...Continued from page 1

photo, merry go round, metro abbesses Nearly free fun at Abbesses.

The photos on exhibit, by Erica, were very good, and I looked carefully at them all, until I ran into Dimitri, who wanted to discuss where we should try to see the ball drop tonight. As much as art is central to my life, I think most will agree a good party is good for the soul. Grace found some hidden orange juice and served it in an elegant plastic cup like you used to see Koolade in. I was content.

Then there were the photos to do. Back at the office I fell asleep watching the whole history of Peking's Forbidden City. They had their ups and downs, didn't they? After that I tried to get Skype to work. It wasn't until the following day that I figured out that the when the microphone is really plugged in, you are supposed to choose "built–in micro" and not plugged–in micro. Whee, rocket science!

Okay, before I go – write the rest of this nonsense – I wish to wish all a Happy New Year, health and prosperity. Thanks for being along for the ride for another year. There will be more. I might even get serious even if I have no intention of doing so. I know this Paris stuff is important to some, especially if you pay a lot for it – like the folks who live here. Ahh, you know what I mean.

photo, poster, sarkozix

Bring Your Money

Paris wants your money for winter sales,, and in return it is going to give you a big discount. That's right! Starting Wednesday, 9. January, the Soldes d'Hiver take off and continue until February, until the 16th, which is the Saturday following Valentine's Day. Discounts will run to 50% or more on some items. The deal, as for all sales, is first–come first–served. Even if you aren't a shopper, seeing Parisians in riot mode for something other than food, might be amusing.

The Café Metropole Club

Another meeting without totally new members happened at the last club meeting last Thursday, but there were two real members, parttime, just like the week before. Week after week, but still welcome. The next Thursday when everything at the Café Metropole Club will be totally new yet again will be 3. January, with only 4.5 shopping days until the fabulous Soldes d'Hiver. Any kind of members–in–training of any sort will be welcome and if you are reading this, bring a friend.

photo, metro abbesses At Abbesses on Saturday.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 3. January, exactly two days after New Years Day. The Saint of the Day will be Sainte–Geneviève. This is Paris' own saint and she is famous for stumping the Huns in 451 and then she did it again in 464 when she helped Parisians avoid starvation during another siege. The Panthéon was originally built to be her church.

Déjà vu week after flipping week, related to Paris by a slender thread. A fascinating fact plus one rumor about the club and its single slim factoid are on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Some readers who actually have read it, and few have, will no longer be curious about any of the rest of it. If I am wrong as can happen, write your own version. The free membership card for real members is still free if you can print it.

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

photo, sign, villa mont du tonnerre

Who cares that this week 501–odd weeks ago was ten years ago? What's more, Metropole began before that – in the darkest days of 1996, in the unlamented last century. Let us look instead to the future. Which reminds me that a reader wants me to pass along an idea to the mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, about how to build high–rises that nobody will notice. Like the apartments for pigeons I suppose.

Café Life Légère 92.5

Lighter Than Ovid

This totally new Quote of the Week has no connection or relevance to today, yesterday or tomorrow. I suggest one by Ovid, who had some things to say, such as, "In the winter season, for seven days of calm, Alcyone broods over her nest on the surface of the waters while the sea–waves are quiet. Through this time Aeolus keeps his winds at home, and the ocean is smooth for his descendants' sake." Just who are these people?

photo, sign, berry tart

'Patahistory Writ Large

There are no more than O days left of this year, the same number that 1928 had when Siné was born in Paris. He was a cartoonist who launched his own magazine that is well–remembered for its anti–colonialism, anti–capitalism, anti–clericalism and pro–anarchism. A British magazine said his cartoons were "grotesque!" Aide from that, Siné was a member of the French Collège de 'Pataphysique. This was really and truly a philosophy that studied the vague but distant realm beyond metaphysics. Practitioners were 'pataphysicians or 'pataphysicists. Their college was founded in Paris on 11. May 1948 and if Alfred Jarry were still alive he would be chancellor but he died in 1907.

Wobble–Otto Silvester

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 365 days, the same number that 335 had when Saint Silvester died. That was a long time ago, and folks still remember? For some reason, Silvester had a legendary relationship with Constantine which was somehow important to folks during the Middle Ages. In addition, Pope Silvester II, a close associate of Otto III around 1000, named himself after the first Silvester. It was also this one who is recalled on 31. December, when New Years Eve is called Silvester in some countries, like Germany, which is close to:

photo, sign, sugar bowl

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

A few folks have might have been thinking that it is only right and proper to remember that it was today in 1904 that the first New Years Eve celebration was held in Longacre Square in New York. Later the same place became Times Square. Let us not forget that it was this day in 1695 that Britain chose for introducing its window tax. They figured that rich folks had more windows, but didn't reckon on poor folks doing without to avoid the tax. Don't laugh – the French had it too! Victor Hugo once said, "Hélas! Dieu donne l'air aux hommes, la loi le leur vend." Finally, let us take cheer from her birthday, in 1885, of Princess Victoria Adelaide, who I presume died in Schleswig–Holstein in 1970.

Happy New Year et à bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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