A day cannot start out any better than with a French pastry, purchased in a French pastry shop, eaten in an old town flat in France. Thank you Brent and Brody for your early morning walk to bring back such scrumptious delicacies. Our European way of life continued when our laundry was hung out the window to dry – perhaps some tourists even took pictures of it. This is not a wonderful part of acting European because I am convinced that something is going to slip off and fall to the street. So far it hasn’t happened.
We took a Rick Steves walking tour of Vieux Nice (Old Nice) – you know you picked the right place to stay when a Rick Steves tour walks right by your place! It started in the local market where they had row and rows of beautiful flowers. The yellow flowers above have been all over the place. They must have something to do with Lent because that’s when we started noticing them in Florence. They are Mimosas. Hopefully you are like me and only thought Mimosas were a drink (OJ and Champagne)! We stopped by a local restauranteur who specialized in Socca, this is a treat that is made out of chick peas and cooks flat in a pan. We spent our money to try this out – it basically tastes like a cornbread that never rose and is flat as a pancake.
There are many churches near our place and we stopped by the one right across the way, Notre Dame de l’Annonciation (dedicated to St Rita, patron saint of desperate causes). It was beautiful inside – very Baroque. If you follow Brent on twitter or Facebook he has a lovely night time picture of the steeple lit up outside our window. During the day we can really hear the bell bong but they stop ringing during the night – thank goodness. However this night time noise does not extent to neighbors who traipse up the stairs at 4AM.
If we look left out our window there is a hill known as Castle Hill. The Castle went away sometime in the 16th century but a few walls still remain. We climbed to the top – even thought there was a free elevator ride from a seaside hotel, and had a great view of Nice. The day was a bit overcast and hazy, on a clear day we must return to really get a good shot of the city. In the photo above you can see the street right in the middle. This is where we live, if there was a super zoom on the camera we could have focused in on our laundry hanging out to dry. The top of the hill has been made into a fantastic park. There was a great play area for Brody and phenomenal views for the parents. There were so many trails and interesting parts of the park. If I actually lived here it would be one of my favorite places to relax.
Nice wants to encourage and promote culture in their community so most of the Museums are free. This is incredible for our Museum budget line – this is the worst news the children could imagine. They got to go to another at museum. The Museum of Modern Art is a 5 minute walk from the house. We have been to a few other modern art museums and I still don’t get it. So much of it is just weirdo strange. Above is photo of a dress made completely out of plastic 2 liters. It’s nifty and took some sort of creativity but I have a hard to calling it art. Brody asks me if I thinks some pieces are “good” or “art” – I’ve started telling him that if it elicits some emotion – it can be called art. So when Brody laughs at the artists who use baby-doll heads and attach phallic symbols to photos – their work is considered art for 9 year old boys.
Thankfully we came across some work by a Nice artist who just goes by Ben. They had a quick biography on him and he had a quote which completely summed up the world of modern art for me. He said, “Successful art is a combination of novelty and ego”. That man is a genius. Most people could do exactly what many modern artists do – unfortunately for them, they didn’t do it first. Also you have to have an ego – or maybe just a personality that is larger than life. Brenna likes the modern art museums because she never knows what is coming. I prefer the art that is purposeful. All the art we have seen in churches are my favorites, the settings are what they are supposed to be – the paintings and sculptures capture more of my interest in a cathedral than in a museum.