So the lesson for today is do not have 3/4 bottle of wine before going to a concert–especially if they are playing Bruckner. I managed to stay barely awake during the Mozart piano concerto #20 with Till Fellner as soloist. But the Bruckner 4th symphony was too much–not just for me. One of the musicians collapsed during the first movement. They managed to get him off the stage without stopping the music but the big cymbal finish was–absent. Also for my musically knowledgeable friends, a question: instead of the letter key (I.e. A minor) they use do-re-mi so the concerto was in “re” minor. But doesn’t the “do” always correspond to the letter? Please explain, Michael. 

Thanks Abby for your Talisker story. I never drink it at home but it seems ultra popular in France. 

Ateliers de français at the Anglican church

So this is not a complaint but I’ve been speaking more English than French. There is a large anglophone community in Nice (there is even an English language radio station) which is comfortable but self-defeating. Yesterday I had lunch with an Irish friend I met last year (Noel) and an American woman (Sunny). Tuesday I went to conversation at France- Grande Bretagne, where French people go to practice their English and English speakers their French. They told me about a class on Thursday, in French, for English speakers, so I went. It was held at the Anglican Church of Nice, in the meeting room (salle de reunion) which I had the devil finding. But it was an interesting conversation about the French education system. I was told dogs were welcome (imagine that in a US church!) so I went home–3 blocks away–to fetch Ellie for the book club that followed. 

All the participants except the speaker and the group leader were French and our assignment was The Old Man and the Sea, which I managed to read in 2 days. We were served tea and biscuits (cookies). The group leader thought the French translation was better than Hemingway’s original! Since no one else had read both, this passed as wisdom. 

On the way home I stopped at the liquor store and am now drinking Talisker, which seems appropriate, along with some nems (egg rolls) I had bought earlier. So multi-culti in spades. 

(Extra)ordinary life

I don’t know how interested you are in my day to day. So if not, feel free to ignore. I will signal in the title if it’s something out of the ordinary. 

But even the ordinary is different from my life in New York. Partly because I push myself harder to get out and do something. Yesterday it was a lecture with concert focused on Chopin. The interesting part was that several hundred Nicois turned out–more than the auditorium could hold. Even though it was free, I can’t imagine an overflow crowd at home for a rather dry biography and 2 brief piano preludes. 

Today it is rainy but decided to go out for a pleasant lunch. My apartment is in a very touristy area, surrounded by bistros. I checked tripadvisor, which recommended an Italian place, nearby but a little out of the way. It was terrific. I must now revise my opinion of Italian restaurants in Nice. A huge pizza–half of which I brought home, a trio of panna cotta (with chocolate, caramel and raspberry sauces) that was one of the best desserts ever and a grappa. Time for Ellie and my siesta. 

No News is Good News

Thank you all for your comments. I’ve been busy this past week, settling in, but nothing remarkable to note until today. While you were avoiding television, I was attending a lecture on salons of the 18th century. I’d like to say it was interesting but aside from a few King Louis and Voltaire, I didn’t recognize most of the names. I did, however, manage to understand most of it. I have enrolled in an adult Ed program and look forward to a talk tomorrow on Chopin, which should be more engaging. 

It’s been too chilly to enjoy the terrace but today it was warm enough for Ellie and me to enjoy coffee on the beach. Next week should climb to the 60s so we will get out more. 

In paradise (street)

Arrived in Nice yesterday to bright sunshine after a 2 hour delay out of JFK because of snow. Not warm here (in the 30s) but better than NY. 

The advantage of returning to the same place is that I know where things are. Arriving on a Sunday afternoon when most shops–including grocery stores–are closed, I found that my old wine store was open. Yay! Today I went grocery shopping and found a rolling cart to lug my groceries, exactly where the shops were before. Also had a lovely lunch with Samara (osso buco for me and Ellie, cod for Samara) and caught up on local real estate. 

My apartment is gorgeous. It’s on rue Paradis, in the golden square (carrė d’or) just above Max Mara. The large terrace faces west–perfect for aperos at sunset. 

Living room