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Emily on the Côte d’Azur, Adrian in the Jardin du Luxembourg

The Jardin du Luxembourg under cloudy skies
The Jardin du Luxembourg under cloudy skies

The hit TV series “Emily in Paris” is casting for extras for Season 2…but this time, Emily will be on the Côte d’Azur! Filming starts today in the cities of Grasse and Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Promotional meme for Emily in Paris

Shucks! I just missed the golden opportunity to be one of the 100 extras they’re looking for because I returned to Paris on Friday…after having spent Thursday in Villefranche-sur-Mer!

I missed out for other reasons, too. They want men and women 25 to 60 years old—North African, Black-African, Asian, Indian…everything I am not. Don’t let me stop you if you want to apply. Just click here.

Our trip to Villefranche-sur-Mer (in the pouring rain, I might add) was two-fold: 1) to visit a property that we may be representing for sale and 2) to revisit the property we will be developing into a Fractional Ownership Property.

A rainy day in Villefranche-sur-Mer

A rainy day in Villefranche-sur-Mer

The property we will likely represent for sale is a large one bedroom located above the Basse Corniche with a drop-dead magnificent view of Villefranche-sur-Mer, the sea and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat (what I call the “Million Dollar View”) and a large garden/terrace. (Stay tuned for more information, but if you are interested in such a property, email us now)



The property we will be developing into a Fractional Ownership Property remains the “jewel in the crown.” It’s a one-bedroom apartment with a spacious terrace located in the Old Town of Villefranche-sur-Mer on the “front row,” meaning that it’s directly overlooking the sea with nothing to obscure the view. Below the bedroom window is a small Place with a fountain, so you can hear the sounds of the water trickling when the window is open. There’s a flat pathway that takes you directly to the train station (five minutes by foot) and in the other direction, a flat street with just a few steps to the main parking lot at the entry to Villefranche-sur-Mer (five minutes by foot), so the location is ideal in a town that is normally quite challenging.

View from a one-bedroom apartment for sale in Villefranche-sur-Mer

View from a one-bedroom apartment for sale in Villefranche-sur-Mer

Just at the Place with the fountain, is something very obscure indeed. This is the very the beginning of rue Obscure, a hidden medieval street that runs 430 feet long under the buildings, so it looks more like a tunnel than a street. It was built in 1260 as a pathway that let the soldiers shuffle through the village with ease and it’s one of Villefranche-sur-Mer’s not-so-hidden treasures. I’m sure Emily will find herself lost in it!

At the other end of rue Obscure is a plaque cemented into the ground—a rendering by artist Jean Cocteau that reads:

Quand je regarde Villefranche
Vois ma jeunesse
Fassent les hommes qu’elle ne change jamais

(English Translation: When I look at Villefranche, See my youth, May the men that it never changes)

Plaque by Jean Cocteau on rue Obscure in Villefranche-sur-Mer

Jean COCTEAU Rue Obscure 1956/57, 79×64 cm Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de la Citadelle de Villefranche-sur-Mer ADAGR Paris 2006 Photo Graniou-EGAM

(For those interested in a fractional share, email us.)

The clouds lifted and the next day we visited a property for sale on behalf of one of our clients located on Place Masséna in Nice with a good-sized balcony and a view right on the Place. What a location! Since everything that happens in Nice happens at Place Masséna, it doesn’t get better than this if what you want is non-stop entertainment! Our client made an offer on it immediately!

View from the studio, Place Masséna, Nice

View from the studio, Place Masséna, Nice

French Muguet, lily of the valley for May Day in FranceWith such good news under our belts, we trained back to Paris just in time for May 1st—Labor Day in France. May Day is public holiday and a special day on which the French love to protest for workers’ rights. While they were marching in the streets, they were also presenting “muguet” (lily-of-the-valley) to their loved ones. The bouquets are picked in the woods and sold on the streets for a few euros this one day tax free without formal retailing permissions, too.

Not everyone was marching in the streets, however, because the local Monoprix was filled with shoppers. With my empty fridge, I had no choice but to be one of them. And because it was Labor Day, they had given the cashiers the day off. That meant the automatic cash registers were getting a serious work out. The queue to enter the area of registers wound all the way around and around and through the store. I’d never seen anything like it and the wait was about 15 minutes. No one seemed to be in a mad rush. After all, it was Labor Day.

The queue in Monoprix to the automatic cash registers

The queue in Monoprix to the automatic cash registers

Sunday under cloudy skies and a slight drizzle every now and then as the clouds flew past and appeared again, I lunched in the Jardin du Luxembourg with old friends—umbrellas ready to open the moment the drops came down, while wearing sunglasses for when the clouds disappeared and the sun came out again. The flowers are in full bloom and the garden couldn’t look more beautiful. While we were relaxing in one of the green metal arm chairs that slightly recline, my friend, Sonia, told me about a friend of hers who doesn’t like the Jardin du Luxembourg. Why? Because she doesn’t like the color of the flowers they choose to plant it with!

Colorful flowers in the Jardin du Luxembourg

Colorful flowers in the Jardin du Luxembourg

Have you ever heard of such a thing? Can you imagine not liking the Jardin du Luxembourg? And for such a ridiculous reason? I laughed and asked, “Is your friend French?”


“Well, that explains it,” I said. “We all know the French aren’t happy unless they have something to complain about!”

And we all (Americans) know this to be true. Many a journalist or author has written about the phenomenon. It’s not that they (the French) are in a bad mood…it’s just that they consider themselves “raleurs.” There are several words for “to complain” in French. There’s “se plaindre,” used for normal complaining. There’s “porter plainte” for complaining officially and then there’s “râler”—complaining just for the fun of it. As I said, they aren’t happy unless they have something to complain about.

I wonder which garden in Paris meets her friend’s standards? And why?

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds with a new found friend, Simone, a friend's Chihuahua puppyAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

Adrian with a new found friend, Simone, a friend’s Chihuahua puppy

P.S. If you are considering a property purchase in Nice, don’t do it lightly. Let us help you make the smartest decisions to ensure you make the best investment you can. We can also expertly advise you how best to create a profitable rental. Contact us to learn more.



  1. Martha on May 3, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    “Quand je regarde Villefranche, je voir ma jeunesse, fassent les hommes qu’elle ne change jamais.”
    “When I see Villefrance, I see my youth. May men make sure it never changes.” – Jean Cocteau (1889 -1963)

    • Adrian Leeds Group on May 4, 2021 at 4:45 am

      Wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

      • Cristina Juliano on May 10, 2021 at 10:58 am

        I am always mesmerized on how interesting, informative and plain fun your newsletters are. If I am ever in a position to revisit France again longterm, I will not hesitate to contact your company! Merci!!!

        • Adrian Leeds Group on May 10, 2021 at 11:12 am

          Thank you Cristina!

  2. Christina Creveling on May 7, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    Adrian! I signed up for your newsletter during the pandemic and have enjoyed each and every one I have read. Really, really enjoyed them–even the trip through the US Southwest this past December. BUT THE TRANSLATION OF THE Cocteau poem was just not right–I’m not fluent but I have some sense of poetry. It is hard to render but the last like should be something more like ‘May men make it so she never changes” –Please have a native speaking poet give it another try…And now I’ll go out and buy a ticket for the California lottery so I can buy that one bedroom in Ville Franche!
    Warm wishes

    • Adrian Leeds Group on May 12, 2021 at 7:14 am

      Christina, you weren’t the only one to comment on the translation. Hopefully you saw Adrian’s update. Stay tuned for more details about the Villefranche apartment.

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