Saturday, September 29, 2007

From Paris: how many ways? (with a post scriptum on wi-fi and coffee)

…do you say I love you? And how many ways can you say it rained today? Some possibilities (in reverse-chronological order, for a change):

031 copy
dinner: dessert

025  boy copy
evening: sent to the store

018 copy
gray riverbank, turning leaves

010 copy
empty chairs

A post scriptum: Paris Notes

Why are the mayors of New York and Chicago visiting Paris this week? To study the launching of free Wi-Fi in all the major Parisian parks and other public spaces (at noon today). The service, according to Le Figaro, will be available until the closing of the parks each evening, except on Le Champs du Mars, where it will be available round the clock.

And so the empty chairs will not remain empty today (it helps that the weather has improved).

But it leads me to wonder -- where are the great public spaces in Chicago? Or in Madison, for that matter, where the launching of WiFi has been a bust, both for technical reasons and, well, because it was never to be free.

In another unrelated piece of news, I read that Starbucks has been a complete failure in Paris. Dubbed here the McDonalds of coffee, it is mostly shunned, scorned and ignored. No comment. Or, okay, one comment: who the hell needs Starbucks in Paris?