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Musique is in the Air, Everywhere

Fête de la Musique Logo

Tous a Nice - Fête de la Musique

The stage for Nice Fête de la Musique at Place MassénaThe stage for Nice Fête de la Musique at Place Masséna

Fête de la Musique, Nice

Restaurant Le Truc - Nice, France

John Garland JonesJohn Garland Jones

Elton John in Nimes

Timothy Jay SmithTimothy Jay Smith

The Fourth Courier - by Timothy Jay Smith

James NaveJames Navé

Twice 5 Miles Radio Logo


I write this as I’m training back to Paris from Nice. I’m on the left side of the car so I have a view of the water from time to time and the sun is streaming in warming up my arm, leg and mood. I am jealous of the sunbathers on the beach, although I had a nice afternoon myself on the Nice pebbles yesterday.

A three-child family from South Carolina is sitting adjacent to me and are doing as good a job as they can whispering so as not to disturb me. That came as a result of having very enlightening conversation about using “French voices,” rather than their American ones. The American group further down in the car didn’t happen to hear our discussion, evident by the decibel level of their voices, completely unaware of anyone or anything around them.

On Monday, Patty Sadauskas and I were sitting at Café Frei on rue de France in Nice working away, using the wifi and a convenient plug, when a group of young Americans came in. One young guy, in his teens I guessed, started a Facetime conversation by holding the phone at arm’s length so he could see whomever it was and he/she could see him. He had the volume of the phone at full blast, so that everyone in the café could hear the entire conversation as he screamed into the phone and the other party could talk back.

I didn’t hesitate, looked up and asked him if he had earphones so that we wouldn’t have to be subjected to hearing the conversation, to which he replied, “I’m talking to my mother!”…as if that made it perfectly okay, so I responded with a joke, “Tell her I said hello!”

Still clueless, he said, speaking toward his phone, “Mom, there’s this nice lady who wants to say hello!”

What could we do, but laugh, or cry or whatever it is we do when we encounter clueless Americans who don’t think anything of disturbing everyone around them? “C’est la vie en France.”


One reason I scheduled a return for today was so I wouldn’t miss Fête de la Musique in Paris. This Friday night, June 21st and Summer Solstice, is the annual festival in France as well as all over the world. It was first held in 1982, launched by the Ministry of Culture to mobilize both professional and amateur musicians to offer their talents free to the public on this one day every year. It became so popular so quickly that it’s now held in more than 100 countries on five continents!

It’s one of my favorite festivals, on the longest day of the year (the sundown is predicted to take place at 9:58 p.m.!) It’s just so enjoyable to take in a light dinner “al fresco,” then wander the streets to hear a variety of music. As is my habit, I hang out in Le Marais, as there’s plenty going on there, but it’s certainly not the only place in town. In the past, I’ve enjoyed it in Nice, as well, just sitting on my balcony as there were bands playing all up and down rue Masséna.

The official website is difficult to maneuver, as is usually the case. For some reason, the organizers think we choose our venues by music genre, when the truth is, we choose them by location! Isn’t that right? You decide to head to a particular part of town and wander from venue to venue, but you need to know where they are, which is so much more important than what’s playing! Do you agree? So, for Paris venues, I suggest you skip the official site and use Sortir à Paris, that has a listing by district.

In Nice, it’s not all happening at Place Masséna, although one might think so, given the elaborate set-up that has interrupted the tramway and foot traffic around the Place. The big, big show takes place there over four hours with Patrick Bruel, Soprano, Bigflo et Oli, Maître Gims, Angèle, Matt Pokora, Aya Nakamura, Zaz, Zazie, Pascal Obispo, Jenifer, Jaïn, Claudio Capéo, Eddy of Pretto, Mika, Kassav (for their 40 years on stage), Boulevard des Airs, Clara Lucciani, the Aveners, Bilal Hassani, Barry Moore and Silvan Areg (a total of 45 different French and international artists).

For some real local American talent in Nice, John Garland Jones will be singing at Le Truc, an awesome wine bar with a great local crowd and a super friendly owner! Come by and enjoy the night. 8 to 11 p.m. at 78, rue de France, Nice.

Patty is headed toward Nimes, her home away from home, where she plans on enjoying Fête de la Musique there (see for the schedule). A big bonus for her is that Elton John is playing at the Arena on Saturday night. Because it’s sold out, her plan is to find a spot to land outside of the arena where she will be able to hear the concert perhaps fairly well! I’m anxious to hear how that goes.


We invite you to a reading and discussion of Timothy Jay Smith’s newest novel, The Fourth Courier, followed by a wine and cheese reception, at the American Library in Paris this coming Monday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m. Timothy spoke about his work recently at our Après Midi

The Fourth Courier is a literary thriller set in 1992 in post-Cold War Poland at a time of momentous changes: the end of the communist era, the break-up of the Soviet Union on its eastern border, and solidarity winning the country’s first free elections in half a century. Released this April, The Fourth Courier is already in its second printing. It’s been selected by Bookstr as one of the five best novels set in Europe to be released this year and the reviews have been excellent. It should be an interesting evening, so hope to see you at the American Library on the 24th. And bring a friend! For more information, see


Twice 5 Miles Radio welcomed Paris based real estate entrepreneur, writer, and television host Adrian Leeds (me) to Twice 5 Miles radio. Have you ever dreamed of waking up in Paris, making a coffee, and looking out from your 4th-floor window onto your slow-moving Sunday morning neighborhood? Adrian Leeds helps people make their Paris dreams come true, even if they can only visit for a short week. I first met Adrian in 2006 when she invited me to speak at Après-Midi, one of the many events she organizes for English speaking expats who live in Paris and tourists who visit. It was a pleasure to sit down with Adrian and talk about a city we both love. Enjoy the conversation. Listen here and share. 

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds - with John G Jones, Nice

Adrian Leeds
(with John G Jones, Nice)

Respond to Adrian

The Adrian Leeds Group

P.S. Did you know…friends of Parler Paris, Parler Nice and French Property Insider are welcome to stay in Le Matisse — at least when I’m not there. It’s warmer in winter and cooler in summer! Contact us to secure your stay! [email protected]


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