Under Water/Over Water, Good/Bad, Nice/VeNice
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.
(All photos by Erica Simone, except where noted)
Landing in Nice in pouring rain was not the usual sunny welcome. It came down so hard that by the time we rolled our bags home from the 98 bus stop only a short walk away, our bags were dripping wet and we resembled wet rats in spite of being equipped with umbrellas and rain coats.
It didn’t dampen our spirits however. Nice was Nice and Nice was nice. Le Matisse is always a bright spot regardless of the cloud cover. Henri le Cactus is another few inches taller since one month ago and before long will outgrow his corner spot. With about three feet left before he hits the ceiling and at a growth rate of about .5 inches per week, in about 1.5 years, he’ll be too tall for the apartment…although my daughter is convinced he’ll organically know his space limitations and perhaps start growing arms outward instead of upward.
Erica had not seen the Promenade de Paillon since its total face lift, so that was the first thing on our agenda after a sumptuous meal at one of my favorite and regular restaurants, Il Vicoletto. This is authentic Italian dining in the middle of the Carré d’Or.
Even in the rain, and perhaps particularly because of the rain, the misty Promenade was even more beautiful to stroll than during the peak of summer sun. Without the kids on the playground, it was a perfect opportunity to grab a ride on the swing for babies and pretend I was not about to turn a year older, but several decades younger.
The tourists have gone home and Nice is back to normal. The Brazilian dancers are not out, nor are the African merchants that block entry to my door at peak season. The skies may be gray, but the ambiance is quite relaxing and the natives are as pleasant as usual. The merchants are remarkably friendlier than those in Paris — they are definitely more relaxed and sunnier in nature, even on such a gray day.
To celebrate our October birthdays, we strolled through the flower market and produce market on the Cours Saleya, then lunched at my favorite bistrot of all time — Le Bistrot d’Antoine (27, rue de la Préfecture, 06300 Nice, Phone: +33 (0) 4 93 85 29 57). The food is way beyond the meager price one pays for such delicacies — so reserve in advance, otherwise, don’t count on getting a table.
At the Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image, the Frank Horvat exhibit just opened Friday. Two hundred of his photos are on display in the beautiful space worth a visit. Our only criticism was the strange way in which the show is curated — we were dying to move images around to fit or work better together. They could have had more impact, but the lesson for the day is not to judge things as good or bad, just accept them as they are.
On this day of my XXnd birthday, it is the lesson to be taken to heart. From Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now comes the message:
“Seen from a higher perspective, conditions are always positive. To be more precise: they are neither positive nor negative. They are as they are. And when you live in complete acceptance of what is which is the only sane way to live there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in your life anymore. There is only a higher good which includes the ‘bad.’ Seen from the perspective of the mind, however, there is good-bad, like-dislike, love-hate. Hence, in the Book of Genesis, it is said that Adam and Eve were no longer allowed to dwell in ‘paradise’ when they ‘ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.'”
Niçois friends joined us for cocktails and cake last night — the list growing with time as Nice becomes more of a second home than just a brief vacation. The more time spent here, Nice just gets nicer, come rain or come shine. Later today we will find ourselves OVER, not UNDER water — on the bridges of Venice, Italy, where we intend to continue our birthday week of pleasure…not for good or for bad, but in paradise where there is no good or evil…only what is and acceptance of what it is.
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group
(in Nice, photo by Erica Simone)
P.S. Be sure to tune in to House Hunters International tomorrow, October 16 at 10:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. for “Snapshot of City Life in Paris, France” when Ben and Nicole Miller need to choose between an apartment in central Paris full of photo ops and a home closer to Ben’s job outside the city so he doesn’t need to commute. Watch as I help them find the perfect solution! And be sure to Like our Facebook page.
P.P.S. Original prints of the photo by Erica Simone, “Benches on the Boardwalk,” pictured above, are available in two sizes: 24x17 edition/6 Archival Inkjet Photo Print $1125 and 17x12 edition/10 Archival Inkjet Photo Print $695. Email [email protected] for more information and to order your original signed print.