A Little Overcolorful

photo, group, kim and ed hurwitz Kim and Ed, the illustrious Group of the Week.

On a Blowy, Gloomy Day

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 9. August:–  This week we have a change of scenes in the sky. Our rotten weather isn't coming from the Atlantic. It is, like, home–grown, nearly. There's a low over eastern France, Switzerland and the Black Forest that is spinning counter–clockwise, and dumping on us from the north or the northeast. In the east record amounts of water are falling out of it.

At least that's what the France–2 TV–news said tonight. They showed folks swimming in their towns and said some parts of Switzerland were having the most rain in 100 years. Today's Le Parisien seemed to be unaware of this, or they bumped the news to include a statement by Raymond Domenech, the national football team trainer, manager, sélectionneur. Ah, football is back. Much more important than all the flooded folks!

photo, bouquinistes, gray skyThe Sky of the Week.

Tuesday night it rained hard and I think it might have rained all night because the pavements were still damp the following noon. It's been raining off and on, and it has mostly been raining seriously. No sissy drizzles. On top of it the thermometre has been stuck below 20 degrees.

Predicted for tomorrow around here, abundant rain in the morning, letting up in the afternoon but continuing to threaten. Somehow, a high of 22 is foreseen. For Saturday the ample, blond and dainty Valerie Alexandre forecast a day of chaotic skies without actually pronouncing the word, rain. Temperature forecast was 23 degrees.

Plan on staying put until Sunday when it just might be semi–sunny with half of the semi consisting of clouds. If the temperature hits the forecast we will feel a bit better with its 24 degrees. I have seen some people around who are wearing winter clothes, like I have not seen since the winter of 2005–06. Climate change is a mirage, of course.

Concurrently In Pommeland

New York: – Early yesterday morning, the augustinian woofies were not only woofing, they were howling at the top of their voices. Pommeland, as well as La Grosse Pomme, received 3 a–inches – 7.5 e–middle–metres – of rain in ONE hour. In addition, parts of Brooklyn were hit by a tornado with winds estimated to have been between 110 mph – 130 mph. Not only were things above ground disrupted but the sewer system could not handle the tremendous amount of water from the rain. The heavenly liquid backed up into whatever openings it could find. This meant the subway system. As a result, most of La Grosse Pomme was without subway service for most of the day.

A la prochaine, Soggy Météo Jim

The A Little Overcolorful Report

You can tell it is August because the bakery that was closed all July has reopened, but with new owners. And they do not make their bread exactly like the people you got used to. Other than that this two–week period has the most closings for holidays. On the way to the club I did not get my Le Parisien at the usual place and I forgot the back–up kiosque, while I took some poster shots of posters I do not want to see as Posters of the Week, but will probably run because there aren't any others.

photo, orange juice Drink of the Week hardly orange or juicy.

So, as you can imagine, staying in Paris in August is like camping out. On the way back from the club I went into the Monoprix to get a paper. I usually only get them from the paper kiosques because they don't sell grapefruits or noodles, which I usually get at the Monoprix. Here's a hot summer tip – Monoprix actually has unoccupied cashiers these days. No waiting!

Crossing the Pont Neuf was another place not to take photos. It was windy and the sky was gray and lumpy, and the Seine looked like choppy slate. There didn't seem to be an awful lot of sunbathers on Paris–Plage. The drivers in the traffic jammed on the Quai du Louvre were probably enjoying being cool as well as being stalled.

In short, it was like Paris always is when its Parisians jump in their cars and race off, to trade a month on the overpriced and snooty Riviera for 11 months in overpriced and snooty Paris. When they are here we are all in the merde together. When they are gone it is really boring, but still overpriced.

When I got to the club's café there seemed to be a gale blowing across the street. In the grande salle I noticed there were many more – dare I say? – refugees, than usual. I didn't look carefully to see if they were all nose down in onion soup. The frites did look good though.

After I got set up in the club's location at the back of the big room a lot more pilgrims wandered in and colonized many of the surrounding tables. Six Italian ladies beside me ordered bowls of spaghetti. It looked like it was poured out of cans. They washed it down with 5€ glasses of Coca. I must remember it if I ever go to Italy. I mean, never say I've come from Paris.

Well there I was, and with no paper to read. The Waiter of the Week was very busy but he still had time to shoot me black looks – until somebody would yell, "More onions, more frites, more Coca!" So nice to see so many cold and tired folks getting happy without guzzling wine.

photo, mr ferrat, corona terrace Mr Ferrat surveys café's terrace.

I busied myself, in this rare found time by writing some notes about Metropole's upcoming companion Website. Metropole will continue to have words with pictures and the new one will have pictures with words. Other than this they will be completely different but will both be about Paris. And New York. Both of both.

I was not completely unaware of my surroundings. I kept thinking of the 30 new friends I met last week, wondering where they are. My conclusion – social networking isn't all it's cracked up to be. If I had had cards to hand out I would be wondering why they were tossed in the trashcan. Then I became aware of somebody looming over the club's table.

It was members from heaven! To be precise, Kim and Ed Hurwitz from Sanibel in Florida. Of course, this is later after I respectfully hinted that they should remind me of their names. At first Ed said, "From Sanibel," but that was the part I did recall without the prompt. Yes. That's the place in Florida that has hurricanes sometimes, like the last time Kim and Ed were here, and the French family whose place they were in, was there.

Ed told me that he bought a phone card, for either 7.50€ or 15€, and he could talk for 5000 minutes with it. I have meant to to tell readers about these cards, which can be used with fixed telephones, but I have no idea how they work. Ed was amazed about the 5000 minutes. Like, he said, years–worth of talking on the phone. I thought one would only get 300 minutes on those cards. Whichever, a whole lot cheaper than France Télécom, cheaper than a SIM card for your own GSM phone.

photo, gray sky, tabac, louvreMore of today's lousy sky.

Kim said in the apartment they rented, that the TV is broken, and the elderly PC had died. Other than that there was cable TV and DSL and the only chore they had was feeding the goldfish. They accepted this kind of deal because they have a condo for rent in Florida – in fact, that's why Ed got the jumbo–minutes phone card.

They said, after 15 years of visiting France, that when they were working they came without computers or telephones and didn't buy phone cards, but now that they have tenants they need all that stuff.

Then Kim asked me some questions about speaking French. I suggested, before I heard about the defect TV, that she listen to Valerie Alexandre doing the weather on France–2. This Valerie, I don't know if she has less time than the other weather folks, but she talks very fast. If you feel like a bit of speed–listening, catch her act!

That obviously was no help as a suggestion so Kim began speaking French, telling me about folks in the markets down south, and about her professor of French in Florida, and he sounded like a real philosopher. On top of it Kim was making the effort to learn ten new and unusual words a day or a week. I never heard of any of them before.

With regret I reminded her that many Parisians were out of town, being down south and talking to those very same people on the markets who are ripping them off because they are snooty Parisians. She sighed. I sighed. Ed asked me if I'd seen the Rock'n'Roll show at the Fondation Cartier. I didn't get a chance to say that I had seen it years ago on TV, on Les Enfants du Rock.

photo, dog on leashYou expected, the Dog of the Week?

Then they told me about the free show at the Espace Electra. Run by the EDF with money I pay for electricity, they have a show about electricity and how fast you can use a lot of it. Ed said it was very interesting, very well presented. I was glad to hear that EDF is using my money wisely.

Luckily, Kim and Ed had dropped in because sooner or later it was time for the Group Photo of the Week and having a couple of members in it is always better than having none. By this time, beyond 5, the café was nearly empty – must have used up all the onion soup – and the café's terrace was about the same, except for Monsieur Ferrat handing out menus to likely–looking passersby. I did click and click and Kim cracked up, but the light was very low, and it blurred. The rest were fine, if a little overcolorful.

News You Can Always Use

WiFi For Email Addicts

Cyber cafés may be a bit thin on the ground in Paris but the city has begun offering free access to the Net via the magic of WiFi. This note has been here so long that it's turned into blah–blah. Just remember, although this WiFi is free, you do have to supply your own computer.

Soldes d'Eté Finally Over

The annual summer sales in Paris continued until they ended on 4. August, last Saturday. Until the Soldes d'Hiver start try and remember this.

About the Café Metropole Club

Treat your mouse to a club meeting report buried fathomless in the deep archive of the Internet. Speed–skimming long semi–boring reports is faster than being at tiresome club meetings but only provides a smidgen of the real goods. An explanation for what we are doing here may be unconvincing but can be found on the dubiously named About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

Speed Written Gobbley Fine Print

Nearly spontaneous as ever, half unrehearsed, semi out of control and again less than three members. Club meetings are actually from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 16. August. These times are not virtual but are the same as from 3 pm to 5 pm around some other places, while meetings are held around here. Whatever you feel like saying will be completely appreciated by the other members present if they are here and listening, and sometimes they are, but not always.* Your other, absolutely true, stories are all welcome too. Members like jokes if they are funny.

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. To stay unfound refuse membership.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the Paris phone cards with 5000 minutes. No one needs to ever go home with this many.

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, 16. August.

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