Carnaval du Nice — C’est l’Amérique!
SPECIAL NOTE: From time to time, instead of “Speak Paris” (Parler Paris), you will be receiving “Speak Nice” (Parler Nice). It only makes sense that when I’m on the Côte d’Azur, that instead of pretending to be in Paris talking about Nice and the Riviera, that we should just call ‘a spade a spade’ and talk about Nice instead.
For those of you who are only interested in the Riviera, and not Paris, you may opt in to just Parler Nice. And for those of you who have been reading Parler Paris for a long time, you may just have to put up with a Parler Nice on occasion. If you’re not interested in what goes on on the Mediterranean coast, then just delete the issue and forget you ever saw it.
Monday afternoon our best and most reliable real estate agent showed us several apartments for sale. She knows not to bother showing properties that won’t make good rentals…and in this case, the search was limited to Vieux Nice — the oldest part of Nice that is the city’s most visited district, but is the most difficult in which to find worthwhile properties for a variety of different reasons.
Of them, there were two worth owning and one worth grabbing up as quick as one can! I call it “the wreck” — because that’s what it is, “a wreck.” But for someone who can see the ‘bones’ and not the ‘smoke and mirrors’ that disguise its true attributes, it’s a gem. It’s 58 square meters, sits on an important corner of Old Town with great views, seven windows on three sides and needs complete renovation to make it a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment…but at the price they are asking, it’s a serious bargain. Not only is the appreciation on this property excellent, but it would rent and provide a return all day long.
You’ll be hearing all about it (and the other studio I visited) with photos and a more complete description in tomorrow’s French Property Insider. Plus, you’ll learn more about why Nice is such a great place in France in which to invest…and to enjoy! (Of course, you may already be getting an inkling of that since I’ve been coming down just about every month to take advantage of the sun, the surf and the “laissez-faire” attitude of the Niçois. We are also considering holding a three-day Living and Investing in France Conference here in Nice next September with a day of presentations, a day of touring and a day of visiting properties. If you think you might be interested, please send us an email now to let us know: CONFERENCE IN NICE.
If you are not already a subscriber of French Property Insider — free every Thursday, 50 times a year, perhaps now’s the time to become one! Simply click on newsletter-subscriptions to submit your email or on the left panel of any page on the AdrianLeeds.com site you’ll be able to subscribe by completing the form there.
Yesterday we geared up with cameras and energy for the afternoon’s carnival parade beginning at 2:30 p.m. The floats lined up along avenue de Verdun/avenue de Suede which runs along the Jardin Albert 1er just around the corner from my apartment (“Le Matisse“). This year’s theme was “King of the Five Continents,” “Amérique” being one of them, of course. The angry-looking Statue of Liberty (it’s curious why she was depicted this way) went from crouched over to upright as she was filled with hot air. The parade participants donned their ‘big heads’ and got into their formations waiting for the movement of the parade to start and wind its way around the park and down the Promenade des Anglais.
To say the sky was blue is an understatement. Not one cloud in the sky, a bit crispy, but so blinding it was hard to capture the sights without beams of sunlight disturbing the images. A corner spot just at the water facing away from the sun was the perfect position to really capture the colors and images. While the floats and big heads and performers passed, the kids in the crowd sprayed that plasticized string on everything and everyone. One kid sprayed it directly into the mouth of a young float-rider until she gagged. Between that and the overabundance of confetti, which is spewed from machines and parade onlookers, it’s impossible not to be covered in the gook and find it even days later. When I took off my boots that evening, inside stuck to my socks was an array of colors in paper and plastic. It’s all part of the fun.
Behavior by the crowds is amazingly civilized, like in most public events in France. Carnaval du Nice is not Mardi Gras in New Orleans, that’s for sure. There is no alcohol, no street food being sold, no letting loose at the same level by any stretch of the imagination, so while it might not be the once-in-a-lifetime let-your-hair-hang-down kind of event, it’s fun and total eye candy.
Some people buy tickets for seats in the bleachers at Place Masséna, but it only lasts about 1.5 hours, so it’s not at all a detriment to be in the midst of it all looking up at the tall floats and mingling among the crowds. In fact, I quite prefer it. When the floats had passed, we took a moment to sit on the sea wall and take in the view of the Nice beach of pebbles, the blue sea and blinding sun glistening on the water.
Carnaval lasts until March 6th with lots of parades and events, so there is more time to head to Nice so as not to miss it. And you can stay at Le Matisse if you hurry and make your plans now!
A la prochaine…
(photo by Michael Honegger)
P.S. If you want to learn how to organize and manage your time, your priorities and your life to attain balance and get ‘over the overwhelm,’ you won’t want to miss Monique Y. Wells’ conference titled “Make Time Your Ally Increase Your Revenue with Better Time Mastery” taking place April 11-12 here in Paris. For more information about the conference and to register, visit Make Time Your Ally.
P.P.S. For those of you who might have attended our Living and Investing in France Conferences in New Orleans in years past, or for those who have traveled to New Orleans and may have been lucky to enough to have a drink at the bar or a meal in the restaurant at Tujague’s on Decatur street, the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans…my cousin, Steven Latter, owner, operator and downright New Orleans character who sat at the back of the bar smoking cigarettes and joking with clients, died in his sleep (peacefully we imagine) Monday night at the young age of 64. Steven was always so good to us — we hosted so many conferences there on the bentwood chairs while he served up “beignets” (donuts) covered in powdered sugar, brisket of beef and coffee and chicory in glass mugs. He was quite a guy and he will be sorely missed. The Times Picayune published a great article about him you might want to read: Steven Latter.