S u m m e r t i m e

photo, concert stage at bastille, 13 july 2007 Africa rocks at Bastille>.

Ain't It Grand?

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 16. July:–  In 30–odd years of living here I have not seen Bastille Day weather like we have just had. It stopped being a normal, rotten, wet July and the sky became blue and the sun shone upon us all, while the temperature climbed up to southland levels and warmed our hearts and feet. Who than cares a fig if today was to be stormy, cooler and a lot wetter?

Sarkozy Smiled On Us

It just goes to show that crediting the new president, Nicolas Sarkozy, for the wonderful Bastille weather is mainly fair, because he is president as he wanted to be, so he should shoulder the heap of credit for it. I mean, France Météo is just the messenger and it's a wonderful bit of weather they gave us, thanks entirely to President Sarkozy.

Before I can switch back to a mood of total gloom, tonight's TV–news and weather actually had some good tidings. Take Tuesday for example. Up along the northwest coast, also known as the Channel, there will be a line of clouds that might have rain in them but the map seemed to show a slight breeze of 50 kph blowing northeast – while we are southeast of there. All well and good with a temperature of 25 degrees.

photo, max eats pizza Max eats pizza.

That translates into mostly sunny around here and the same goes for Wednesday, with one point off the temperature. By Thursday that line of Channel clouds miraculously shifts to the southeast, leaving mostly clear skies behind. It means mostly sunny again, but with the temperature off by another point, to 23 degrees. It's looking good for the beginning of Paris–Plage next Friday, 19. July.

Users and friends can avail themselves of the following weather forecast or prediction from across the Atlantic, from the resourceful professor of languages, Météo Jim, with yet another philosophic prediction like the ones we used to have in the olden days of hither and yon.

Survival Summer

The summer has survived the release of the i–Phone, les Fêtes nationales des Etats–Unis et de la France, the frenzy of the magical date 07–07–07 and the unveiling of the return of the Fiat 500Cinquecento in Italian. Prices range between 10,500 – 14,500€. Even the Groundhog – who now refers to himself as the i–Hog – has gotten caught up in the hype. Having grown fat both physically and financially from la dolce vita in the Server Lady's garden, he has placed an order for a stretch–Fiat 500. No delivery date has been announced but expect a photo of it in Metropole any day now.

photo, max drinks coca Max drinks.

As the halfway point of July arrives, so too does the halfway point of summer. Already in Pommeland the sun is rising a little bit later every morning. In a week or so, the difference will be noticeable to anyone who rises before noon

The i–Weather this past week saw temperatures and misery indexes in the upper 90s35+ i–Grad on Monday and Tuesday. Relief began to arrive on Wednesday and by Thursday the thermometer was in the lower 80s a–Grad – 28+ i–Grad.

As for the coming week, warmer temperatures – upper 80s a–grad – until midweek followed by a cooling trend as the weekend approaches. Chance of showers almost every day along with isolated chances of this report being correct.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

Café Life

Summertime, Summertime

Time has run out on me again. Owing to the visit of a close relative named Max there is hardly much I can say about the city's new plan of nearly free bikes, called Vélolib'. You can rent the bikes by the day, the week, or by the year. For the latter the fee is 29€ per year and you can ride any available bike for 30 minutes as often as you like. Go over 30 minutes and start paying more. Parisians jumped on the bikes with glee yesterday for the first time.

photo, paris velolib, bike rentalThe Vélolib' setup.

Free WiFi is another city offer starting immediately. All sorts of places will be offering free wireless connections to the Internet all over the city, inside and out. The inside places like libraries and museums will only offer the free WiFi when they are open, but parks and the outdoor Paris–Plage should offer the service from 7:00 to 23:00.

Sightings of the Fiat 500 are still restricted to the original. In fact a quick Web search turns up very few candid photos of the new wundercar anywhere. We will keep our impatience in check, just as we are doing for the iPhone. While waiting, it is only until next Friday that Paris will be without this year's Paris–Plage. As every year, it will be more and better, with a new offshoot up the canal, by Stalingrad. The sand trucks move in tomorrow.

photo, max pours orangina Max pours.

Read more on the companion Bistro page where I have stuffed some slightly limp resto news. There are a couple of photos more than usual, more sunshine than usual, less rain than usual, and a bunch more disgusting behavior. Next week, of course, there will be much more, weather permitting.

The Café Metropole Club

Only one of the club's absent members showed up at last week's club meeting but you know it was Max from Dublin if you read the report. On next Thursday there will be yet another Café Metropole Club meeting. The secretary is less excited by it being a week after the eve of Bastille eve, but a day before Paris–Plage opens, in bikinis and parasols, as the Parisians say.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 19. July, one whole day before you–know–what. The Saint of the Day is Saint Arsenius. He is not any more made up than the others. He died in 449 and was an Anchorite in Egypt, a highly regarded Desert Father, and to atone for having been frivolous in court, he apparently never washed and became extremely stenchy, according to Wikipedia, which I trust to have these pesky facts right.

photo, max at mcdonald's Max at McDo's.

This is unrelated to Paris because it happened somewhere else, someplace maybe in Egypt. You can read everything about the club and its pesky facts on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Readers who actually do read some of it, and some of you might, will not fail to grasp the vagueness of it all, and might attempt to download the club's tattered scrap of a free but utterly worthless membership card.

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

It is hardly surprising that ten years ago was a long time before today. This Metropole used to have real new stuff in it every week. It still has all of this good stuff but some of it is getting pretty old, somewhat like Ed himself who is pickled in brine.

photo, sign, place emile goudeau

Café Life Légère 91.4

A Hundred Other Eyes

Today's Quote of the Week never has any connection to anything at all, any week. Today I propose a one–for–one quote day, with the first and only consisting of some philosophy by Marcel Proust. He wrote, "The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is." This could have been said by any of us, but wasn't, and I know not why.

photo, sign, rue lalande, halte aux immigrants


There are no less than 168 days left of this year, the same number that 1993 had when Stella Rimington became Britain's top internal spy. She immediately had a brochure published which detailed the spooks' activities, and included her own photo. After she retired three years later she published her memoirs, then she began to write spy novels. All the regular spy novel writers, reeling from the collapse of the Berlin Wall, protested with vigor. Nobody ever liked MI5 anyway. Smiley and Bernie worked for MI6.

Banned In the Patazone

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 197 days, the same number that 1967 had when Christopher Rocancourt became born. He moved from France to the United States so he could appear on TV talk shows blabbing about his exploits as a thief, expert in grand larceny, dabbler in smuggling, bribery, fraud and some perjury when the occasion demanded it. It was probably a fib when he admitted to three counts of simple fraud, to avoid a 20 year sentence. He was fined $9 million, and ordered to pay somebody another $1.5 million. Suspected of a jewel heist in Switzerland, he was banned from there until 2016.

photo, sign, les simpson, le film

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Many folks have probably been reminded that today is the anniversary of the death in 1691 of François–Michel le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois, the French minister of war who was able but unscrupulous and shameless. He died suddenly of apoplexy. On this day in 1862 we are also reminded the discovery of the Swift–Tuttle comet and 1994 when Jupiter was hit by some of the Shoemaker–Levy 9 comet, but these incidents were hardly anything major compared to the 49.02 percent of the Corsican voters who voted against ties to France in 2003.

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