Tidbits, Crumbs, Canary Feathers

photo, bazar des ecoles, quartier latin Hold–out in the Quartier Latin.

And the Living Is Easy

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 8. September:–  There isn't actually anything new in this issue. Unlike mainstream news organizations I do not have spare features parked on a shelf waiting for a slow week and no accountant comes in here and tells me to burn inventory before it goes stale or because we have a lot of money tied up in it. No, the truth is we can't have anything in the cupboard. It's as bare as a bone, dry as the Sahara and full of air unsmelt by human noses.

There was so little going on around here that I somehow photographed more than a baker's dozen of new posters during the week between fitful lunges of seeking a new apartment. I went to a totally new agent far off my beaten path and he immediately offered me a flat nearby, second floor, in the heart of the Vegas strip above a beer saloon, for more than I wanted to pay, but hell, I am a beggar these days and in no position to be choosy. The reason I like this new agent is because he phoned back the same day to call off the look–see because it had been rented. All I was out was the time I put in setting my alarm clock. Back to the ads!

photo, quay, conciergerie Our sky last week.

The weather department has been giving us slight periods of sunshine and every third day has showers, some quite fierce. Southern regions not near here have had flash floods. A lot of damage was caused but no lives were lost. From tonight's TV–weather news I gather that our sub–routine temperatures are supposed to rise, which I for one will welcome because there are several weeks to go until the heat comes on.

September Stumbles On

The big news is warmer. Did I say that already? We have been having forecasts of 19 degrees and getting 21 but now we are supposed to believe in 27 for Tuesday. Hah, hah. This is a day that is supposed to begin sunny and then slowly crumble, after 14:00, to semi–sunny with cloudlettes. Watch out for the 60 kph northwest wind in the Channel if you are up that way. Wednesday has tricky weather for all of France but around here it should be semi–mostly–sunny with a high of 25. Thursday presented another tricky map but we should have 90% nice here, again with 25. It doesn't look good for Friday but that's not tomorrow.

Météo Jim informs us, if we read between the lines, that foul weather is rapidly approaching. This shows the utility of these timely reports. Hold off on that beach picnic at Coney Island for a couple of days. The latest details:–

photo, courtyard, musee de cluny Another view of the hôtel de Cluny.

Hanna, Ike and Josephine

American TV has been dominated for the last two weeks by the political conventions and the start of the even sillier–than–anybody–could–have–thought season. If the world had ended, it would not have been on the TV–news.

Also, Tropical Storm Hanna dominated the weather news. All other weather was cancelled. No other weather existed except for Hanna and its approaching friend, Hurricane Ike. The remnants of the storm passed through Pommeland Saturday night and dumped 3 – 5 a–inches. Now, everybody is talking about Ike. Ike was followed by Tropical Storm Josephine, but she abdicated and disappeared from sight.

A la prochaine, Météo Jim

Ed's Note: Except for the salutation which is a hold–over from every last week, the rest of Météo Jim's report was too soggy to read in mixed company. If you are in the path of any of these storms be sure to keep your hot dogs dry.

photo, sign, yellow snail

Café Life

Tidbits, Crumbs, Canary Feathers

I should not worry about having an issue containing not much more than a surplus of posters because I didn't care for tonight's movie on the wide–screen TV. Even its fantastic picture couldn't pump up much enthusiasm for a 1958 drama named Christine set in Vienna, featuring young versions of Romy Schneider and Alain Delon. Vienna is nice if you like schmaltz, because that's its hometown. So I turned it off before Lobheiner had the duel with Baron von Eggersdorf, even though he had dumped the Baroness von Eggersdorf in favor of Christine, and was fatally wounded, and Christine was heartbroken. In real life Romy and Alain got it on and she eventually said, "I have the feeling that I was born in Vienna in order to live in Paris." Alain, of course, is 73 these days. But age has nothing to do with it. Jean–Paul Belmondo is getting a divorce, according to hair salon mag, Voici.

photo, college des bernadinsPope speaks here Friday.

The news is dreary, except for seeing the victory bump jump bump put on by Serena Williams on the TV–news tonight. That was my entire catch from the tennis at Flushing Meadows. On another front Air France is going ahead with equipping itself with some TGVs in order to compete with the cheapo airlines over short hauls. Meanwhile Ryanair says it has six million one–way tickets available in October and November for 10€ a seat. Maybe a good idea to get out of town before the police equip themselves with Tasers, especially with TV–news failing to mention any deaths caused by their use.

Apparently La Défense is having its 50th anniversary. Just imagine, only a short time ago it was merely a westerly line on a map to Nanterre, between Puteaux and Courbevoie. They, those wonderful they, have a plan to put up even more huge buildings out there. Good night and good luck I say.

There was one of our typical freebies over the weekend. With the renovations complete on the Collège des Bernardins in the rue de Poissy the city splashed posters all over, inviting all to show up and inspect it. Good Parisians never miss one of these opportunities and when I got there near closing time on Saturday the line stretched down the block and went around the corner on the boulevard Saint–Germain. The next big deal at this polished relic will be on Friday when Pope Benedict XVI speaks there about the world of culture.

photo, boulevard st michel Students getting their books on Saturday.

Speaking of culture, the American Film Festival is happening in Deauville at the moment. Last night on France–2 actor Samuel Jackson was interviewed by the weekend news guy, who is good at it, but he must have crossed wires because he said Jackson, a Barack Obama supporter, was going to explain why Barack won't win the US election in November. Jackson came on and said, no it wasn't like that, and he was going to do his best to help him win. More news one way and more true the other. He wasn't wearing his Obama t–shirt, like Spike Lee was in Toronto.

Meanwhile it is not true that either Uncle or I would make better running mates for John McCain just because we've both been to Berlin during the bad old days of the Wall and rode the sinister transit strecke through East Germany. Like another club member, Barney the Democratic organizer, Uncle worked for Stars and Stripes on the sports beat during the time that Soviet panzers were poised to race through the Fulda Gap. Me, I counted the panzers on the outskirts of Berlin, going to party there, so there's no need to detail my run–in with the KGB bartender. In short, we are not available, McCain!

photo, sign, green bug no 1

The End of the World

Fresh from his recent triumph in Berlinagain? – our neighborhood starving artist is at it again with a new exhibition across the Atlantic. Believing that everyday objects – the bathroom sink, a toaster – around us signify doom and gloom, Matthew Rose refuses to abandon hope. We in turn refuse to abandon our hope that Matt can find inner peace so long as his glue pot and his paint bucket continue to overflow. Matt's works will give you a strapping chin–up!


photo, illustration, matthew rose, the end of the world Matt's The End of the World.

The End of the World
Collages, Drawings & Terribly Unusual Objects
18. September – 15. October
At the Wm Turner Gallery
The Stove Works, 112 Krog Street, Atlanta Georgia 30307
Tel: 404 577 45 00

The Tango–Prone Café Metropole Club

There was another largish crowd of members present at the last meeting and every single one was welcome. My skimpy notes hardly reflect the fun we had, plus drinks. The next Thursday that everything at the Café Metropole Club will be 100.4% new, will be on 11. September, the day before the Pope arrives. All members in any form, class, shape, hue, any standing, of any hope or creed, will be offered a seat. If you feel like sitting at a table on the terrace, pretending to not be at the meeting, you are more than welcome to sit out there.

photo, sign, rue de pontoise

A feeble rumor that repetition here will end someday is a wobble. One fantastic fact and three subdivisions about the club are on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Readers who have personally read it, and one or two have, may already be club members for life without personal risk or very exorbitant fees. Refunds cannot be refunded due to lack of cash. I spent the money not paid for fees on DVDs.

photo, sign, sparkly goldfish

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Some alert readers might have been thinking that it is not apt to cite booboos here. Shame on you! All the same it was today in 1276 that Pope Jean XXI was elected, the first and last Portuguese to be so honored. The date may be a bit off – anyone for next Saturday? Merely two years later the Principality of Andorra was established by treaty, with two princes, namely Joan Enric Vives i Sicília, the currant Bishop of Urgell and President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy. Andorra is famous for wintersports and nearly no taxes, with the highest life expectancy in the world. Skipping over the Knights of Malta – you could look it up – we bump up to today in 1888 when Jack the Ripper's second victim was discovered. Still unsolved despite all the cops and book writers – more than 200 books – Jack was recently voted worst Briton in all time. Then we have the Occupation and this date in 1943 when Corsican folks in Ajaccio had a successful uprising which led to the island's liberation on 6. October. Many occupiers were Italian, maybe unsettled over Fascism's fall in Rome on 8. September. Finally a little quote from Euripides, "There is in the worst of fortune the best of chances for a happy change." At least that's what he honestly thought, about 2500 years ago. That's our little world, folks!

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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