Nice…where art matters

(Yes, I know, the last post was from Glasgow, but there’s so much to tell about our time in France, I’m skipping about here.)

We’re not generally fans of large cities, specially touristy places like Nice. But there were some things we really wanted to see so we returned the car early and booked a hotel in the city center.

We’d driven through Nice on our way to Villa Ephrussi in Cap Ferrat, and there was no way we were doing that again! Wayne’s driven in Paris, for heaven’s sakes, but those Nice drivers were another breed. Someone told us it was the proximity to Italy…or to Italian drivers? But in Nice they seem to drive and park wherever they want.

Anyhow, we really liked Nice!

The city was founded in 350 BC, and was not formally part of France until 1860. The Greeks, the Romans, the French have all left their mark. But like many other cities we’ve visited in France, Nice is a vibrant mix of old and new. And there’s art everywhere.

This is Place Massena, part of a huge public space that connects Old Nice with its newer downtown core, (still pretty old by North American standards).

Even the tiles in Place Massena, pictured in the heading photo, are arranged in an artistic pattern.

But sometimes you have to look up, way up, to really see. Being on the short side, and always on the lookout for dog poop (because too many French simply don’t pick up after their dogs…yuck!), I often forget to do just that.

I stood on the tram rails running through Place Massena, the fountain above is way in the background. And perched way up high, overlooking the Place, are these seven identical statues.

Contemplating? Sunbathing? People-watching? The Spanish artist who created them intended that they represent the seven continents, and when they change colour at night, they are engaging in dialogue with each other.
These are Nice’s trademark blue chairs along the Promenade des Anglais.
And this is the ‘art’ of the Blue Chair.
This is cool. See those balconies? Not real. Trompe l’oeil. Art!
Even the plastic patio chairs are artsy and cool. And we saw them in numerous places, often in different colours.
And then there was the Nice Book Festival, and this artist kindly drawing a special prehistoric animal greeting to grandson Dylan, for whom we found this French book on dinosaurs.

Our school-age grandkids are all in French Immersion, so books for each made sense. And even 18-month old Brody could have his board book read to him by older brother Josh or Dylan. As luck would have it there was a Festival des Livres going on, complete with authors signing their books.

But back to Nice art…

This is the Arc de 115,5 (degrees), created to duplicate the exact curve of the Bay of Angels around which Nice sits. Here it’s surrounded by Festival des Livres tents and lots of families enjoying the day.
Ok, so this is the Ladies at Boccaccio, where we had that amazing meal (see my earlier post). But it looked like art to me, so here it is.

And as we leave Nice and fly to Edinburgh, I grabbed one final shot of Nice art. Cool huh?

A la prochaine!

(Till next time!)