...Continued from page 1

photo, rue de rennes, boulevard saint germain Crossroads in the Quartier Latin.

It is starting to seem as if Paris is finally safe for the bourgeois because everybody who isn't, is a budding wanna–be. There was a time, not so long ago, that smokers and other antisocials could hang in dim bars and wile away the hours puffing like magic dragons, having a few tiny glasses of wine and discussing the fate of the planet or their favorite European playwrights. Only students do that now.

So I admired folks' recent tans and their hairdos, and quite a number of legs in sheer dark stockings descending from tailored shorts. The closer you get to Saint-Germain the sleeker it gets. So neat, so tidy, so rich, so accessorized with those super supple soft sacks. Even the granite paving stones seemed with it. No cruddy concrete please.

The usual crowd of well–dressed people – people, not folks – were installed on the terraces surrounding the Deux Magots. More leather jackets like silk, scarves, bags, watches like hubcaps, glitter bracelets. You couldn't actually see this because the place is set up with sort of barricades, parasols, frizzy bushes, behind which the custom lurks in near–dark.

photo, cafe deux magotsCafé Deux Magots at Saint–Germain.

The Flore isn't quite the same even if it seems to be the Deux Magots' Siberia. I imagine the hustlers were parked in the Flore while the rich divorcees were at the Deux Magots and the twain was the waiters, but it was always one–way, and the first stop was Lipp across the boulevard, for a little souper to get acquainted.

Meanwhile the sidewalk on the boulevard has always been used by folks to get from one place to another and it's not their fault these establishments are there. These are the shoddily shod, the grubbily garbed, the unshaved and low in tone, ambling on their rounds, slogging through the mobs, hoping the poodles aren't vicious.

Across the way, between the church and the métro entry, just to the west of the snack kiosque, Les Josettes Noires were playing their horns – trombones, trumpets, tubas and French horns, with drums and tambourine – while dressed in electric red white–polka–dotted dresses with red shoes, drawing crowds of the aimless with the cameras and phones, providing fresh melodies for those holding up the church and musical ambiance for the diners at the kiosque.

Usually they're dressed in rags. Street musicians, music students, are not supposed to look as if they've come straight from a rehearsal in Hollywood. Reality gets more like TV every day.

photo, sign, et vous, neon

The Red Shoes Café Metropole Club

There were some folks, all members and a couple of new sign–ins, present at the last meeting and all of us was there. The scribbled notes hardly reflect. No mirror as they say. The next Thursday that everything at the Café Metropole Club will be 100.2% new, will be on 25. September, the day two days into autumn. All members in any form, class, shape, hue, any standing, of any type or creed, will be offered a chair. If you feel like sitting at a table on the terrace, pretending to not be at the meeting, you are more than welcome to find your own chair.

A faint rumor that repetition here will end someday is barely visible. One lousy fact and three–quarter factettes 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 exorbitant fees. Refunds cannot be refunded due to lack of funds. I spent the funds not existing on orange juice.

photo, sign, place du quebec

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Many keen readers might have been thinking that it is apt to recall that it was today in 66 that Nero, the Roman emperor, created the Legion I Italica. The Legion's emblem was a boar, Nero went loopy, the Legion got sent off to Moesia and they camped at Novae for... centuries. In later days, like 1586, the 80 Years War had its battle of Zutphen. Who dares to forget Zutphen? We had this already but today is special, the first day of the first year, was today in 1792, the primidi Vendémiaire de l'an I. Then along came 1869 and Richard Wagner became disgusted because Das Rheingold premiered in Munich on the order of crazy King Ludwig II, who paid for it. A couple of years later the National Geographic Magazine published its first issue today in 1888, but has only inspired a ho–hum entry at Wikipedia. Exactly twenty years later Bulgaria became an independent monarchy, maybe during the reign of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. Dabbling in Balkan Wars continued of course.

photo, sign, le bistro gaulois, neon

Of the 148 births of famous people today from 1515 to 2007, only two are Nobel laureates. These are Charles B. Huggins, born in Canada in 1901. As a physician, physiologist and cancer researcher he shared the 1966 Physiology or Medicine prize with Peyton Rous, for the discovery that hormones could be used to control the spread of some cancers. Chen Ning Yang, born in China in 1922, shared the physics prize in 1957 with Tsung–Dao Lee, for their work on parity nonconservation of weak interaction. Sports, politics and other entertainments made the other 146 birthday folks famous. Finally, it was Philip K Dick who said, "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." That's our little world, folks!

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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