The First Tan of Summer — a Riviera Tan
Paris finally turned warm and sunny — almost as beautiful as it is in Nice, where I arrived yesterday. Chasing the sun is what life has become about in Paris, since this past fall, winter and spring have been one long string of gray, rainy days. Monday morning the rain came down in buckets, therefore casting yet another cloud on our summer parade…but now (!) it seems, Parisians have been redeemed.
This week in Nice is a combination of work and play with every moment booked to capacity. The moment we landed the fun began with “Bring On Summer Party” sponsored by InterNations Organization at the Palais de la Méditerranée on the Promenade des Anglais. It’s a five-start Hyatt Regency and it is beautiful and luxurious as one might imagine. The terrace overlooking the sea was a perfect venue for the mixer, while the sun set, and people from all over the world gathered just to get to know one another. At the helm, welcoming all who arrived, was Beverley Holt, one of the two “Ambassadors” for InterNations — a serious networker who is thought of as the “queen of the Nice expat community.” Beverley will be speaking at the upcoming Living and Investing in France Conference (September 27-29) about the community on the Riviera and all it has to offer.
That was the play. Now for the work (although it hardly seems like work!): Starting this morning, our conference coordinator, Millie B., and I are meeting with several of the key players in the conference: the agent at the Hotel Ellington to discuss the details of the day-long presentations, lunch and closing cocktails; the tour bus company which will be taking us by coach along the coast from Cannes to Menton on September 29th; the director of the Nice tourist office to acquire information and materials for the attendees and finally, with the director of the Institut de Français, Fréderic Latty, who will be speaking at the conference and who will be hosting us for a stop at the Institut in Villefrance-sur-Mer the day of the tour.
In the evening we’re going to ‘play’ — dining at my favorite Niçois bistrot, Antoine (that may be my number one favorite in France: 27, rue de la Préfecture, 06300 Vieux Nice, +33 (0) 184.108.40.206.57) with Scott Baker, a young American who is the ‘star’ of an upcoming House Hunters International episode that takes place in where else(?), but Nice, of course. (We’ll let you know when it’s scheduled to air.)
Tomorrow is a another work and play day! Close friend, American Barb Westfield, who is currently enjoying her home in Ansouis, Provence after a major renovation of the kitchen, will be joining us to celebrate her birthday (on summer solstice, the 21st). The bus from Aix-en-Provence takes about two hours and drops her off a block away from the apartment. After lunch (which will likely consist of Salade Niçoise and a glass of rosé wine), an “Expert” is coming to the apartment, as appointed by the court to inspect the toilet. Yes, you read it right. He’s coming to inspect the toilet.
This is part of a suit I filed against the seller of my apartment who did not disclose the fact that the toilet in the apartment does not use the normally large waste pipes, nor was permission ever granted to install it, nor can it be changed, and therefore causes potential problems. In France this is called “vice caché” — or “hidden defect” — and is illegal as well as possibly damaging to the property.
If the Expert determines that it was not possible for me, the buyer, to see that the toilet was not ‘normal,’ and that of course, it’s clear it was never disclosed (not even to the agents who represented the property nor written in the the title document), then I stand to win the case and the seller will be penalized accordingly. If he votes in favor of the seller, and I lose the case, then I will not only be out of pocket for my own legal fees and expenses to rectify the toilet, but also the seller’s, not to mention the risk of potential problems incurred by the toilet! (Wish me luck!)
(FYI, many properties in France have toilets that fit this description and therefore it is of no issue as an owner or renter, as long as it’s treated correctly.)
Late in the afternoon, our building is meeting for the annual homeowner’s association assembly. This was originally the number one reason for the trip to Nice. The building has very few owners. In fact, the “Syndic” (manager) is a volunteer and has lived in the building many years — a very nice man who once worked for a big U.S. corporation in the States and who fortunately for me, speaks very good English. The owners next to me are our friends who also rent their apartment, known as “La Côte du Paradis” for whom I have proxy to vote. Below are a Niçois couple who are important in the city administration. The others are owners of the shops on rue Masséna and at the back entry on rue de la Libérté. It will be the first meeting I’ve attended and I anxiously await getting to know them all a bit better.
In the evening we will celebrate Barb’s birthday at “La Rossettisserie” (8, rue Mascoïnat, Vieux Nice, 04.93.76.18.80). You can guess by the name that it’s near Place Rossetti and it’s a “rôtisserie” — meaning roasted meats. It’s family style, great food and a serious bargain (but that’s not the reason to go).
Friday is the longest day of the year — the Summer Solstice and Fête de la Musique. We have a few casual meetings over lunch and drinks, but otherwise, have set aside the evening for just being out and listening to music. This is one of the very few years to not be in Paris for the festival, so it will be fun to see how Nice and the Riviera support the event. My street will likely be a hotbed of musical acts — as a full-time pedestrian thoroughfare that normally hosts all sorts of public acts and sellers of odds and ends. Perhaps we won’t even have to leave — just sit on the balcony and watch the goings on below!
Saturday we’re headed to Menton for a day at the beach (with the hopes of good weather) and the Annual Summer Solstice Party in Roquefort les Pins (with entertainment) sponsored by the International Club of the Riviera and Pimms & Roses accompanied by friends who spend part of the year in their Menton apartment. The bus to Menton takes about 1.25 hours and costs 1.50 (it recently increased from 1). The train takes 35 minutes, but the coastal road the bus takes is breathtaking and worth the extra time if you can spare it. The plan is to head to the beach for the afternoon then drive into the mountains above Nice to the Chemin du Tramway in Roquefort les Pins for the party before collapsing at home in Nice!
Sunday is the day to be really lazy and with good luck, we’ll be lazy on the beach in good weather. Le Matisse is equipped with folding lounge chairs, beach towels and sun tan lotion — so with the sea only two short blocks away, it will be easy to start the summer off with a Riviera sun tan. Not bad, right?
A la prochaine…
Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
(In Nice, of course)
P.S. Sign up now and explore the Côte d’Azur with the Living and Investing in France Conference! Day one is packed with presentations. Day two is a property tour and on day three you have the option of taking a tour of the Côte d’Azur from Cannes to Menton with stops along the way: Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Monaco, Eze Village, Menton and more! To see the full schedule and register, visit Living and Investing in France.