Assumption and Consumption of the Nice Kind
August 15th is one of the 13 public holidays in France: Assumption of Mary to Heaven (“Assomption”). It doesn’t matter that it’s a Catholic holiday and that France is “laic” — secular — and that France adopted the separation of church and state as long ago as 1905. For better or worse, they refuse to give up their religious holidays in spite of their desire to remove religion from their political lives. The point is, they are simply loathe to give up their holidays, period.
August 15th is the single deadest day of the year in Paris. It is not only the holiday, but it’s also the height of the vacation period when the entire city vacates and heads for the beaches and the mountains. August 15th is the only day of the year I once agreed to ride a Vélib public bike as it’s one of the few days you can cross rue de Rivoli without looking — there are simply no cars or other traffic to speak of and therefore a bit safer for this non-athletic scaredy-cat.
This August 15th I, too, vacated “Ghost Town” to be in Nice where life is hoppin’ — or at least at about 75%, since tourism is down on the Côte d’Azur ‘thanks’ to the year’s horrific terrorist-related events. Rue Masséna is actually maneuverable unlike other years. Normally I have to part the Brazilian dancers to get into my door. They’re are still here, but it’s not quite so bumper-to-bumper with tourists along rue Masséna. The entertainers are out as is the norm, including a “minstrel” who serenaded me and the others positioned just at my door — an elderly gentleman with a lute in full costume. It was pretty comical.
This year there is an addition to the shenanigans along the pedestrian streets of my ‘hood’ — “Nails on Wheels.” Young women on bikes-turned-manicure-desks will do your nails for 10€ right there on the spot. Of course, I’m still partial to Sakura Nails — a tall beautiful Japanese/French woman named Itoé has a simple shop at 1, rue Raynardi and does great pedicures without all the fuss for as little as 29€. Her real talent is nail art if you’re into it, but I’m happy with just my gold-painted toes. (Call her to make your appointment and tell her Adrian the American sent you: 04 89 08 02 93).
Every year on this day is the Nice Prom Party — normally an event not to be missed with all kinds of music on the Promenade des Anglais along with fireworks, reserved exclusively for pedestrians for this one night. Sadly, it’s been cancelled, again ‘thanks’ to the recent attack on the “Prom” on July 14th. Let’s hope next year it will be back in business.
That has not kept tourists from the Prom. When I arrived Thursday night, I dropped my bags and headed out to find dinner and peruse the Prom to see what the memorial looked like. There is not much left of it now as the city has made a concerted effort to remove signs of the attack and get life back to normal as quickly as possible. Still, people want and need to show their grief…but it didn’t do any good to shed a tear — better to get back out there on the Prom, on the beach and back to life. It’s packed to the gills with strollers and street vendors, just as it should be.
Getting down to the beach is my real “raison d’être” — an easy thing to do with a folding lounge chair, water shoes to manage the pebbles and a mere two-block walk to Galion or Ruhl Plages. Getting bronzer by the moment as well as relaxed and happy from the sun and surf, I may never go back to Paris just like so many others here. With each stay in Nice, I meet more and more Americans or discover friends from Paris who have moved here. Wendy Newman, once “Living the dream as the ‘Lash Queen'” in Paris, has retired to Beaulieu and loving it. She once lived on the motto: “Get Fluttering, Girls” doing eyelash extensions, and now is just fluttering along the Riviera happily.
Ella and Jody Dyer from Atlanta have been coming here for years for about half the year and while still part-timers, Ella is yearning for a full-time life in Nice. She is the author of “Nice in Nice: The day-to-day musings of a middle-aged housewife living ‘part-time’ in the South of France” — among her other many hats including as an Ambassador at International University of Monaco. She and Jody enjoy an apartment overlooking avenue Jean-Médecin, the tram line and Place Masséna and love every minute of being in the middle of all the action. Jody insisted he get a photo of me in front of the Apollo statue…as per my signature photo below. (He got a big laugh out if it, as did I.)
This week I will be meeting with my professional friends at the Hôtel Ellington to prepare for a special American Financial Forum we are co-hosting with Dunhill Financial here in Nice in October. Stay tuned for the date, the time and more details coming soon…
For those who keep up with Henri-le-Cactus’ progress, he is taller and happier than ever. One of these days I’ll organize a time lapse of all the photos taken over the past few years to illustrate this wild-man-cactus’ growth beyond the norm. And if you are interested in renting “Le Matisse,” don’t hesitate to do so before I book myself in more and more…visit Adrian Leeds Group Apartments, Nice, for more information.
A la prochaine,
(with Apollo, by Jody Dyer)
P.S. Erica Simone can’t sit still for a moment and just launched a new venture: The IIII Shirt and Tote Collection. Over the last few years, she’s been creating and ‘channeling drawings from another dimension,’ mostly to stay inside her own sketchbook. Recently, she decided to put some out into the world, ‘hoping to inspire people to awaken to their higher selves, to thin the veil between the conscious mind and the ethereal.’ Her T-shirt shop is officially open where you can help activate your ‘cosmic connection’ by wearing the designs over your heart. Positive and healing energy was put into each piece, all meant to raise your vibration, connect to universal truth and elevate the world around you. Into or not, you might find these fun to wear: and check back in every now and then as shirt designs will be updated regularly. You may also follow her and her shirt and tote designs on [email protected]!