...Continued from page 1

photo, a churro in the eye, friday, montparnasse Close enough for a churro in the eye.

At the big place the cinemas splash around their blue neon, the pharmacy flip flops green neon crosses and Hippo glows in red neon. Somehow this mixes in the air, making everyone extras in a technicolor movie far beyond the rainbow, a reality that makes Disney pastel in comparison. Maybe its just because the camera was set to vivid like it always is. Well darkness had crept closer so there was deepening black too. Not, you know, like black velvet. Our nighttime black was crisper than velvet even if it was soft.

Friday night meant the roller rando so I hung around the métro entry in front of the Miramar cinema, waiting for the horde on wheels to glide down from the station. You see some people you might like to meet, and then you see them hook up with dudes they've been waiting for. Isn't that the way? Very few seemed to go in the cinema right there, but there's another multiplex around the corner on Odessa, and two more across the boulevard.

photo, metro exit, montparnasseMétro exit by the cinema.

It was just before ten so I crossed the street to see if I could get up on the patio overlooking the place but it was blocked off. Back down I went out in the place and on one of the bus islands, took a look around. Traffic was light for a Friday. Three cyclists scooted across in a lull, going totally the wrong way.

There was a story about cops from Spain and Belgium patrolling with Paris' flics. Concern about our behavior knows no borders, so I did wonder why there didn't seem to be any law around. All those people, out for good times on Friday night, and their pockets weren't worth searching, their mouths weren't worth testing? Maybe all the Olympic drug snoops are concentrated on the autoroutes.

photo, place juin 1940, montparnasse, smart in the dark The big place with a Smart in the dark.

The rollers must have gone the other way, south on avenue du Maine. I went up Odessa to Edgar Quinet and ripped off a last set of shots of the café Liberté. It came out all red and yellow, like a café version of hell. Blew the vivid away! I couldn't fix it. It was way off the scale. That's hell for you. All the other photos were pretty much as they came out of the camera – Photoshopless.

I didn't make any of this up. Montparnasse looks better when you can't see it clearly. I guess that goes for most places. When I got home I unscrewed the filter and washed the churro grease off it. There's a rumor the coming cameras will have audio and video capabilities, but I wish they could capture smells. Churros have a smell all of their own.

photo, sign, rue charles divry

Deux Sous for the Café Metropole Club

There were a largish crowd of members present at the last meeting and the secretary was glad to see them even if he had a paper to read. I would rather hear your stories so there's something to report even if it's tropical. Regular members and new candidates are welcome. The next Thursday that everything at the Café Metropole Club will be 102% new, will be on 21. August, a short 10 days before the nominal begin of the fantastic rentrée. All members in any form, class, shape, hue, any standing, of any sort will be greeted like heros even if you feel like sitting at a table on the terrace, pretending to not be at the meeting.

A distasteful rumor that repetition here will end someday is a canard. Three terrific facts and one oblique hint about the club are on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Readers who have personally read it, and one or two may have, may already be club members for life without personal risk or very exorbitant fees, so it is probably unnecessary.

photo, sign, avenue des champs elysees

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Some of you have might have been thinking that it is especially appropriate to remember that it was today in 293 BC that the oldest – the first? – temple dedicated to Venus was founded in Rome. For the occasion the priest of Jupiter cut up cute little lambs on the altar, broke grapes with his hands, and intense drinking broke out, according to Festus. However in Syracuse they had Venus with a pretty bottom although she, Venus Kallipygos, was considered to be an ancestor – like maybe Aphrodite? – of the Romans. Moving right along we come to 1868 when Pierre Jules César Janssen discovered helium, an invisible, colorless, odorless, non–toxic, inert, monatomic, element, number one of the gas class on the periodic table with atomic number 2. Don't ask how Janssen found it but he did. Then, today in 1903 there was Karl Jatho who flew his own powered glider, some four months before the first flight by the Wright Brothers. Still, this was four years after the first flight by Gustav Albin Weisskopf in Pittsburgh in 1899. He even changed his name to Gustave Albin Whitehead to make it more likely. Actually Gustave probably flew again on 14. August 1901 in Fairfield, Connecticut – still years before Jatho and the Wrights – witnessed by real folks and reported in the Bridgeport Herald by sports reporter Dick Howell. As of this writing the Smithsonian has not reacted positively to the news. That's our little world, folks!

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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