Lucky In Paris

photo, lucky in paris Lucky was this week's Group of the Week.

Obamafest In Berlin

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 24. July:–  Unlike last week this week has been a new week. For one thing the sun has been shining and the clouds have been lurking elsewhere. The other thing new about the week is that it started with this year's edition of Paris–Plages. Yes, the official name is plural because there is one less beach than last year. Those who insist on spending an afternoon or evening at the Batofar will have to put up with sitting on their chairs rather than official sand. It is sad that not all things are perfect. Like our world, we will just have to learn to manage with less no matter what kind of a lousy migrane results.

Since today began at noon I have been wearing a new sport shirt, a cheap one I got from the Soldes d'Ete last year. Even through the bad days of the beginning and middle of July I have had my windows open all the time, partly to catch the sound of the wind rattling the leaves on the big tree in the courtyard. It makes me think I might be near a Mediterranean seaside, rather than being in the same town as the biggest terrace in the world. Ain't summer wonderful?

photo, brown beer Brown Beer of the Week.

Today the sky was mostly blue from horizon to horizon, from top to bottom and stretching to every point of the compass. It was more than slightly breezy and the temperature was about 27 classy degrees. Mobs of tourists were over and under the Pont Neuf, dropped off by monster mob transporters, and sandwich hustlers along the quai du Louvre were were pretending not to moan about all the goodies being sold on the plage across the street. More, semi interesting, but monotone weather details follow the club report.

The What's New of the Week Club Report

Last night was another one of those color film sundowns and I went out to try camera tricks at our terrace along the Seine. This caused no end of trouble fooling with Photoshop until early this morning, until I killed the night by reading part of Mr. Obama's book. I find it amazing that he was a kid running around barefoot in Indonesia. Did he say to his mates, "Think twice before you put that frog down my shirt, because I will be president of the world someday!" Then try to imagine him barefoot.

But the fun had to stop and I went to sleep. I wish I could say I dreamed of elephants and their industrial union like the CGT, the one they turn to when they feel overworked and stressed from hauling logs around the jungle all day. Some people dream of demons and I dream, sometimes, of labor relations for elephants.

photo, empties in paris Our tidy group of empties.

Yes, yes, I did go to the club today. The Paris–Plage thing looked different in daylight. The blue sails waving against the watery–blue river under the blue sky made me think of Walter Von Gog cutting off his nose because the colors were too intense or the garlic too formidable. France is a place of powerful sensations and you never know when one is going to whack you in the forehead.

In fact I had an ordinary trip on the métro. There weren't many new posters on the kiosques, but that's a fact of summer life. People always ask why I don't just re–run ones you've seen already. Let me just say that the city re–runs posters. There! I've said it, now everyone knows. Posters in Metropole are never re–runs, unlike some other stuff.

There I was in the grande salle of the Corona, about to read episode 4 of the non–important radiation leak from the nuclear electric factory, when member Lucky Checkley Jr. appeared, hovering over the table. "Lucky!" I shouted. "It must be Tour de France time!"

Lucky comes every year from New York City to take photos of the big bicycle race, but somehow we missed each other last year. Maybe I was in New York on account of all the sad bicycle dope stories. This year it appears as if all the dopers have been caught, and now the race, somewhat depleted, can finish in glory in Paris. We can hope.

photo, looking east, paris plageEastern view of Paris–Plage.

Actually Lucky said, "What's new?" I hadn't read the paper yet so I asked him about the waterfalls installed on the East River. He said he intended to see these one day, and then remembered Cristo's windows in Central Park. "The waterfalls have no spray," he said.

He also said that he had started saving money for the trip months earlier than usual. Times are certainly tough all over. Everybody is complaining about how cheap the French have become, especially the minister of Finance. She's lucky people are even going on holidays, even if they are going camping. Restaurant operators are complaining that too many folks are grilling their own sausages outside their tents.

Lucky showed me his new camera, a Lumix. A neat little thing with a super–zoom. I showed him mine. He said it was heavy. Then he told me about the Mermaid Parade in June at Coney Island. I was dumbfounded. Nobody told me about any mermaids in Brooklyn before. How long have I been missing out on this?

We had a royal tour of the horizon, touching on holy pixels, the movie Goodbodies and other subjects like Obamamania, which by coincidence is raging in Berlin today. While we were so busily engaged we also arranged to receive some drinks, like some cool brown beer and some orange orange juice. We went out on the café's terrace for Lucky's Group Photo of the Week and came back concerned that witnesses might want his autograph.

photo, looking west, paris plageWestern view of Paris–Plage.

It was great to see and talk to Lucky again. He brought up an idea he said I told him, about how I can get rich and famous by recycling the cartoons. I don't remember ever wanting to be famous. Lucky had all the details. He's a wheel at the School of Visual Arts so he probably knows how to do it. Actually he had another idea too, even more work, about us running a cartoon resort in France.

Me, I think if I wanted to learn the cartoon racket, I wouldn't want to be doing it in some hot and smelly cow pasture when I could be lounging by the dock of the bay, say, at Saint–Tropez. What's the use of cartoons if you can't live like one?

Obamafest In Berlin

Earlier this evening Barack Obama finally finished shaking hands in Germany and got around to the purpose of his semi–world trip, and gave a 30–minute speech at the Siegessäule that a gang of 200,000 Berliners came to hear. Except for a couple of words in German, it was his standard rabble–rousing speech that he gives to foreigners who can't vote. Mr. Obama is expected in Paris on Friday but tonight's TV–news said that he wouldn't get a standing crowd of the same size because Sarkozy is too busy with an unknown chore. Otherwise, the Champ de Mars is probably free tomorrow.

Fine Monotone Weather Details

Tonight's version of the weather on the TV–news had a much improved forecast. That's not what I wrote last week and I'm happy I can change my boring moan. It may be more beautiful than predicted. Here are the glad tidings:

Friday is scheduled to have a morning and an afternoon just like every week except the year's last. At noon on Friday it appears it will be sunny with itty–bitty cloudlettes. On Saturday the forecast is same but with bigger bitty clouds, which on Monday may be a tad bigger. High temperatures will be moderate. You can expect about 28, 25 and 27 degrees. This will be perfect for outdoor dancing, strolling by the river or lounging on a nighttime terrace anywhere that suits you.

About the Café Metropole Club

Rubble, bubble and fuddle your mouse and clickity–click it to call up a club meeting report buried somewhere deep in these pages. Fewer audio sensations than hearing actual members' voices during club meetings. What voices? Lucky speaking Trinidadian for example. A clue about what we might have been doing today may help and can be found on the About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

Faint Voices In the Patazone

As unrehearsed as any Thursday , semi out of control and unusually, like today, high–milage gasless horizon tours. Club meetings run from 15:00 to 17:00 on Thursdays. The metric times are equivalent to 3 to 5 pm around other unmetric places, while meetings are held right here. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 31. July in the afternoon. If you feel like saying anything that can be heard by the other members present if there are any and if they are listening, and sometimes they are, but not always.* Your other, absolutely true, stories are totally welcome too even if they are true.

Caution – should you have a personal desire to remain unfindable via the Web, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be 404 – not found by Web search engines before becoming found. All you folks staying lost, all is forgiven.

*The above paragraph you just read has been relatively unchanged since the report a week ago because all of everything is cut–and–paste, including the paragraphs you just read, if you read any of them.

The café's location is:

Café–Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny – or – 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli, Pont–Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday, from 15:00 to 17:00.
Next club meeting on Thursday, 31. July.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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