Nice, la Belle.

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Nice, Promenade des Anglais. Vincent Lindenau

What comes to mind when visiting Nice? Let’s see…. La Promenade des Anglais, 

b794b29c1e9f9275763246e633af35c6La Salade Niçoise,

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Le Negresco

But also that “coolitude” ( cool+ attitude) depicted by the nonchalance life style of rich and beautiful people.

George Hoyningen-Huene for Vogue magazine Juillet 1930

George Hoyningen-Huene for Vogue magazine Juillet 1930

e1566e2eb2296a29dfc935de4fbbe3d7The French Riviera of the 1920s and early ’30s was a haven for artists and writers from the far reaches of the world. Legendary  personalities such as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Picasso, Picabia, Cocteau, Josephine Baker and Piaf – just to name a few- chose Nice, between a desire for creation, the quest for happiness, and the looming darkness of World War II.

travellers.jpgTo this day, Nice is a major destination, partly because of its international airport. On this particular occasion, I only stayed for a couple of days. I walked around the three main attractions of the city,

IMG_4733La Promenade des Anglais at sunset,

IMG_4754Le Cours Saleya and its wonderful flower market

fleurs.jpgFlower and Fruit market

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IMG_4761My only regret, not having tasted the Jasmin flavour gelato.

IMG_4732_2and then to the Place Masséna, a “jewel” in the urban design of the city.

PlaceMassena.jpgThe seven statues of the Place Masséna. Some call them Buddahs, other Scribes; some love them and others find them hideous.


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sculpture2.jpgNobody is indifferent to them. The seven resin statues on Massena square were created by Jaume Plensa, Spanish artist specialized in monumental art. These seven characters represent seven continents and the communication between the different communities of today’s society. The name of this creation is “Conversation à Nice”. The statues are illuminated every night, colours are changing smoothly to emulated a dialog between them. There are quiet impressive.

placemassena2.jpgYou will see a large fountain called the “Fontaine du Soleil”, the Sun Fountain. There are 5 bronze sculptures in the basin and in the centre stands an impressive marble Apollo. He is 7 meters (23 feet) tall and weighs in at 7 tons. He is definitely the king of the square and you would think this giant would be admired and respected… but not by the Niçois.

fontainemassena.jpgThe spectators claimed that he looked like an advertisement for the most popular automobile at the time, the Renault 4CV, known as the “4 horsepower”. So the magnificent Greek deity was saddled with the nickname – “the 4 horsepower statue”.But there was a bigger problem – and it was located further down the nude sculpture. Some conservative inhabitants of the city thought that his “manhood” was too large, while some older ladies thought it was too small …

chienchien.jpgThis baby was not impressed by the size of it.

IMG_4745There is something about the light in Nice that makes blues seem bluer. Monsieur Matisse would agree.

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La Baie de Nice , Henri Matisse

 

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Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse first came to Nice in 1916, when his doctor sent him to recover from bronchitis.  In his first decade in Nice, Matisse lived at the Hôtel Beau Rivage on the Promenade des Anglais, which also hosted the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nietzche and Chekov. In 1918, Matisse took a room at the Hôtel de la Mediterranée, which he kept for four years.

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Ma chambre au Beau-Rivage by Henri Matisse

I mentioned twice F. Scott Fitzgerald, because somehow I associate him to the ambiance of the Riviera and Henri Matisse to the colours of it. Please visit the Fitzgerald link above and you’ll be mesmerized.

On my way back to Paris, I stopped over night in Valbonne to visit dear friends and we had a fantastic time.

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Until next time, bye and be good 🙂

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3 comments

  1. Elisa says:

    This design is steller! You definitely know how to
    keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your
    videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  2. Faranak Mansour says:

    En un laps de temps , trop court à mon goût, j’ai complètement oublié que je n’étais que cloué dans un fauteuil, dans un bureau sans lumière! Super la visite et quelle belle lumière!

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