Spring In View

photo, lux pond, sailboat, ducks Last Wednesday photo of next Thursday weather.

Full Disclosure

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 21. April:–  I was minding my own business such as it was the other day when Uncle Den–Den phoned and snarled about the weather as if I was somehow responsible. In fact it was kind of nearly perfect for late winter one day last week. I know because I was in the Luxembourg taking photos, between passages of cloud and rain. These photos are not supposed to make anyone remember the day they missed. They are a prelude to spring, which is supposed to occur next Thursday. Here are the details:

Promises, Promises

It just goes to show that life in Paris isn't all silver linings. This is reflected in the mi–mi the sky will give us tomorrow. From semi–clear in the morning to semi–semi in the afternoon. Or have I got that backwards? While you puzzle about it, the overnight low may be 10 degrees and the afternoon high will be 18, exactly the same as on the Riviera.

Wednesday looks like it will shape up to be the "last cloudy day," according to tonight's France–2 forecast. Expect the high to be lower at 16 degrees. Then Thursday – POW! – sunny, sunny, sunny. Full disclosure – little frilly clouds, high up, nearly invisible. The trade–off is a high of only 17 degrees. But it's a jolly beginning.

photo, daguerre gang, hotel savoy Daguerréotypes, cutting capers.

Without heavenly observations from Météo Jim's we would be totally unaware of baseball. The season has opened and the Mets are winning, so here is his brief new version of how it will be in Queens:–

Flirty Temperatures

This past week saw temperatures that flirted with the 80 a–grad mark on Thursday and Saturday. Today, Sunday, will see temperatures in the low 60s with clouds and a spritz or two of rain. Friday also marked the 102nd anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake. No weather records were available for that long ago event.

For the coming week, Monday will be a repeat of Sunday. Tuesday, Earth Day, will have a weather day of partly cloudies and a high in the upper 60s. The cloudies will give way to the mostly sunnies and highs in the 70s until the weekend when a cool front will drop the temperatures to the 60s again.

photo, sign, rue charles divry

A la prochaine, Météo Jim

Café Life

Romancing a Lido Babe

After Uncle Den–Den finished snarling about the crummy weather he asked me if I wanted to take in a cocktail with Terrance Gelenter, with a lit discussion and book signing, at Le Select this after. Monday for me is sacred. It's when I watch movies on TV instead of writing reams for Metropole.

About once a month Terrance invites an author he's picked up somewhere. Uncle told me the latest book was about marrying a dancer from the Lido and we'd get to see some of them. To hell with TV!

We found the impressario, and the author Bryce Corbett, holding up the bar of Le Select, trying to corner the hot cocktail snacks. Bryce, who looked like a Sydney lifeboatman, told me he was a newspaperman. I thought, Le Select is a newspaperman's saloon. Or it was 80 years ago. The snacks were good though. I had another, and then got a copy of A Town Like Paris to photograph.

photo, author bryce corbett, a town like paris Bryce Corbett, debut author and father.

When it looked like we had a quorum, after the Princess arrived, we sidled off behind the bar to a secluded area of the café. A young lady who was not a Lido dancer, Hanna Robin, set about unpacking fresh books, CDs, bookmarks, and card–reader. She insisted she was not a Lido dancer, but was representing bookseller W. H. Smith, motto: The English Bookshop.

More folks crowded into Terrance's borrowed cubbyhole. Mickey the house cat woke up. Waiters swirled in and out, tossing drinks around like frisbees. It was turning into a party. I had another snack and dialed overdrive into the camera. Bryce, over the rumble of the rest of the café, told his story. He tried to become acclimatized in France but it didn't click one hundred percent.

I missed the part about meeting the Lido dancer. I'm sure it's in the book. But I heard the other part about her being Australian just like Bryce himself. Did I mention that Terrance told Uncle Den–Den no Lido dancers were coming? Did I mention I have to write this tonight? I took my shots on steroids and got out of there, after paying for my orange juice.

photo, book cover, a town like paris

What did Bryce say? Something about being with someone, being able to laugh out loud together in public. You know, that is something you can do in Le Select. Like the young lady from Smith, taking in fistfulls of euros. Outside on the boulevard Montparnasse a new red Fiat 500 tootled into the empty avenue and puttered off to the west.

Daguerréotypes On the Prowl

Years ago when Nigel came to Europe he used to touch down in the west and then tour the part behind the Wall, checking out the scene in odd corners of the Balkans. In those days there was no scene there but it was cheap, and it's only a bit more expensive today.

Old habits die hard so when Line asked him if he wanted to snoop around in Georgia, at first he thought she meant somewhere near Atlanta. But no, she meant somewhere between Turkey and Russia, at the eastern end of the Black Sea. She was on a NGO mission and Nigel went along.

"Good wine and good food," he reported. He was in Stalin's old home town and saw the statue there. They rode around and checked everything out, except the Caucasus mountains, which were high and covered in snow. Then, on his way back to New York he stopped overnight in the 14th to see the Daguerréotypes. No trip to Georgia complete without... etc, etc.

We ate at the Penguins. They didn't have their special honeyed spare ribs, so everybody had steak. Mine was burnt. Medium on the inside, burnt on the outside. The frites were good and the garlic was great. It was a wonderful reunion, shorter than the last one in December so it's good that we have them often. On the way out Farid caught us admiring his Hotel Savoy so he came out to talk. Everybody has stayed there except the Pope. It costs about the same as three star hotel in Tskhinvali, Georgia.

Clipped On Daguerre

There are several hairdressers in the rue Daguerre but there is only one barbershop. Tony does ladies too, but his place sort of looks like a barbershop. There used to be a lady there who cut my hair the way I liked it and every time I returned she did it better. So I was a bit worried when she left.

photo, tony, lihua, barbers, hairstylists Daguerre barber team, Tony and Lihua.

Then the owner, Tony, cut it and I went to New York and was there two weeks and my hair was hanging in my eyes. Note that New York's water is a lot softer than the hard mineral stuff we have here. My hair turns to fluff over there. After four weeks I looked like I got my hair in the 60s.

I figure Tony will get it right one of these days. What I do like is the shampoo I get first, from Lihua, his assistant. She must think I have really filthy hair because she gives it a foot massage. I always thought it was muscles that appreciated that sort of thing. I wonder what Tony would charge just for the shampoo? You know, go in there and come out with a tingly head without the clipjob.

photo, sign, place andre honnorat

The Fabulous Café Metropole Club

Club meetings with a member is okay with me, but last week there were three, one new. All other members and candidates are welcome, I still promise. The next Thursday that everything at the Café Metropole Club will be 100% new, will be on 24. April, the day spring starts. All members–in–any form, any standing, of any sort will be wonderfully welcome, welcome.

Repetition forever here is slated to end but goes on and on. Several true facts and other false rumors about the club are on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Readers who have actually read it, and one or two may have, may become club members even despite their wishes.

photo, sign, j mire et l lefty, docteurs es magie

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

A few folks have might have been thinking that it is only fair and right to recall that it was today in 753 BC that twins Romulus and Remus, the sons of Rhea Silvia, a priestess who had a thing with Mars, founded Rome. According to Plutarch and Livy Romulus was the first king of Rome, because he bumped Remus off when they had an argument about where it was. Later Romulus added citizens by stealing women from the Sabines. Also today in 1944 women in France got the right to vote, but there was no election that year. Today in 1970 is also mildly famous in Australia on account of the founding of The Hutt River Principality by Leonard George Casley who is known to some as His Royal Highness Prince Leonard I. The Commonwealth of Australia was hardly amused. That's our little world, folks!

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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