Adrian Leeds Nouvellettre®
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Back To Being On The Beach

Two women in bikinis on Nice Plage


It was impossible to complain about Paris weather this past week…it was gloriously warm and sunny. Every Parisian and tourist has been enjoying every moment of it. But, the idea of being in Nice, the ability to plop my tooshy on the “galets,” and just stare at the blue-blue sea leaving all the stress behind, was at the forefront of my mind. It’s why I trained down on Friday in order to make way for a weekend spent on the “plage.”

When I entered my apartment which I affectionately call “Le Matisse,” it was a sanctuary of calm. For one week I would be removed from the stress surrounding me in Paris with the upcoming move. Every night I’d awake thinking about the nightmare of sorting 27 years of belongings into what goes to the new apartment vs what goes into storage. My imagination has been running wild. This one week in Nice was the antidote.

The first evening was dinner on the beach with an old friend at “Bocca Mar,” a restaurant and club that opened last summer. Following on the success of their rooftop bar and restaurant on the Cours Saleya, the Bocca Nissa, their creators decided to branch out into beach dining…and they’ve done a great job. Their motto is “Sharing is Caring”— that’s because the dishes are tapas style, designed to share with friends.

Everything about the Bocca Mar was perfect. The atmosphere is lovely, the food fabulous and not silly expensive, and the service was impeccable. One additional plus was the people-watching, as it’s the only place I’ve seen as many young pretty women in sexy clothing as I have in Las Vegas!

Then, all hell broke loose when I got home and pulled back the sheets to get into bed. The sheets that touched the back wall were wet. The wall was wet and had bubbled up. Ugh. Here it goes again…problems that add to an already overloaded plate. The signs of a leak of some sort were obvious, but this was the wall adjacent to the next building with no plumbing…except a mini-split AC unit overhead.

Signs on the wall of Adrian Leeds' Nice apartment of a water leak

Signs on the wall of a water leak

That’s where the mystery starts, because the AC had been off for almost a month while I was in Paris, so how it is possible that it could be the culprit? Saturday morning an APB went out to everyone who could help: the upstairs neighbors who are also the building managers, Martine di Mattéo whose contractor is meeting with us next week to discuss the leaky terrace at the new apartment (that’s a whole other story) and the AC supplier/maintenance guy who installed the units only a few months ago. Meanwhile, the AC was left on to run to see if the damage appeared worse over time. By the time of this writing, it has not worsened and is dry…a good sign. Fingers crossed.


Then, the plan for a day at the beach got aborted by dark skies and high winds. Things just weren’t going as planned. Patty Sadauskas, who seems to have her finger on the pulse of everything going on in Nice, suggested seeing the exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts Jules Chéret of “Berthe Morisot à Nice, Escales impressionnistes.” That was the last thing on my mind—being inside a museum—with such bleak skies, it seemed like a good replacement…and it was.

Posted description of the Berthe Morisot exhibition in Nice

A friend joined me. It was easy to access the museum by the little red electric #38 bus after having lunch near the Alsace-Lorraine tram stop. It was a first time to have visited this museum. It was established in 1928 in a former private mansion built in 1878 by Russian Princess Elizaveta Vasilievna Kochubey, and named after the artist Jules Chéret, who spent his final years in Nice. It originally opened as the “Palais des Arts Jules Chéret” on January 7, 1928.

Map showing the #38 bus route in Nice

The #38 bus route

On until September 29, 2024, this special exhibition is well worth the simple trip. As a resident of Nice, I have the pass—a Nice Museum Pass —offered to all residents of Nice and the municipalities of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis over 18 years old. It provides free access to all municipal museums and galleries. It’s easy to get by pesenting two documents at any of the museums: an identity document (valid national identity card or passport) and proof of your Côte d’Azur address less than three months old (such as a utility bill). They take your photo and hand you the card right then and there. It’s valid for three years.

This exhibition is part of the Musée d’Orsay’s “150 Years of Impressionism” initiative and is presented in partnership with the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, with significant support from Morisot’s family. The exhibition highlights the artist’s two winters spent on the Riviera during 1881-1882 and 1888-1889—the first woman to join the Impressionist exhibitions. They assembled about sixty of her Riviera works, borrowed from a long list of esteemed institutions.

A Berthe Morisot self-portrait

A Berthe Morisot self-portrait

The exhibition also features paintings by Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir, who were inspired by the Mediterranean coast’s vibrant scenery. Other women artists of note represented are works by her contemporaries, such as Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bashkirtseff, and Louise Breslau, showcasing the flourishing of female creativity during the Belle Époque on the Riviera. And her daughter’s works, those of Julie Manet, have a prominent place showcasing Morisot’s creative process and the artistic training she bestowed on her.

A Berthe Morisot painting class

A Berthe Morisot painting class

You will be in awe of the beauty of the works and touched by her vision of life on the Riviera, if not by the extraordinary achievements of these women at a time when women had so few rights to be themselves.


The Tour de France kicked off Saturday from Florence, Italy. There are signs of the race all over Nice…even among the classic “chaises bleues” are the blue/green/red-and-white polka-dot/yellow chairs along the Promenade des Anglais. This is a historic moment in Nice. This 111th Tour de France will finish in Nice on July 21st, 2024 for the first time. I intend on being there.

The Tour has two individual time trials for the riders to tackle, the first on stage seven at 25km long from Nuits-Saint-Georges to Gevrey-Chambertin, and the second on the final stage from Monaco to Nice, at 34km long. This means that the riders will not come in at one time, as they always have in Paris. It is expected that they will ride in one-by-one on July 21st between 1 and 6 p.m. The first cyclist will start in Monaco at 1 p.m. and likely to arrive in Nice about 1:45 p.m. The last one starts at 5:15 p.m. and will finish about 6 p.m

So, anyone interested in attending best plan on being out there all day long!


Sunday morning in Nice is ritualistic. I head down to the Cours Saleya, buy some flowers from the best vender (the one next to the Musée de la Photographie), get an assortment of nuts from the nut and dried fruit vendor just next door, head to Mamma Mia for coffee and to work on emails or write this Nouvellettre®, then have lunch at Le Safari. Yesterday was no different. But, before settling into having a Salade Niçoise with friends under the restaurant’s blue awnings, I stopped in to see the exhibition at the Musée de la Photographie: BETTINA RHEIMS – POURQUOI M’AS-TU ABANDONNÉE?

“This first exhibition in Nice dedicated to the Bettina Rheims, the briliant portrait artist, presents 29 photographs reflecting her work researching femininity, which she questioned, magnified and endangered. From 1990 onwards, Bettina Rheims worked on a host of fashion series in France and the United States, among which certain images stand out as real works of art, brought together by Bettina Rheims in this iconic series.”

The Bettina Rheims exhibit

Bettina Caroline Germaine Rheims is a French photographer born in Neuilly-sur-Seine the same year as me. She’s an international photographer, but in 1995, Jacques Chirac invited her towards the end of his presidential campaign to work behind the scenes, capturing a series of photographs during the final stages of the election. After the election, the Presidency of the French Republic commissioned her to take Chirac’s official portrait. She told the newspaper Libération that she aimed to give the President “the relaxed look of the great heroes in westerns.”

Kristin Scott Thomas by Bettina Rheims

Kristin Scott Thomas by Bettina Rheims

If you like bold, colorful, sexy, portraits of gorgeous women, then you will love this exhibition.


While the French were out voting in France’s snap parliamentary elections, I was on the beach…finally! The water was a pale aqua blue and frothy. Going in for a swim was not an option with such a big undertow and huge waves. Still, the weather was perfect and the sea stunning to look at. A few of us friends hung out on chairs and mats, passed around cubes of water melon to cool us off, and people watched. It’s my favorite thing to do at the beach. It’s fascinating to determine where everyone comes from based on their looks and behavior alone—without even hearing them speak.

Nice Plage

It couldn’t have been more perfect to top off the weekend. Meanwhile, the election results are coming. Turnout is estimated at 65.5% in this first stage of the two-round legislative elections called by President Emmanuel Macron, significantly higher than the 47.5% turnout recorded in 2022.

I’ll leave the results for an upcoming Nouvellettre®.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leed's feet on the pebbled beach in NiceAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

P.S. Join Dunhill Financial this Wednesday at 2:30pm BST, as they host a webinar focused on their new low-cost, American expat robo-advisor, DF-Direct. It’s a great opportunity to learn about their offerings and ask any questions you have during the Q&A session.

You can register here.

P.P.S. I’ve included a couple of photos that have no real reference to today’s Nouvellettre® except that I found the subjects interesting. The Bougainvillea in the Square Alziari de Malaussena on rue de la Buffa will knock your eyes out! And I just loved the twin girls in their skinny little dresses arm-in-arm walking down rue Masséna! Hope you don’t mind!



  1. Marcy Rol on July 1, 2024 at 11:43 am

    Always such a fun and interesting read 🙏👏👏

  2. Berkeley Fuller-Lewis on July 1, 2024 at 12:52 pm

    Bonjour Adrian!
    We’re two guys (in the vicinity of your illustrious “era”) pining away for France, while waiting for an anticipated (the final necessary) financial ship to come in so WE can get “out of Dodge” (the USA), and to France.
    Thus your nouvellettres are both wonderful — and “painful” (further whetting our appetites to live in a a civilized country rather than in a grimly fraught, work-a-holic one!) — now additionally beset by loony 24/7 “Trumpism.”
    Meanwhile, DO enjoy Nice — and good luck with your Paris apartment renovation. Happy August!

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