About the Café Metropole Club

photo, cafe la corona, paris The club used to meet every Thursday in this café in Paris.

The Abbreviated and Unofficial Version

by Ric Erickson

Port Vendres:– December 2010:–  The club had 433 meetings and then it didn't have any more after October of 2008, mainly because the club's secretary lost his apartment and became homeless until he moved to Port Vendres in the south of France, near the Pyrenees, very much closer to year–round sunshine and Spain. The club had a good long run, a boxcar–load of jolly members and some memorable times, vaguely recorded in all those club reports, with their fabulous Group Photos of the Week. The secretary enjoyed your company while it lasted!.

The True Historical Version

Paris:– November 2008:–  Way back in October of 1999 at the height of the dot–com boom, nobody realized that there would be a deep crash and that a flimsy club started in that month would survive and thrive. Neither did the club's secretary who is also this magazine's Ed, but hey–HO! here we are.

Paris Hotels

What follows is the true, the only, the original About the club, just about the same as it always was. Read on.

Everything on the Web is virtual, including this magazine, Metropole Paris. Some readers take it seriously and believe it is really real even if they are virtual readers.

Having a real club for Metropole readers is an opportunity to turn all these virtual or unreal ideas into true reality. Virtual readers really visit real Paris, so why shouldn't they have a real club here? There is a dream Paris, the virtual online magazine Metropole Paris , and with this real club, virtuality really meets reality.

Metropole Paris readers have been meeting at the club's real café each week since October of 1999. Not all meetings have had members present, while others have had as many as a dozen or even more! There are more than 650 real members from all over the world and you can be one too.

Purpose of the Club

photo: club secretary, ricThis is Ed, who is also the club's
secretary. Photo©Charles Fremont

Quite simply, the reason for the club is to have a fixed time and place in Paris to meet other reader–visitors, and meet the editor of the online magazine – who is occasionally known as Ed.

For club meetings, Ed becomes the club's secretary, but he is really the same person as the virtual magazine's editor. In winter he – who? – even if I have seven hats, don't let this confuse you.

The purpose of the Café Metropole Club is social and meetings usually turn out this way. Sometimes there is even networking . Bring your friends. Everybody is welcome to join the Café Metropole Club. Even if you don't know why, or if you joined before in another life, perhaps in the time of Napoléon.

How to Become a Member

At your first club meeting in Paris the first thing for you to do is sign the members' booklet. All this requires is your name and email address, along with the name of your hometown. None of this needs to be real, but should be real enough so that important club news can be sent your way. This does not happen often, if ever. With this chore done, you are a member for life unless you resign.

There is also an unofficial questionnaire. Some new members answer all of its questions and others ignore all of them entirely. Some members write unrelated essays. The club has only one rule and one exception to it, and both of them add up to no rules!

Club membership is open to anybody in the world who wants to join. Readers of the online magazine who have not been able to attend a club meeting in Paris can consider themselves to be potential members in good standing. The formality of signing the members' booklet is a mere detail until they can sign it in person.

photo: club drinks of the weekPossible Drinks of the Week, but
only if nominated and elected.

The club is informal. There is no club poem for you to learn. The club's unwritten and unofficial rules state quite clearly that the club has no rules. There are no unofficial dress codes, secret signs, signals, tatoos or other hanky–panky.

In fact, the Café Metropole Club is so low– calorie that it has no t–shirt and no baseball cap with its name on it for you to buy and treasure. Because the club is free and poor, it doesn't have a treasury.

Becoming a member has no negative effect on your universal rights as human beings or as readers, or as curious people simply passing the café while a meeting is happening.

The Rest of a Meeting

Club meetings are unstructured because they have no structure. Members often order something to drink, or eat, from the club's Waiter of the Week. Club members should prepare a suitable budget for this eventuality.

Although members' home towns are not required to be noted in the members' booklet by a rule, these are often named and may be voted City of the Week by other members if there are any present. If not, the club's secretary may designate one he fancies, or may not.

Other items of club fare or conversation may also receive singular distinctions such as Drink of the Week, Food of the Week, Quote of the Week or some other 'Thing of the Week.'

Meetings usually end at the end of the meeting's time period or at a reasonable time thereafter. Club members are free to do whatever they want before meetings, and after meetings – including continuing them. However, both members and the club's secretary may need to be somewhere else, so meetings may end at 17:00 on the button.

Reports About Club Meetings

These are concocted by the club's secretary from notes made or imagined during hectic or boring no– show club meetings, and are put online in Metropole Paris on Thursday as an update to the week's current issue.

During meetings, the secretary will attempt to photograph club scenes and members who are present. If you do not want your photograph to be published in the club report, please tell the secretary after he takes your photo but before he publishes it.

Personal privacy – if yours may be threatened by having your name included in a club report , please make this clear to the club's secretary. If necessary, you can be at a meeting and become a member, but remain unreported and unfindable by Web search.

Club's Boilerplate Fine–Print

This small–type nonsense remains on record within past versions of Club News and club reports, but the only true and current version is this one. Right here. Maybe a long lost friend of yours is already a member. Search right here.

The Café Metropole Club Membership Card

Having this card in your possession is not officially necessary and is not a rule because there aren't any, and it is unofficially not discouraged.

photo: club membership cardDoes this card need a new design?

This is the club's old and scruffy membership card. As seen here it is a virtual card. Some members have gone to the trouble of making it real by printing it, in color even – and some have even had their own color versions laminated for an extra snazzy gloss.

There is no need to go to all this trouble unless you want to be able to prove beyond doubt that you are a member of a fairly exclusive club in Paris. Exclusive in this sense only means that everybody in the world hasn't joined the club yet but don't let that stop you.

How To Attend a Club Meeting

Check the the time and follow the location directions, enter the grand salle in the club's café La Corona, and sit down. You don't need to warn the club's secretary beforehand with any email messages, although he will read them.

Every Thursday

The regular weekly club meeting day is Thursday. Since it has happened – once! – that the meeting day had to be changed to a Friday, advance notice of any change of day will be published in the weekly Café Metropole column, which appears on Mondays, or in the Thursday club report. Occasionally the club's secretary takes a holiday so this might happen too.

Exceptional Elsewhere Club Meetings

At the end of December 2001 a club meeting was successfully held in Manhattan and was attended by members from the tri–state area who had joined the club in Paris. Several new members joined during this meeting as well. While the club's secretary was fooling around in New York, simultaneous meetings were held in Paris – hosted cheerily by the server–lady, Linda Thalman, who will do anything, once, for fun.

It is certainly possible that other club meetings will be held exceptionally in other offshore locales, but none are actively being planned at the moment.

photo: club location mapIf in doubt, ask directions.

Where? When? How? Why Not? What?

Here are the time, day and location details for you to note carefully –

Café–Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny – or – 30. Quai du Louvre, Paris 1
Métro: Louvre–Rivoli or Pont–Neuf
Every Thursday at 15:00, until 17:00. In non–continental terms, even in Paris, the times are from 3 pm to 5 pm.

The club's area within the café is at the rear of what is known as the Grande Salle . If you enter by the café's bar area, the Grande Salle is directly behind it. You can also enter the café directly from the Quai du Louvre. In this case, the club's area is to the right. If in doubt, ask the club's Waiter of the Week. This person is usually the best–dressed human bring in the place.

See you soon at the club – à bientôt

signature, regards, ric

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