“Black Orpheus” – Kenny Barron and Brad Mehldau
I like observing how a day begins in small urban centers. There are usually some rituals: opening the window shades, watering the plants, walking the dogs, getting out to buy bread and newspapers, taking a cofee in a bar, etc.
In the Old Nice, all this takes place, as the sun rises above the Colline du Chateau – the hill once crowned with a fortified castle, and today a civic park. Here, the mornings are imbued with sharp light, and there is not much car traffic, because the streets are cramped and parking is almost impossible. Most people move around on feet, bicycle or a scooter.
“Rise Up In The Morning” – Modern Jazz Quartet
“Ritratto In Bianco e Nero” (Portrait In Black and White) – MIna
The cliche’ about the French, is that they don’t like to work much. While you will always be able to find a nation where people work harder than elsewhere, perhaps the quantity is not everything – you also need to look at the effects. I’ve lived in four countries and have travelled a bit, thus have some ground for comparisons. In France you find a palpable sense of social ownership of the territory. France is considered common good, so the french tend to look after it with reasonable care.
This can be seen easily looking at how they maintain the infrastructures, how they care about the national heritage, how proudly they expose local treasures of nature, art, architecture. If Italy did the same, it could easily double its tourism revenues. Keeping the streets clean makes part of the same philosophy – it makes everybody live better and eventually translates into more wealth: more tourists and higher value of the houses. This makes part of a general social model of behaviour called cooperation. Cooperation level within societies is directly correlated to diffuse well being. But this might be a topic for another post.
“Work Song” – Nat Adderley & Wes Montgomery
“Summer Breeze” – Isley Brothers
As you walk out from the old town onto the promenade, you’re bound to see this restaurant with the picture of an imaginary painter decorating the wall. This place has always intrigued me, and I’ve tried to make an interesting image in this scenario, trying different approaches and times of day.
The difficulty seems to be, to combine the right position of the sun, so that the shadow of the palm tree intermingles with the painting on the wall, while finding some human interest among the restaurant’s tables.
I think, I’ve shot this image at least on four different occasions, and there is always something that is leaving me with an impression that I could do better. Maybe it will be the next time.
“Take Five” – Dave Brubeck
“Holding back the years” – Simply Red
In the ex Soviet Union, freshly wed couples used to pose for a photo in front of the local statue of Lenin or Stalin ( there was a statue of Lenin and Stalin in every major town). Nowadays, the tradition coninues in the North Korea, in front of twin statues of the Kim’s.
In Nice, they pose on the Promenade, in front of the sea.
I find this to be very refreshing.
“Let There Be Love” – Chris Botti & Michael Buble’
“Close Your Eyes” – Stacey Kent
“All By Myself” – Eric Carmen