All About Trey

Life, Travel, Adventure

Matisse, Chagall, and the Eagle

So there is a bus stop relatively close to the hotel, so I caught the number 22 bus up to Cimiez which is where the museums are. Cimiez is the high rent district. It's up on a hill over looking Nice and the neighborhood was nice, really nice. It kind of reminded me of how the Phillips Collection is located in Dupont and that there aren't a lot of tourist trappy places nearby. And like the Phillips, the Musee Matisse was in a old home (villa) that had been modified to be a museum.

The musuem was quite good. The major exhibit was on Lydia (some weird slavic name) who was Matisse's muse. She was his assistant, executive secretary, studio manager, etc. And there were all of these paintings, drawings, and pictures of her. Now, there was a Mrs. Matisse (Amelie I believe) but no drawings of her. So I assume that Lydia was also his mistress considering how many nudes he drew. And I wonder what Mrs. Matisse thought of that? I know, I know. It's a French thing. But still. Overall the collection was good, but a lot of nude women. Not really my thing.

After an interminable wait for the bus in the blistering sun (obligatory heat reference #1), I took the bus down to the Chagall museum. It's actually the Musee National Biblique Marc Chagall. So how do you get a national museum named after yourself? You give all of your art to the state. And voila! So I got my ticket and made a beeline to the cafe to get lunch before I did the collection. This not drinking sodas is not fun. I had peach tea which I'm sure have a 1000 grams of sugar. Oh well. So did you notice the extra word in the name of the museum? Biblique? Well originally the collection was made up of biblical paintings. Which is something that I didn't realize Chagall was known for. A Russian Jew, he considered France his home country and after touring the exhibit it's amazing at the number of religious paintings or even religious symbols in his works. Unlike Matisse, Chagall's use of color is extreme, dark blues, deep reds, fiery oranges. It was really quite amazing. And in addition the religious symbols in the paintings, there were also many references or depictions of the plight of the Jews in Russia, France, and Palestine (as it was then known). The whole collection was fascinating.

After that, I headed back to the hotel to hit the roof top pool. The thermometer at the pool said it was 32 degrees. Translation: fricking hot (obligatory heat reference #2). So I just relaxed and let the sweat drip off me. Ugh.

For dinner, the concierge recommended a couple of places in the pedestrian section of downtown. The first was right on the main strip and looked very seafoody. The second was down a small alley to this charming little courtyard with flowering vines covering lattices that provided some shade with candles everywhere. Totally charming. I'm in. And what a good call. For my starter, I had the tartine of something. It was a small slice of bread with chevre cheese spread thick, really thick, on top of it. Toasted. With little slices of figs on top. On top of a bed of arrugla (my new favorite green). With prosciutto on one side, and this delicious piece of bacon on the other. I was in heaven. My main was penne pesto with a creamy parmigiano reggiano sauce with shaved smoked corfu ham. A-Maz-Ing. So, so, so good. With a couple of glasses of the local wine, I was feeling good.

So good that I decided to try to hit the Eagle. So I went back to the hotel, changed, and then took a cab to the Eagle. Where it was foam night. Yes, foam night. Hello, Miami is calling from 1998 and they want their foam night back. A foam party? Really? And how wrong to have a foam party at the Eagle. The Eagle? Needless to say I was dressed incorrectly. And that was fine with me. I had a beer. Then bought a T-shirt and was back at my hotel by midnight. So that was my adventure at the Nice Eagle. Kind of lame, but then again . . . .