Summertime in Nice, and the Livin’ is Easy
This may be the last Parler Nice for a while. I’ll be landing in Paris tonight to rendez-vous with my daughter for a few days. If I don’t return to Nice on Friday just to catch few more rays of Riviera sunshine before the summer comes to an official end, then the next issue of Parler Nice is likely to be in October when I can find time to return.
Nice really got under my skin this summer, tanning me to the color of a brown berry and rosying up my cheeks. What I thought was going to be a summer of solitude turned into non-stop fun in the sun with guests and friends from all over the world as well as the newly inaugurated Niçois expats – friends and clients who have created a real and vibrant community here in the seaside enclave.
Every year I complain about August 15th being the deadest day of the year and now I know that only applies to certain cities, like Paris. Here in Nice, it might have been the most glorious and busiest day ever with everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – on the beaches during the day, having dinner al fresco at one of the many outdoor cafés and restaurants and then admiring the fireworks from the Promenade des Anglais that night.
The beaches were bumper to bumper with sun bathers and the water up to its waves in swimmers and floaters. This year funky rafts are over the top and are out in force. The water was decidedly warmer than in previous years, which made for fabulous swimming, but so much so that dangerous stingrays measuring up to a 90cm wingspan are in abundance off the cost of the Mediterranean and bathers have been warned. Fortunately, I never encountered one, but did bump into an awful lot of floaters. (See a video of the stingrays)
People watching on the beach is one of my favorite pasttimes. The beach bunnies were every sort of nationality behaving in all of their multi-cultural fashions. The Japanese come in their finest clothing, covered from head to toe, carrying umbrellas and cameras. They might stick their toes in the water, but they rarely get too much too wet. The Chinese wear neck-to-toe “burkini style” bathing suits, also to keep the sun off their skin, but they do love the water. The Italians never stop changing bathing suits right before your very eyes – one suit to swim in; the other to tan in. Go figure? The topless women are rarely French (if young) and you can immediately tell who’s American (men) by the boxer-style swim trunks, while the Europeans are in Speedos. The beach in Nice is a microcosm of the world; a mini United Nations and a representation of how everyone of any nationality can enjoy the sun and surf.
At Place Rossetti in Old Town, Fenocchio, the “Maître Glacier” – with an offering of 94 flavors (59 ice creams and 35 sorbets) ranging from the great classics to exciting innovations such as thyme, rosemary, violet, rose, tomato and basil, lavender and many others – was thick with willing takers. I lived vicariously through their licking of the sweet nectar while maintaining my Paleo diet void of dairy and sugar.
Launched at 10 p.m. from two boats off the coast of the Baie des Anges opposite Opéra Plage, the fireworks display that lit up the August 15th night sky over the Mediterranean was stunning, running for about 20 minutes. Spectators gathered all along the Promenade des Anglais and sat wherever they could find a spot to see the show, mostly on the “galets” on the beach. Security was out in force, but it didn’t appear that anyone worried one iota about the threat of another terrorist attack.
Friend of Parler Nice and newcomer to Nice, John Garland Jones, crooned his (and our) favorite tunes at the Snug and Cellar Saturday night. Yep, “Summertime, and the Livin’ is Easy” was just one of them. A few of our finest expats were there to enjoy his show. John will be crooning a lot more in the coming weeks, so be sure to follow his Facebook page to learn when and where as he adds spice to the nightlife in Nice, his new hometown.
By tonight I’ll be back in Paris. My big overstuffed bags (filled with clothing I never wore) were picked up by SNCF this morning to be transported and delivered “chez moi” tomorrow morning, making it “du gâteau” for me to travel back with very little. The service costs 38€, but I took advantage of their half-price deal earlier in the summer and shipped two for the price of one. If you don’t already know about this, here’s the link.
Can you imagine being sad to arrive in Paris? I know that’s hard to believe, but after almost five weeks in Nice, where Summertime, the Livin’ is Easy…that’s how I feel.
Summertime….and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’…and the cotton is high
Yo’ daddy’s rich…and yo’ mama’s good-lookin’
So hush little baby……don’t you cry
One of these mornin’s…you gonna rise up singin’
You gonna spread your little wings…and you’ll take to the sky
With yo mama and daddy…standin’ bye
Now it’s summertime….and the livin’ is easy
Them fish are jumpin’…and the cotton’s ’bout waist high
Yo’ daddy’s rich…and, ya know yo’ mama’s good-lookin’
Now hush little baby……don’t….you cry
A la prochaine…(à Paris!)
Editor of Parler Nice
Adrian Leeds Group
P.S. A special tribute goes to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, whose recording “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” made a success out of every single party I ever hosted and who enriched my life from the moment her resonant voice hit the radio. May she rest in peace.
P.P.S. Don’t Just survive…thrive! Mark your calendar for October 6th and be sure to register ASAP for “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” The Bloom program has become the premier source of information for English-speaking expats in France since 1965. Whether you’ve been living in France for some time already or have just arrived, you’ll find it very valuable! I’m one of the many informative speakers…and I’ll be speaking on “French Property the American Way.”