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Treading among dreams

26/03/2010

Eynaudi plaque, rue Benoit Bunico, Vieux Nice

Door, rue pont vieux, Vieux Nice

The keen-eyed, the interested or the simply very, very bored: any of you might have noticed the change of quote on the masthead.
You’ve had a look? Right. So: who? What, and all the rest?
The picture above tells the story in the words of  local writer, Juli Eynaudi. ‘Nobody knows what’s in store’, as Pierrot observed to Fortuna (you can imagine him shrugging theatrically as he does so). ‘I don’t ask for the moon,’ he points out, reasonably. ‘Just let me keep my dreams …’

Insiders often say that Vieux Nice is the soul of the city. Not being among them, I’m not

Montee de la rue du Malonat

Montée de la rue du Malonat

qualified to judge – although I’m only too happy to accept their verdict. And it seems to me at

Entering Vieux Nice from the Cours

any rate that Eynaudi’s words sum up the spirit of the place perfectly: modest, beadily realistic and yet with an insatiable appetite for fantasy – and a capacity for enjoying it to the full.
It’s a wonderful place in which to pursue your dreams. But you have to keep your eyes skinned all the time: the bustling, busy streets are narrow; steep steps wheel and circle around the base of the colline du château, and markets, queues and crowds seemingly spring out of nowhere as you turn a corner. It’s dark, much of it, and secretive. I’m still making new discoveries, almost every week.

clairoir above (typical) lintel in Vieux Nice

Here in the old town you really need to keep your eyes

Volets clapets in Vieux Nice

skinned everywhere you go.  Watch out for that flapping sheet escaping its moorings and – can you see? – that woman up on the fourth floor, beginning to water the plants on her balcony?  Be prepared to leap out of the way as the socca man on his mobylette steers the conical steel dish on its cart through the narrow streets between kitchen and Suzy Socca’s stall in the Cours. Watch out –  carefully, and with an open mind: you’ll be rewarded a hundredfold by what you see as you make your way through the labyrinthine streets.

(All pix courtesy of Commons Wiki; click to enlarge.)

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