By the Sea, by the Sea, by the Beautiful Sea!
Get used to getting Parler Nice for a while instead of Parler Paris. I’m in Nice, and I’ll be here till after the Tour de France kicks off at the end of August. That means you’re going to hear a lot about Nice, like it or not. But, what’s not to like, anyway?
Nice is to Paris what Miami is to New York. I left the cool, gray weather and frenetic streets of Paris to arrive in warm, sunny Nice bustling with activity by the locals and the new kind of tourists –– the French kind. The beaches are getting big business as long as the sun is shining, and I intend to be on them as much as I can. Already, I’ve spent two afternoons lounging on “les galets” (the iconic Nice “pebbles”) sunning, people watching, taking dips in the cool Mediterranean and just chilling out.
People have asked me what do I do on the beach? Don’t I get bored? Never! I’m armed with reading material, munchies, audio books, music, etc., but just gazing at the incredibly beautiful color of the Baie des Anges is enough for me to drift off into la la land. Having only arrived Thursday, it already feels as if I’ve been here a lifetime, so much has happened in so short a period of time. Snatching a couple of hours on the beach gazing at the Côte d’Azur and soaking up the sun is what rejuvenates the spirit!…at least mine.
Our property business is having the busiest summer we’ve ever had with an abundance of new search projects here in Nice by American buyers, buying property “sight unseen.” It’s not the first time we have clients willing to allow us to make a choice for them, but never so many at one time with the same goals. Nice is the hot spot this year and for good reason –– prices are half of what they are in Paris (or you can get double the space for your money, depending on how you look at it). On top of that, the rental laws allow short-term rentals on secondary properties up to six years, and that means a lot to an investor. In Paris, the only option for secondary properties is either a one-year lease or the mobility lease (1 to 10 months for tenants in Paris for business or education), making getting a return on your investment, not impossible, but a whole lot more challenging.
The first thing I did upon arrival was meet with our friend and Property Consultant, Ella Dyer, over dinner at Il Vicoletto (6, rue de France) to discuss the projects she’s working on –– three searches at once, each a little different from the other. While going through a stack of prospective properties with her, it was easy to see prices in Nice have gone up, up, up since confinement. Only a couple of months ago we could have assumed one-bedroom apartments would fall under 300,000€, but no longer. Add 50,000€ to 100,000€ and now you can have a bigger selection. I have a feeling this is just the beginning of a boom for the seaside town real estate market.
The next day I met with our newest property consultant, Jennifer Parrette, along with Laura Poirier, our designer, to visit a property Jennifer found for our clients. Located on rue de Rivoli just a few blocks up from the Hôtel Negresco and steps from one of my favorite restaurants, Le Victor Hugo (1, rue Berlioz), it was the perfect spot to lunch before visiting the apartment. Both the lunch and the apartment got a “thumbs up.” My gluttony in Nice (tough to avoid) got off to a good start and hasn’t waned since arrival. It’s one of my biggest problems in Nice –– too many wonderful restaurants in close proximity with outdoor seating and still relatively inexpensive.
The apartment on rue de Rivoli is sure to make for very happy, satisfied clients. We are 100 percent confident that this is the apartment for them. It’s a spacious two bedroom/one bathroom apartment in a beautiful old building with lovely views and lots of potential to be even better than it already is. That’s why Laura was with us –– to discuss how to turn the one large bathroom into two and how to improve on the kitchen without having to do too much work.
Later that afternoon, I attended a Zoom call with property experts Geoffrey Donoghue from Spain, Chris White from Ideal Homes in the Algarve, Portugal and Margaret Summerfield with Pangaea Ltd on behalf of International Living, as part of their “Best of Europe Private Screening” that airs live on July 25-26 (Click here to learn more about it). You might find the seminar the perfect way of learning “how you can upgrade your life and live richer, happier, and worry-free in western Europe’s best destinations. Best of all, you needn’t leave your home to see how to make this happen.”
My part, a Real Estate Round Table hosted by Margaret Summerfield, will be shown on Sunday, July 26th at 3:30 p.m. EST (9:30 p.m. France time) and I’ll be talking about the advantages of buying in Paris vs Nice! If you want to hear my comments and participate in this amazing event, be sure to click here to sign up for the Real Estate Round Table.
Here in France we’re back to mask-wearing as of today –– compulsory to wear indoors in public places as a result of the reported upturn in some new coronavirus cases, or else risk of being fined 135€. No problem. A lot of us are still being as vigilant, but clearly not everyone, and rather than risk a big resurgence, it’s a small price to pay.
If you want to don the chicest masks on the market…to make all your friends jealous…then check out Patty Sadauskas’ Genuine France line of masks designed from her own photographs and obtainable via her site and RedBubble. Click here to see the assortment of creative masks “à la Française.” No one will have one and you’ll be the talk of the town!
Sunday I had the good fortune of being invited by Robert Levitt of Via Nissa to attend a very special commemoration to the victims of racist and anti-Semitic crimes at the Gare de Nice Ville. Sunday’s ceremony was part of the national day of remembrance established in 1993 to pay tribute to the Paris Vel d’Hiv roundup by the French police of more than 13,000 Jews (including more than 4,000 children) that took place on July 16, 1942. Only six of the children returned alive.
A large group gathered at the eastern end of Track A, the track from which most of the TGV trains to Paris start. This is my usual track. A military band was positioned to one side to play the French national anthem, the Marseillaise and the Hebrew song, Oseh Shalom. Along on wall was set up photographs of the survivors, with flower arrangements positioned to be distributed to honor each of them. My eyes welled up just at the sight of the gathering and the feeling of the thousands of people who had been shipped off in trains to the concentration camps from this very track.
Various illustrious individuals from the Consistoire de Nice, survivors and the city officials spoke one after the other, about the atrocities of the Holocaust, how important it is to remember what took place 78 years ago and how we can never let something like this happen again. Rabbis led the singing of Oseh Shalom (He Who Makes Peace), and I chimed in, knowing this song well from my youth:
Oseh shalom bimromav (He who makes peace in his high places)
Hu ya’aseh shalom aleynu (He shall make peace upon us)
Ve’al kol yisrael (And upon all of Israel)
Ve’imru Amen (And say Amen)
Former deportees took turns lighting a candle in memory and laying the flowers. It was a solemn occasion, but an important one, and a moving one. I felt very privileged indeed to have been a witness to it all.
Ella met me on the beach that afternoon for a bit, dressed in her Sunday best, with white gloves and mask, topped off with a face shield and carrying a little basket that I was expecting Toto to hop out of at any moment. She was a sight for sore eyes and just what every beach on the Riviera needs…a little decorum! And together, as we lazed on the pebbles, we watched seven young teenage girls have the times of their lives just by splashing around on two rafts and an inner tube on the waves of the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea.
By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea!
You and me, you and me, oh how happy we’ll be!
When each wave comes a-rolling in
We will duck or swim,
And we’ll float and fool around the water.
(From the musical “For Me and My Gal” composed by Harold Atteridge and Harry Carroll in 1914.)
A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds Group
(Adrian with Robert Levitt on Track A of the Gare de Nice Ville)
P.S. On October 13, 2020, join us in Paris LIVE for a special screening of “Meeting Jim!”
*NOMINATED FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY* at the World Premiere June 23, 2018 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2018.
Meet Jim Haynes, the most famous American in Paris, in the film of an extraordinary journey that, in summer 2016, will take this unusual 85+-year-old man to the cities of Paris, London and Edinburgh. Because ‘Meeting Jim’ is meeting people.
People call him the inventor of the social network, the real-life version of Facebook; his world-famous open Sunday dinners in Paris are a must for ‘off the beaten track’ lovers and his life story is the real proof that a life based on the good side of humankind is actually possible. Meet Jim Haynes in the film of an extraordinary journey that, in summer 2016, will take this unusual man to the cities of Paris, London and Edinburgh. Because Meeting Jim is meeting people.
The film is 1 hour 16 minutes long. Come early to get a good seat!
Visit https://adrianleeds.com/events/apres-midi for more information.