Nuit des Freebies

photo, nuit des musees, waiting for louvre, sunset Ticketless folks line up for Saturday night at the museum.

Open Doors Season

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 19. May:–  For those who were troubled by envy of our great summer weather the situation has returned to normal, as in, it is spring again and the heavens can split apart allowing tons of hailstones to fall on our heads, crops, roads, underground parking lots and ships at sea, unless they are fisherfolk blocking ports in protest over the high cost of fuel. Whether we have summer in spring or spring in spring, life trumps minor details.

Bizarre Ordinary Normal

It just goes to show that indignation has no effect on the weather but you already knew that. We slid backwards from unearned summer to unwanted spring and the weather birdies on the TV–news were saying that the times in the sky were grave. After being higher than normal we regressed to less than normal, but it turned out not to be permanent and coming up we are now to have normal. As the French say, "Jamais!"

photo, brake lights, porte du louvre There's a lot of color outside too.

Tonight, with no strike, a normal night believe me, the TV–news had a straightforward forecast. There is a high somewhere over Helgoland in the North Sea which will be causing rain in Nice and Corsica but not here. Tuesday should be semi–to–better sunny with a high of 21 degrees, allegedly normal ! On Wednesday it may even be sunnier and calm – no northeast winds – and the temperature might be 21 again, because it's so normal. For Thursday clouds press from the west but we should hold up as mostly sunny, unless it becomes normal. Expect 22 degrees, one point above absolute normal.

Astute observations from Météo Jim lead to horse racing. Every forecaster has his minor quirks, but usually it's baseball. Here, the ultra brief version of how it will be in and around greater Pommeland:–

Not a Nor'easter!

On a sunny Saturday afternoon at the Pimlico race track in Baltimore, Maryland, Big Brown made a dash for the finish line and won the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown. Three weeks from now, the third leg will be run at the Belmont racetrack in Paris ouest, also known as Queens, New York. Will Ed, Ric, Radio Ric and his cousin Radial Ric who works for Michelin take their summer vacation a few weeks early so they can come west, make a friendly bet, win a few euros, and return to Paris est in time to use their winnings on les Soldes d'été?

photo, sign, door handle

As for le temps d'été, last Monday saw a nor'easter develop and visit Pommeland. For those not familiar with the term, a nor'easter is a low pressure system that sits out in the ocean and the winds turn in a counter clockwise direction. It is a miniature hurricane and can sometimes stay in one place for days.

A storm system will arrive from the west and bring clouds, temperatures in the 50s and wind on Monday. As far as is known, it has no intention of becoming a nor'easter. As for the rest of the week, see Metropole from two weeks ago. For corrections, see page 67 of this week's issue.

A la prochaine, Météo Jim

photo, sign, rue roger

Ed's answer: No.

Café Life

Nuit des Freebies

Maintaining an ancient tradition all of four years, Saturday night was the occasion for a couple of hundred museums to be open with come one come all, until about midnight, and despite several exceedingly important football matches tens of thousands of Parisians forsook their television sets and were out traipsing around in the dark, taking tastes of nocturnal culture because it was too much of a good, free, thing to pass up.

Don't get me wrong, where was I? Out on the traipse with everybody else and I got so carried away that I overshot my quota of photos. Only needing four or five I came home with 125. What a schmozzle! Luckily nothing will go to waste – burning the spares will keep me in free incense for weeks.

photo, cour napoleon, statue, louvre A fancy lobby in the old style.

To have the absolute tip–top info to guide me through the high–brow evening I purchased the official paper, Le Parisien. But none of its tips suited me. Who wants to caper around in Rodin's garden in the dark? I picked none of the above and hooked a métro to get to the Louvre, the world's foremost and most gigantic hypermuseum, home of the smiling lady and the winged flying thing plus warehouses full of ancient evening's Egyptiana.

I was not disappointed. Thousands of folks were standing in line to enter via the Pyramid which is copyrighted and you must have permission to merely gaze upon it so I am not admitting I took any photos of it, nossir. I took photos of its reflection in the various pools surrounding it. Reflections are very temporary items, unsuitable for copyrighting. If there is no water handy it is okay to use glass, as in windows, even the Pyramid's.

So anyway, these thousands were strung out all over the Cour Napoléon, gossiping, sipping their eternal waters, humming, trading baseball cards and generally having a stand–around time until allowed to enter only to be replaced by yet more citizens willing to loiter for a freebie. I could have watched them for hours because Saturday's rain and hail happened about six and we weren't flooded after all like they were Friday in Toulouse and Lille, at opposite ends of the country.

photo, rue de rivoli, palais royal, traffic Outside of the Louvre at Palais Royal.

After the Louvre I decided to skip the 196 other attractions and take a métro zip to the Grand Palais. I certainly didn't think I would get in – I have not been in the Louvre since one rainy Sunday in November of 1978 – but maybe the folks would be distraught or antsy – who knows? Revolution is never far off in France especially now with the cost of diesel fuel exceeding the cost of super gas which is flipping high! Plus Paris' football team PSG might wake up Sunday morning in the second division.*

There were only a couple of people going up the stairs to the Grand Palais. There were several hundred folks huddled around the corner in the dark I didn't notice at first, but I kept clear of them. That part was for paintings anyway. I wanted to, if possible, see Richard Serra's beautiful steel slabs in the big part of the Grand Palais – and was I surprised to get in! No frisk, no pat down, no peek in the bag. Just walk right in and gawk.


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