...Continued from page 1

photo, bridge, port quai de la gare, library towers Part of Paris' regular program.

I finally found the métro. There was a Twingo beside it full of fresh ferns and bright green lights. I wondered what it meant. The métro was the line 14, all stainless and shiny marble. Looks like the Moscowsubway. I rode it to Saint–Emilion and looked around for Nuit Blanche there. I saw nine photos, one pointy–topped tent and about 2000 people eating outside in the dark. Are they crazy – it's October.

I walked back towards Bercy, still in the dark, lit by the street lights on the speedway beside the Seine. There was a big screen opposite the bridge. It seemed to be showing a condensed black and white version of all the spaghetti westerns ever made, with no sound. It was very arty.

Not actually part of Nuit Blanche, the foot bridge had a splendid show of lights – from boats, other bridges, the passing métros, the Batofar, the finance ministry, the world's biggest library, and a three–masted schooner. It's like one of those ships in a bottle, floating, in Paris. Neat trick getting it in here.

photo, nuit blanche, follow the arrows From the métro, follow the arrows.

The quays were all lit up as if this part of Paris is some kind of Roman plaza. I don't know if they put this stuff in brochures for tourists but the local youth knows about it. There they were, standing around watching movies projected on pirate sails, drinking and dancing in the intermissions. It was like Halloween without the costumes and firecrackers. It goes on all the time on the Quai de la Gare.

Yeah, so most things go on all the time. No need to wait for Nuit Blanche to roll around every first Saturday in October. Of course, in Chinatown, I don't think that lady will be there in her open–air office with her fan. I wonder if she had already eaten. There were some wonderful Indochinese garlic smells up there.

photo, illuminated towers, les olympiades, chinatownLes Olympiades in Chinatown.

Update – Parisians were unprepared for the miraculous rugby win over New Zealand in Cardiff, but they caught on fast. There were an estimated 16–19 million lit TV sets – Le Parisien says they represented 29.4% of the French over the age of 4 – and a lot of them were watching on a big screen at the Hôtel de Ville and they joined a lot more on the Champs–Elysées for the traditional victory riot. Episodes from it were shown on TV news but Le Parisien had photos from everywhere else. All in all, a remarkable Nuit Blanche.

The Café Metropole Club

One of the club's totally new members showed up at the last club meeting, with six other members. Wow! The club's secretary, your average fumblefingers, took some so–so photos. The next Thursday when everything at the Café Metropole Club will be all new will be 22. November. All sorts of members of all standings will be welcome, as well as are all future members regardless of the year. Just tell yourself who you are.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 22. November, merely 6 weeks from now. The Saint of the Day will be Sainte–Cécile. From sheer habit I looked up next Thursday's saint. It's Saint–Firmin who was the bishop of Uzés, in case you are interested. Saints are easy to look up online but they don't always match the French calendar, so good luck!

photo, clock, la vie est belle

More déjà vu again, this is completely unrelated to Paris because it happens some other time and date. Loads of compelling lore about the club and its dual factoidii are on a page titled the About the Club Webpage. Readers who actually have read some of it, and some have, will hardly need to be curious about some of the unwritten rest of it. Should I be wrong, check out the club's dismal but free membership card for clues, odors, secret ink or fingerprints and missing commas.

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

photo, sign, rue lobineau

No one should be surprised that last week ten years ago was a half–dozen days ago. Metropole used to have lots of real new stuff in it, such as Warm Days – Cool Nights, possibly in the Café column, Montmartre Kicks Out Jams, Stomps Grape, possibly was the week's feature, along with some posters and a cartoon entitled Pollution Chez Ed. That was enough although there was more in Issue 2.40 – 6. October 1997 because it is about Ten Years Later today.

Café Life Légère 90.5

Between Two Evils

Today's Quote of the Week has no connection to the the wonderful weather or the high price of ristans. For today's gem of philosophy I suggest a quote by Leo Tolstoy, who wrote plenty of good stuff, such as, "I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives" Phew! Wordy, isn't he? What about this then – "Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before," attributed to who else but Mae West?

photo, sign, photo 1 heure

Timeless In the Patazone

There are no more than 84 days left of this year, the same number that 1582 had when the Georgian calendar was introduced, causing this day to be lost in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain. The problem was that the mean Julian calendar was a bit too long. In France Thursday, 4. October 1582 was followed by Friday, 15. October. The new version calendar skips three Julian leap days every 400 years or some such nonsense. But wait, there's more.

Wobble–G Nights

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 281 days, the same number that 1999 had when a new era began, according to the Coligny calendar, the oldest Celtic calendar. Thought to have been from the 2nd century, it was written in Gallic and Latin, it showed 16 columns with 62 months spread over five years. As it was lunisolar, Julius Caesar said of it, "All the Gauls assert that they are descended from the god Dis, and say that this tradition has been handed down by the Druids. For that reason they compute the divisions of every season, not by the number of days, but of nights – they keep birthdays and the beginnings of months and years in such an order that the day follows the night." So right, too!

photo, sign, vins a emporter

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

A few folks have might have been thinking that it is only reasonable to remember that it was in 1895 on this date that Ahmet Zogolli , or later, Ahmet Zogu, was born. When he was 33 he became quite rightly Zog I, King of Albania, somewhat after being prime minister and later still, president. Friends, of which he had a whole country–full, called him Zoggie and he handily survived over 55 assassination attempts. Albanian assassins couldn't shoot right. In self–defense he created a strong police force and instituted the Zogist salute. His mom became Albania's Queen Mom. Alas, Zog eventually retired to the French Riviera where he became a typical exiled monarch–type recluse with an appropriate lifestyle. The rest, as they tend to say, is history.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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