This 30 square meter apartment (317 square feet), newly renovated and fully furnished by Interior Architect and Designer, Martine di Mattéo, is located on rue Paulin Méry in the quaint neighborhood of Les Buttes aux Cailles just steps from Place d’Italie.
On the afternoon of my birthday on Monday, Patty Sadauskas (who came on Sunday from her second home of Nîmes to join me for the celebration), and I decided on the last minute to take the 100 bus to Monaco (for a whopping 1.50€)...to shop at Zara (the best one in their chain), have (an expensive) drink at the Café de Paris, ogle the fancy-schmancy cars in front of the Casino Monte-Carlo and head home again within just a few hours.
This is the kind of thing easily doable in Nice and environs. Plus, the route that the bus takes along the lower corniche is breathtakingly beautiful and not one of which we ever tire. Patty took a video from our seaside seats on the bus as we rounded the curve toward Villefranche-sur-Mer, should you wish to see what we all saw along the way.
As Patty was sipping on her Aperol Spritz at the famous Café de Paris, she said, "You know, most Americans might think that we have very glamorous lives doing such exotic things on the spur of a moment."
The Café de Paris at the Place du Casino in Monte-Carlo is a legendary Belle Epoque 1900s café-restaurant, along with a casino, where those who can afford its expensive drinks (18€ for the Aperol Spritz) hang out to see and be seen. We couldn't have gone to Monaco without at least one drink there, just for the experience of it. A young woman sitting next to us with her also young boyfriend, was dripping in designer garb, smoking one cigarette after another, holding it badly like a real newbie smoker and ordering so many drinks that we figured their bill was well beyond 100€. I had a hard time holding myself back from telling her that her money wasn't going to buy her clean lungs!
In response to Patty's remark, I confirmed her opinion. "Patty, we DO live glamorous lives, compared to most of your friends back in Kansas City. But, this is OUR life. It's every bit as real as theirs."
For those of us living here, doing such "exotic" things as having a drink at the Casino in Monte-Carlo, this is as everyday as brushing our teeth. Why should we feel guilty? We don't, do we? We just enjoy it.
Hanging out at the Café de Paris is certainly not the only thing one can do living on the Côte d'Azur, in case you thought that's what life is like on the Riviera. It's isn't bad for starters, but that's what it is: starters. For one thing, this coming year, the Tour de France will start from Nice on June 27th! Nice loves adding this to its long history of cycling events, having begun in 1906 with a first visit by the Tour. It was the 4th edition when it came to Nice for the first time, finishing the first stage in the seaside city. Now, it's back and Nice is very proud indeed.
Besides the Tour de France, in 2020, you can expect to take part in...
1. The Nice Carnaval in February. It's a not-to-be-missed two weeks in February that's worth a special visit. Couple that with the Fête du Citron in Menton and you are sure to have a lot of laughs and unforgettable fun.
2. The Play Azur Festival in February. It's free and it's relatively new. This coming year marks its 4th edition where over 10,000 people have a chance to meet their favorite videographers and enjoy a variety of activities.
3. The annual Fête de la Musique June 21. It's free and it's all over France, but in Nice, it's especially nice with a big stage at Place Masséna. All night music...everywhere!
4. Iron Man 70.3 in June. If you're a serious athlete, then now's your chance to swim in the Mediterranean, bike through the alps, and run along the Nice's historic waterfront.
5. The Nice Jazz Festival in July. This was the first jazz festival in the world. The line-up is already starting to take shape online for who's playing what nights. It's five days of serious sound during the long days of summer.
6. The French Riviera Marathon Nice-Cannes in November. Want to run your hearts out? The races include 20 kilometers, 2x21.1 kilometers, the Relay Marathon and the Breakfast Run. I'd rather just watch...but either way, it's a sport and a spectacle!
These are just for starters, too. Christian Estrosi, the Mayor of Nice, was a professional motorcyclist before he became a politician. In 1983, he was elected city councilor of Nice, in charge of sports delegation. So, it's no wonder that he's enthusiastic about bringing events to Nice, and we're not complaining!
Is it a glamorous life? You bet it is. Would I trade it? Not on your life.
P.S. Now's your chance to have a one-on-one consultation with me if you are in the Los Angeles area in December. I'll be spending some time in Santa Monica over the Christmas holidays and will be available the mornings from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Santa Monica (if possible) December 20th and 21st, 23rd, 24th, 26th and 27th. Our two-hour session will cost the same as the normal fee, except in dollars, rather than euros, saving you 10%. To book your consultation and learn more, email me now!
P.P.S. To all our friends in the New York City vicinity: Curator, The Fabulous LuLu LoLo, invites you to Art in Odd Places (AiOP) 2019, from October 17 to 20 all along 14th Street from Avenue C to the Hudson River. This year’s theme: INVISIBLE will feature all 44 artists who are over 60 years old, “supported by their intergenerational collaborators: parent/child; mentor/protégé; partners; lovers; and others from babies to our oldest artist who is 94 years old,” along with Promenade of Visual Flâneurs, with artists sauntering and strolling with their works in costume. LuLu LoLo selected artists only based on a phone call and not by submissions — keeping the theme INVISIBLE fully present throughout the process. There are 44 projects and 86 artists and 22 Spoken Word artists. And oh yes, a Promenade of Visual Flâneurs/Flâneuse artists walking or carrying their art on Saturday and Sunday October 19 and 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. from Avenue C to Hudson River Park at tenth Avenue. For more information, visit artinoddplaces.org/.
House Hunters International - A Chance to See it Again!
Air dates: Tuesday, October 22 11:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, October 23 2:30 a.m. ET
A wine connoisseur (Christine Campbell) moves with her family (Dave Small and their daughter, McKenzie) to Epernay, France, in the heart of the Champagne region. They consider the options between the sprawling vineyard countryside and the bustling town center, but there's no easy answer as they decide what's best for their 8-year-old daughter.
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