Four Days on the Côte d’Azur: Part TwoPosted: May 22, 2012
What to Do (in no particular order):
Get Lucky: I don’t think I’d be too lucky a gambler, so while I didn’t even walk in, I did stand with the crowd and take a picture of this lovely façade. Natch–the Monte Carlo Casino is is probably the most famous casino in the world. If you want to indulge your inner James Bond, I recommend spending some dollars at the blackjack table. And bringing me.
See Cousteau’s Aquarium: Only 40 minutes from Nice is one of the coolest aquariums I’ve ever seen. Jacques Cousteau–as my roommate first told me and as Wikipedia later confirmed–was the director of Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum for years. It’s been open over a hundred years, with the classy crown molding and jellyfish visions to prove it.
See le Ciné: Ah, les films français! On one of our jaunts, my host Sara and I came across Le Mercury cinema, one of only two places in Nice to show films in the original language (the other being the Cinémathèque). In a tiny little artsy room, we saw Perfect Sense. In this sweet film, some scientific mystery has it that people’s senses are fading away starting with smell, then taste, then hearing…and so on. A bit spooky, totally lovely.
Get your Hair Done: Yes, a haircut qualifies as fun for me. I live in fear of Russian haircuts (and my own Russian language abilities) so I knew I had to get this stuff done in France. Impact Coiffure was right near my hostess’s flat, and it was always busy. Plus, cute boys came out with cute haircuts, and the female staff all had attractive pixie cuts or artfully mussed French hair. I ended up with a sweet set of bangs. Très bien indeed.
Get Cultured: I’ve seen La Danse a number of times, in both St. Petersburg and Amsterdam, so I didn’t care to see that again, but the Matisse Museum had a number of the artist’s sketches and later works from his time in Nice. Even more interesting, though, was the lower level’s collection of Brassaï photographs. Brassaï was such an interesting man: a polyglot filmmaker, sculptor and photographer, he changed the face of French photography forever. I like what Scott Schuman from The Sartorialist has to say about him here.
Take a Pause in Munich: On the way to Nice I stopped in Munich, making it my first trip to Germany. If you’re ever on a layover in Munich, the Corbin Feng Shui hotel in Freising is lovely. I also recommend Bombay for tasty Indian food and very nice service. The town is really pretty, but my camera was checked away in my luggage this whole time. I’ll have to return to Germany–camera in tow–some other day.
Visit the Flower Market: The market in Nice goes into full swing in the mornings. An early bird delight (on all days except Monday). I got a great pain au chocolat and saw a super selection of flowers. Come on, look at those peonies! When I was a young one we had a peony plant outside our house, and I loved watching the ants chew open the buds to reveal the pretty pink flowers. To me, they’re a beautiful reminder of summer. Enjoy!