...Continued from page 1

photo, saint eustache church, les halles Saint–Eustache sails above Les Halles.

It was like a high school reunion – of all the high schools in the Paris region. Thousands, ten of thousands, mostly dressed in black, with the only people over 25 being the police. Sheer masses of numbers, up close and blocks away. In all the streets around – Lescot, Berger, Saint–Denis, Ferronnerie, Quincampoix and on Sébastopol.

I found Total Musique on Sébastopol closer to Rivoli. This is a shop of two floors that sells musical instruments. These days it means DJ and Home Studio equipment, plus many amplifiers for guitars and drums without amplifiers. It was crowded too. There were honks, and blatts, skeeks, and electric humming. These were, I imagined, folks that the recording industry claims are pirating music – folks that will be asked to pay a tax on guitars and blank CDs, and studio recording tools.

photo, football at beaubourg Kids playing football next to art.

Over at Beaubourg the usual crowd was watching and listening to a freelance performer, doing some kind of hip–hop. So rapt were they. So controlled – an audience, just as if they had paid for their seats, standing in the cool as the sun went west and down in the direction of the Tour Eiffel.

Then I went down to Rivoli and beat west against the shopping crowds there, to eventually get back to the métro where I started. If anything the underground was even more clogged, with the addition of frazzled shoppers – with their prizes from the sales and the new curtain rod from the vast hardware emporiums. That's Châtelet all right.

Soldes for You in Paris

Bring money for winter sales,, and in return Paris will give you a big discount. The Soldes d'Hiver continue until February, until the 16th, which is the Saturday following Valentine's Day.

The Café Metropole Club

All club meetings with three members is fine with me, such as the one last week. All other members and prospectals are still welcome. The next Thursday everything at the Café Metropole Club will be 100.5% new, on the 31. January, in the long month of January. Any members–in–any form, any standing, of any sort will be welcome, anyways and always.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 31. January, exactly a paragraph after repeating it already. The boring Saint of the Day is banned, sent to perdu. Instead famous days to forget, such as Thursday's McDonald's Day, which celebrates the opening in 1990 of the first American fastfood burger joint in Moscow, former capital of the USSR. "We will bury you!"

photo, sign, brass and marble doorknob

Sickening repeats forever, related to Paris by a long and invisible but slender thread. A minor fact plus one erroneous rumor about the club and its lone CMYK factoid are on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Readers who actually have read it, and three or four might have, need not do it again. If I am wrong as has happened, write your own version. The free membership card for real members is still more free than ever. Whatever is asked for it, it's cheap.

Metropole a Real Long Time Ago

Who, exactly, cares about the past? An ordinary decade is ten years, yet it was only 7 years ago that the Café column had Legends, Legends, Au Bistro raved about the Fast Driving Minister, and there was a feature about I Love You On Montmartre. There were four posters too, and a cartoon, titled Win at Monte! Win at Dakar! That was really all in Issue 6.04:– Monday, 22. January 2001 and I'm still losing sleep over it.

photo, sign, rue hippolyte maindron

Café Life Légère 93.3

Incredible Winston

This week's lame Quote of the Week has a slight connection or relevance to today, but none to last week or next week. Take one by good old Winston Churchill. He had a lot of things to say, such as, "Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe... No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all–wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." I get it – worst but better than worser.

photo, sign, brass doorknob

'Patahistory of Eureka

There are no more than 337 days left of this year, the same number that 1754 had when Horace Walpole coined the word serendipity. It is a word derived from an old Persian fairy tale, such as Archimedes' shout of Eureka when when he figured out what his body's specific gravity did with the water in his bathtub. However Julius Comroe Jr. caught its essence with, "Serendipity is looking in a haystack for a needle and discovering a farmer's daughter."

Wobble–Barbecue Elephant

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 28 days, the same number that 1871 had when the Siege of Paris ended. Bismarck had the city bombarded with huge cannons, so the folks surrendered, and Bismarck had a little victory parade on 17. February. Bismarck sent trainloads of food to Paris because hungry Parisians had eaten all the dogs, cats, horses, rats and pigeons they could catch, as well as Castor and Pollux, the beloved elephants from the zoo.

photo, sign, four doorknobs

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 1887 that the world's biggest snowflakes were recorded in Fort Keogh, Montana. Of course this was compared to 1922 when it snowed in Washington, DC so much that the roof of the Knickerbocker Theater caved in, killing nearly a 100 folks. But really we should remember this day in 1855 when the first transcontinental train rolled from gray Atlantic to blue Pacific, a whole 48 miles across the isthmus of Panama. Finally, let us not forget today's death of Charlemagne in 814. This son of King Pippin the Short had four wives and six known girlfriends, and fathered 18 kids. Bravo!

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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