Cafés with Pinballs

photo, group of max Max grouped in front of the club's café.

Bastille Day To Be Sunny

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 12. July:–  There has been a lot of sky gazing lately with the people on earth in the France part cursing the passing clouds even when they were so thick they were impossible to count. At times there have been drizzles for which Ireland would be proud, and at other times there were tropical downpours so heavy certain fish were cowering in their goldfish bowls.

We were anxious because Bastille Day eve is tomorrow night. On tonight's TV–news and weather the fatal blade finally fell. For this I tear off my mask of skepticism, leap in the air and click my heels together. Unfortunately this is metaphorical because my heels do not click and never together.

The outlook for Friday is as follows – in the morning it will be downright cloudy. No surprise there but in the afternoon it will become somewhat sunny and the freaking temperature which was at best 21 today, will SOAR up to 28 degrees. Oh happy day!

photo, empty drink of the week When thirst strikes.

Then, for those who do not dance the night away, Saturday will dawn sunny in time for the parade of soldiers and sailors and Foreign Legionnaires tramping down the Champs–Elysées and the afternoon will be sunny too and so will the evening and we will all go to the Champ de Mars at 22:30, to see the brilliant fireworks display, this year celebrating the brand–new presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy.

Then on Sunday, with or without sore hair, we will have croissants and good French jam for breakfast and the few wispy clouds up along the Channel will not bother us around here because it will be mostly sunny again, two–and–a–half days in a row. Too bad it won't be Friday, 20. July when Paris–Plage opens, because the temperature forecast for this Sunday is 32 degrees. We deserve it, we really do!

The Cafés with the Pinballs Report

Today started off with clouds so dismal it seemed like it might rain at any moment. It was sort of a sorry way to begin a club day but it was a Thursday so there was little that could be done about it. My son Max is visiting and because he is a club member he came with me, to keep me company while passing the cemetery, for the métro ride and for the walk through the Quartier Latin to the bridge.

photo, cafe of the week Ed's usual Café of the Week.

I told him the Pont Neuf is my bridge and showed him all the new parts that have been fixed up since 1609. I had to find a part with old stones so he could see the difference and when he did, he agreed that my bridge looks much better now. I think it looks dandy but if the sun ever shines on it again the new parts will be too white, too dazzling.

We were a bit ahead of time so we went around the back of the Quai du Louvre and visited the church, Saint–Germain l'Auxerrois, where Tony Parker got married for the second time last weekend. He got married for the first time on Friday, at the Mairie of the 13th arrondissement. They put up black sheets for the church, so nobody saw it, but we saw it today. It is a big, old place, full of gloom and stained glass.

After that excitement the café La Corona was sort of an anticlimax and besides, the grande salle was kind of full of visitor–looking folks having lunch and hiding from the sky which was very gray. After a few minutes the civilians left and we invested the club's area. But throughout the afternoon the café remained full, depending on the grayness of the clouds, and I had to shout to hear Max.

Max lives in Dublin and it has been a City of the Week, probably ever since he and his brother Willy joined, maybe six years ago. He asked the Waiter of the Week for an Orangina but the waiter suggested he accept a Fanta instead. When it came it looked as weak and thin as a drink you get in a McDonalds. But Max never complained.

I asked Max the standard questions. He said he came to Paris "To live it up." From this I gathered that Max had done his research but he denied it. "No research makes getting here a lot more exciting," he said.

photo, frites we didn't have, of the week The frites we didn't have.

Anyone would have thought he had neen reading my memoires, especially if I had written them. As it is I guess it runs in the family – going places and finding out what's there when you get there. It sure saves time reading. Just think – if you read about these places first you wouldn't go to half of them.

Actually Max was a little disappointed with today because the weather reminded him of Ireland. It even drizzled like Ireland for fifteen minutes and a crowd of folks obviously not Irish filled up the café suddenly. They all ordered hot drinks and frites, which you can always find in the afternoons in Ireland and Paris.

He said that when people go camping in Ireland they usually only go for a couple of hours, until it rains, and then they go home because it's a small island and no camping place is far from home. That's a lot better than camping in Canada. It's possible to camp near home but people there often go away off in the woods so far it s not worth going home. Some times they are gone for weeks or even months, and have bad experiences with bears.

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