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 is not worth going home. Some times they are gone for weeks or even months, and have bad experiences with bears.

I made that last part up. We really talked about the big pizzas we had last night. Max said he wished they had the wagonwheel type, 20 inches in diametre. He said he wanted three of them, but to share. He likes the ones that are made of stiff cardboard instead of soft pizza dough because they can be picked up. In Paris we didn't have to pick up our pizzas because the restaurant lent us a knife and fork.

After a long while no other members came to today's club meeting. At least there were none that I saw. Maybe they saw Max and remembered that last year he was a little, short kid, and this year he looks like he's going to be a lot taller than that basketball player, Tony Parker. They might think he is going to explode.

But we stayed for the regulation meeting, until 17:00, and then we did the Group Photo of the Week. Monsieur Ferrat saw this and called us over, so there was a second Group Photo of the Week, under the café's awning where it was sort of dim.

photo, st germain l'auxerrois, interiorWhere Tony Parker got married
last weekend.

I had pointed out the Louvre across the street but Max doubted it. He thought it should have a pointy glass pyramid. So we went over there, into the Cour Carée, and from there into the bigger courtyard where the pyramid sits, and Max was happy with that.

After two more Group Photos of the Week and everything was seen without actually buying any entries, we went back out the way we came in and crossed the Pont des Arts. At the far end Max asked me for the name of the building there and I told him about the Immortals and the dictionary they are working on. He was very impressed. He asked me where to find the cafés with the pinballs.

It's a good question. There's a café near Bastille that might still have one, and we'll probably be going over there tomorrow afternoon when it is sunny and warm as the forecast tonight said it would be. We will see and maybe we will dance too.

News You Can Use III

photo, max drinks orange fizz Demonstration of orange fizz drinking.

Mangled Putin Fish

Last week's surprise news concerned Vlado Putin, catching a fish in Maine, and being in Guatemala where he discoursed in French. This news contained some factual errors and inadvertent bloopers so alert reader Igor, who said he was not a friend, pointed out that G.W. Bush caught no fish at his own ranch which was in Maine and not in Texas, and that Vlado bought a whole mansion in Guatemala for the Olympic thing, and it was Russian fancy skaters who were doing the good moves on the ice rink hand–built by Russians in front of the Guatemalan barbecue joint. Canadian hockey players did not whistle either. In fact no other parts of the original story were true except for the fish which was omitted.

Soldes d'Eté More, Still, Forever

The annual summer sales in Paris began weeks ago on Wednesday, 27. June at 8:00 and they will boringly continue until Saturday, 4. August. Some say a lot of price tickets have been slashed by 50% while others say there are a lot of goods to be flogged and discounts may touch 70% off. After slightly more than a year some of this stuff is still left for you.

About the Café Metropole Club

Slide your mouse towards the club meeting report buried deep in the fathomless universe of the Internet. Speed reading long semi–boring reports is faster than being at tiresome club meetings but only provides a pinhead of the dialogue. The explanation of what we were trying to do here can be found on the beautiful out–of–date About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

Usual Too–tiny Fine Print

Nearly spontaneous as usual, half unrehearsed, partly out of control and again less than two members. Club meetings are actually from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 19. July. These times are virtually the same as to 3 pm to 5 pm around some other places, while meetings are held around here. Whatever you feel like saying will be truly appreciated by the other members present if they are listening, and sometimes they are, but not always.* Your other, totally true, stories are all welcome too. Members like a good joke.

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 keeps you unfound.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the new trend Max expects to start with hand–painted shirts he calls 3 D.

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. July.

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