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Dear Parler Nice Reader,
Adrian with Donna and Deb, the Contributors
The Women of the Crew
Le Plongeoir in Days Past
Taping at Nice Vieux Port
The East-West Tramway
Another year has passed, rendering my age a new number on the scale of life. As my ex-father-in-law used to say, "It's better than the alternative." He got that right!
Some years I feel like celebrating. Other years I'd rather sneak into that higher number unnoticed. This year, since I've been in Nice for the taping of a Mediterranean Life episode, surrounded by our Niçois community of friends and clients, I decided to invite everyone to join me for a communal dinner in one of my favorite restaurants, Il Vicoletto. (6 rue de France, 06000 Nice, +33 4 93 87 30 55) We had the whole restaurant to ourselves and John Garland Jones agreed to sing for us.
Nice has been awfully nice since I arrived last Wednesday night. The weather was perfect for the four days I spent with the Mediterranean Life crew taping with our client, Donna K., and her sister, Deb. The crew was numerous — 10, all Polish, all working for TVN, a subsidiary of Discovery Inc., co-founded in 1997 by a Polish businessmen and a Swiss entrepreneur. In the beginning, I was a bit hesitant about working with them, as their style was so different from their American counterparts with House Hunters International. At the end of the four days, we had become fast friends and hated saying good-bye to one another...especially the four women who really stole our hearts.
Without giving away too much of the show, I'll tell you that the scenery in which we taped would make any visitor to Nice and its environs jealous. I felt like a tourist, experiencing some of these special spots from a very new and special perspective. We sat atop Le Plongeoir discussing the search. Le Plongeoir is an outcropping next to La Reserve on the eastern side of the Old Port, where once sat a fishing boat in which Le Belle Epoque diners would perch six meters above the sea. Bridges connect the mainland to the aerie where you feel like you're floating over the water. We didn't want to leave.
In Villefranche-sur-Mer, a Romanesque enclave just east of Nice, we visited an apartment with a view of the port and Cap-Ferrat that dreams are made of. You must be fit to climb those stairs on a daily basis, but that's life in Villefranche...stairs, stairs and more stairs. No property is on the same level as another, so if you expect to make it your home, be prepared to get in good shape and have your knees challenged just about every minute. Still, if you wake up every day to that view, the stairs are just a minor trade-off.
The Old Port in Nice made a beautiful backdrop for the taping, lined by the colorful "pointu" fishing boats, emblematic of the Riviera; the $100 million Odessa II yacht moored on the western side (owned by Russian billionaire, Len Blavatnik). We could see the finishing touches being put on to the new East-West Tramway Old Port station, scheduled to be ready just about now, but obviously a bit late! Nonetheless, an investment on the Old Port will be worth its weight in gold when all is said and done.
Friday night we took a break from the intense days of taping to hear John Garland sing at Le Truc, where he performs every Friday night. Some of the crew joined us to see what life in Nice was all about. The bar was packed with our American friends who regularly go to hear John. The Polish director and producer really got into the spirit: Inga ended up singing with him, belting out "I Will Survive" and Dominika couldn't stop dancing. But, none of us could! (Saturday night is now Karaoke nights with John at Le Truc, so don't miss it!)
This time in Nice, I've heard more Russian on the streets than French, English or even Italian. (I wondered if there was a special on air fares!) It might have even been Polish, because quite honestly, I can't tell the difference. With such beautiful weather, lots of people were in town, sunbathing and swimming...even this late into October. I was not one of them, but I'm already dreaming about next summer when I will be on the "galets" once again.
I'll be back at the end of the month for another taping, this time for House Hunters International and again after Thanksgiving...I just can't get enough of Nice.
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