Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bonjour Antibes !!

Ahhh .... Bonjour Antibes !!

... Ok, even having been robbed and experiencing the worst moment of my life, it hasn't eclipsed my profound amour for beautiful Antibes. I have no choice in the matter, I'm powerless ... it calls me ... as a painter and as a lover of life. I was born on Valentine's Day under the sign of Aquarius - the water bearer - and there is a desire in me to always be near water. I lived in Cape May, NJ for six years ... and never tired of looking at the ocean.

So, for me, Antibes is paradise. I've carried my easel and paints and canvases to many picturesque spots along the Cote d'Azur. I've painted in the exact same places as Claude Monet and Picasso ... I'm overwhelmed with emotion ... there's not really a word for it in English that I can think of that describes the feeling. I'm awed.

I have a song in my heart when I stroll down these quaint little alleys ... there are always beautiful boutiques and intimate shops to discover ... and then there are the aromas ... The aromas can change step to step ... from bread baking to lavender sachets to expensive cologne ... Mmmm ... maybe the cologne of my fFhasap !!

So, after coffee and a shower, Patricia and I walked into town. She used to live RIGHT in the middle of the old village ... around the corner from the Antibea Theatre ... in a very cute apartment ... but the view was of the wall of the opposing building. It was still gorgeous ... BUT ... then Patricia relocated ... her new place is AMAZING !! The view ... outstanding !! Right now as I type, the old chapel is ringing her bells and a rooster is crowing from the garden center below ... and the view, the VIEW ... of parasol pine trees and gardens, and you can see for miles and miles ... from her new lovely apartment ... the one other great difference is that it is not in the old village of Antibes ... there's a walk ... and what a walk it is !! It takes at a brisk step maybe 50 minutes to arrive in town ... that's when I'm not getting lost on the twisting narrow streets. But, even to get lost is wonderful ... to see the beautiful villas and gardens and olive trees ... to smell what is cooking inside their homes as I pass by ... AND, ok, yes, there is the added benefit of my aching muscles getting fit again. So, it's a great plus !!

Today I will walk and meander and end up at the Plage de la Gravette ... my favorite beach. It's located right in the heart of the old village ... and I love to lay in the white sand and soak in the view of the stone buildings. Nicolas de Staël, the great Russian artist acquiring French nationality, had lived right next to the Plage de la Gravette. Sadly for us, he jumped to his death on March 15, 1955 ... in beautiful Antibes. I often look over to where he lived ... and think of how I would have loved to have known him ...

Two French Amies

First stop - after the market of course - the newly restored St. Bernadin Church. Patricia is a tour guide in this beautiful church dating from 1591 ! I wish that I could have been part of the restoration because I have done paintings that were similar ... when I was part of the painting group of six who painted the 110 foot mural on the back of Symphony Hall in Allentown, PA. My job was to paint the instruments and fruit in sepia ... way up on scaffolding ... yikes !

Place Nationale - c'est très fantastique !

Déjeuner ... ok ... time for enjoyment. I wanted to treat Patricia to déjeuner - lunch, so I took her to one of my favorite spots 'Le Rustic'. Jim and Diana and I ate there a few times ... Mmmm ... salad avec moules frites et une petit carafe de vin rose .... Nix Besser !!

Salad avec moules frites et vin rosé

Renato Manese

Ladies of America ... this is Renato Manese. He's a great painter ... and also nice to look at ! His studio is located on a lovely tiny street in the old village on Rue Fersen. I tell him that he should come to America and have an exhibition of his paintings in NYC ... Pourquoi pas - why not I say ??!

After Patricia and I spent the day in the old village of Antibes, we started our journey back to Patricia's home ... another 50 minute walk - uphill ... hmmm ... maybe I'll be a svelte tanned sun goddess by the time I depart in two weeks ... maybe I WOULD be ... except for the wine, bread and brie ... ahhh ... paradise !

Walking home ... like I said ... ahhhh ... awe ...


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