighing tons. No matter how much you get, it doesn't last long enough.

photo, sign, thai soup

None of this is overly exciting. Nigel phoned again today and said he and the Daguerréotypistas were at the Quinze again, and if I wasn't writing too much of this stuff I should hop over there, and maybe watch him eat another cheeseburger without cheese. I'm just kidding – there's other good stuff on the menu and I'll try it sometime.

One good thing about Nigel's frequent visits is that Uncle Den–Den always has a going–away dinner. If you ever get invited to one of these you should go unless you don't care for booze, good food, dim lights, old jazz and blues even older, smoke, more booze, quotes from books that used to be banned and a total lack of conversation about phones, iPods and real estate.

This story is quite likely to be continued someday.

The Café Metropole Club

More of the club's long absent members showed up at last week's club meeting but you know it was exactly one if you read the report. On this coming Thursday there will be another Café Metropole Club meetin. The secretary promises to be there again in person, getting closer to the 400 home run mark.

photo, fiat 500 of the week The Fiat 500 of the Week.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 5. July, six whole days since June. The Saint of the Day is another Monsieur. Please cheer Saint Antonio Maria Zaccaria from the 14th century. While on a mission to Guastalla in 1539, wherever it is, he caught a fever, his health waned, and he died. He was 37 which was probably an average age at the time.

This is unrelated to Paris because it happened somewhere around Guastalla, wherever it is. You can read all about the club and its few true facts on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Readers who actually do read it, and all of you surely will, will not fail to grasp the general thrust of it, and could endeavor to download the club's official chit of a free membership card if they have nothing better to do.

photo, sign, rue de tolbiac

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

I am really tired of writing here that ten years ago was still 1997. Everybody probably knows this by now, even me. After doing One Year Ago for nine or ten years I got tired of doing it and I admit it. You could look at all past issues if you think I am making this up. It was a nightmare.

Café Life Légère 91.9

Not A Bit Funny for Tigers

Today's Quote of the Week has no connection to Ed or anything else this week. Today's medium–length quote is from George Orwell. He wrote, "I always disagree – when people end up saying that we can only combat Communism, Fascism or what not if we develop an equal fanaticism. It appears to me that one defeats the fanatic precisely by not being a fanatic oneself, but on the contrary by using one's intelligence. In the same way, a man can kill a tiger because he is not like a tiger and uses his brain to invent the rifle, which no tiger could ever do."

photo, sign, rue visconti

Wobble–Fool's Gold

There are no less than 182 days left of this year, the same number that 1578 had when the explorer Martin Frobisher sighted Baffin Island for the first time. In all he made three trips to some part of Canada nobody visits much these days. On two return trips his ship carried tons of crummy rock he thought was gold. I have seen that stuff – I thought it was gold too. Martin later grew rich from plundering French ships, and got a big prize for his part in fighting the Spanish Armada in 1588.

Z e p p e l i n

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 183 days, the same number that 1900 had when the first zeppelin took to flight over Lake Constance, aka Bödensee. The Luftfahrtshiffsgesellschaft in Friedrichshafen built zeppelins for commercial passenger flights and they flew to South America with passengers drinking Champagne all the way, until one named the LZ 129 Hindenburg had a bad landing in New Jersey in 1937 and that was that.

From Patazone To Coney Island

It's unnecessary to thank Metropole for reminding you that today marks the anniversary in 1878 of the opening of the Brighton Beach Line in Brooklyn. The rail line ran from the entrance of Prospect Park to Coney Island Avenue. Originally called the Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island Railway, it brought beach fans from downtown Brooklyn to the wonderful seaside spa on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, made famous in song, story, radio and lately on TV.

photo, sign, clock, institut de france

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Many folks have probably been reminded that today is the anniversary of the 1962 opening of the world's first Wal–Mart store in Rogers, Arkansas. Not all that long after, in 1979, the first dollar coin honoring Susan B. Anthony was put into circulation. History buffs will also clearly recall this date in 1808 when Simon Fraser reached what would become New Westminster near where the future Fraser River reaches the Pacific. He was born at Mapletown, New York and the downriver trip took 36 days from where he started. He was not welcomed by the natives at Vancouver and it took him 37 days to get back where he came from.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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