...Continued from page 1

photo, deux magots cafe, night The Deux Magots in Saint–Germain.

Between the electric wheel and the sky Concorde was somewhere in the dusk, beneath a flag floating above the Grand Palais, with the golden Hotel Crillion overlooking the place while the Champs–Elysées emptied its blue splashed cars into the carousel of circling red lights as unlit pedestrians risked the crossings, and those already safe gathered around the waffle kiosks at the base of the wheel.

Just the kind of atmosphere that lends Paris its aspect of perpetual circus. In the Tuileries mallards were floating in the golden puddle of reflection from the big wheel and there were still a few collapsed souls in the metal chairs – alas, unheated, and few remember to carry soft cushions on a Saturday in January. I wondered, would Louis XIV have approved? Would he have said, "Let there be fireworks!" And violins.

Matt Has Some ABC for You

photo, pond reflection, big wheel, tuileries In the Tuileries.

Matthew Rose, a pal of Metropole, has written, painted, spindled, folded and printed a little book titled Mister Rose's ABC Book for folks who need reminding about their ABCs or are just learning. It is in full color with 28–odd pages, and simple words, and the publisher – who is none other that Matt himself – wants you to buy it today. I've seen it – it's certainly worth the 10€ he's asking. There's postage too, but it's still less than the book price. Matt will even hand–sign your copy. Buy lots a copies and Matt will give a nice discount. After you hit this buy Matt's ABC Book link , think of Matt carrying your new book to La Poste in person, as simple as ABC.

Paris Has Some Soldes for You

Bring your money for winter sales, and in return Paris is going to give you a big discount. That's right! On Wednesday, 9. January, the Soldes d'Hiver take off and continue until February, until the 16th, which is the Saturday following Valentine's Day, slightly before May Day. Discounts will run to huge or more on some items. First–come first–served even if you aren't a shopper. Seeing Parisians in riot mode for something other than food will be a rare sight.

The Café Metropole Club

A club meeting with one member is fine with me, such as the one at the last club meeting. All other members and prospects are still welcome. The next Thursday everything at the Café Metropole Club will be 102% new, yet it will be 17. January, in the terrible middle of the month. Any members–in–good form, any standing, of any sort will be welcome, if you can read this.

photo, traffic on rivoli On Rivoli again, later.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 17. January, exactly one paragraph later than I mentioned it already. The boring Saint of the Day is fini, over, out of here. Instead we will have famous days to forget, such as Thursday's David Jones Day. In 1966 David chose this day to become David Bowie, so nobody would think he was Davy Jones of the Monkees. He said, "America is a very puritanical place, and I think it stood in the way of so much I wanted to do."

Déjà vu forever, related to Paris by a long and slender but strong thread. A dull fact plus one brilliant rumor about the club and its lone orange factoid are on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Readers who actually have read it, and two or three have, need no longer be curious about any of it. If I am wrong as can seldom happen, write your own version. The free membership card for real members is still free. Whatever is asked for it, it's a bargain.

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

What is this fixation with the past? An ordinary decade is ten years, yet it was only 12 years ago that the Café column had The History That Wasn't, Au Bistro ranted about the unemployed and there was something about the Captain Dreyfus and Mr. Zola. Without question there were posters, and a cartoon, titled The Unemployed – On Strike! That was enough in Issue 3.02:– Monday, 12. January 1998 and I'm still losing hair over it.

photo, sign, rue maurice de la sizeranne

Café Life Légère 92.9

Bless Her Heart

This unique new Quote of the Week has a connection or relevance to today, but none to yesterday or tomorrow. One by Anaïs Nin is appropriate. She had some things to say, such as, "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Anaïs, bless her little heart, died today in 1977 in case you forgot.

Panipat 'Patahistory

photo, sign, passage alexandre

There are no more than 351 days left of this year, the same number that 1761 had when the Battle of Panipat was fought for the third time, between the Afghans and the Marhatas, which changed the course of :India's history, as they say. The French supplied artillery and trained the Marhatas, while the Afghans were led by Ahmad Shah Abdali, of the Durrani Pashtuns. According to the best military–historico sources the Marhatas failed because they went to war without friends while the Afghans brought everybody and his brother.


This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 14 days, the same number that 1858 had when Felice Orsini attempted to blow up Napoléon III because he thought the French monarch was the main obstacle to Italian independence. Like the smokers he thought the French would rise in revolt but he was wrong too. He had three bombs made and tested in Britain and they went off in the rue Le Peletier as the emperor was on his way to see William Tell by Rossini. Eight bystanders were killed and 142 wounded, and Orsini was caught, convicted and guillotined. Napoléon and Eugénie saw the show from their box at the theatre as if nothing had happened.

photo, sign, pan and princess, bas relief

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 1913 that the Greek army defeated the Turks at Bizani in one of those Balkan wars, but it's possible the date is incorrect. On the other hand we are pretty sure about the date in 1967 for the first Human Be–In at Golden Gate Park. Today also marks the death of Ray Kroc, in 1984. However it was Richard and Maurice McDonald who started McDonald's in 1940 in San Bernardino. They began with a hot dog stand in Monrovia called the Airdrome and with the money from its sale they invented fast food, the term as well as the notion. The same year as Kroc died, Dick McDonald served the 50 billionth burger.The first one, he cooked too. The original location McDo's was demolished in 1976. So much for idle history.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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