May 30, 2010 Sunday – 45 rue Bonaparte, Nice
it's time to do a little advertising for my favorite landlord.
His name is Ray and he runs a guesthouse in New Orleans called La Dauphine.
Last year I rented an apartment in Paris from him.
I had a great time there and it was in a great location very close to the pedestrian streets rue St-Denis and rue-Montorgueil in the 2nd Arrondissement.
I would have returned there this year, but sadly for me, he sold it.
We've spent some time talking on the phone and by e-mail.
He's a very nice guy, very helpful, and very accommodating.
And he has a great attitude about his rental units.
You get it as it is. The way he keeps it when he's there. If there's something that you need, go buy it. Leave it if you want or take it with you.
Don't be a nuisance and bother him all the time, just enjoy yourself.
You're living in France. Do it like the French.
It's not a luxury hotel or apartment but I loved the apartment in Paris (which had no view) and this apartment in Nice is twice as good.
It's at 45 rue Bonaparte.
It's in the Old Port area next to the Old Town.
The first thing you notice is the front door which is real heavy and quite narrow.
I'm kind of big so I have to squeeze through sideways.
There's a pizza joint just next door.
When you get through the door, there's a nice entry hall with the mailboxes for the building.
on the 2nd French floor. Floor numbers in France start at
0, called the Rez de Chaussee or RC.
So there's around 40 stairs up to the apartment, they're wide enough and the risers are a comfortable height.
Last year I was on the 4th
French floor in Old Town and the stairs were very random in
This is so much better.
I think every 10 years or so after you're 20 you need to drop a floor. You can start with a 6th floor walk up, they're the cheapest.
I can still handle the 2nd floor, but am moving towards the 1st.
Of course none of that matters if there's an elevator.
So, we get to the front door.
It's pretty boring but you don't spend
a lot of time looking at it.
the other side of the door, you can see it's quite secure. It can be
The French are serious about the security of their apartments.
I think that comes from being so close to Germany and Italy.
Or maybe it's just a carry over from medieval times.
There's also an intercom system so you can open the downstairs door for deliveries or visitors.
Here's the foyer.
With a little taste of New Orleans.
On the right side of the foyer is a nicely tiled bathroom with a toilette, a lavatory, and a bidet (not shown).
There's a full size deep tub with shower.
most important when traveling with bathroom hogging women.
A separate WC on the left side of the foyer.
Complete with a full set of fuse boxes.
we have a separate bedroom with two armoires.
This bedroom is in the back of the apartment. It is very quiet back here.
Unlike the front of the apartment, which the best word I think of is, cacophonous.
But pleasantly so.
Actually, if you close the doors and windows, it's also pretty quiet.
There's a balcony off the bedroom that doesn't have much of a view, but it does give some ventilation and has the all important washer and dryer so you don't have to use a self service laundry or a cleaners.
Bring your French dictionary to figure out how to work these things.
has a huge (by France standards) kitchen. Actually not bad by
American standards either,
Just no dishwasher or garbage disposal.
And the 4 burner stove has a nice feature. It has a cover that comes down over the burners to increase counter space when it's not in use.
There's a large kitchen/dining room table with 4 chairs.
There's also a large library of tourist
information and suggestions of things to do.
But, there's so much to do and see here, it might just confuse you, or make you come back.
There's a very comfortable living room.
A lot of light comes into this area thanks to two sets of large french windows.
it's fully equipped with computer equipment, high speed internet,
iMac, color photo printer, WiFi, and free phone to the US.
The little computer is mine, you don't get that.
now we have the most important part of this apartment, and the most
The little balcony.
It's a perfect size for two. And it also works for three with a chair inside on the kitchen floor.
This place is incredible. There is a
symphony of French life occurring all through the day and night and
you've got a wonderful view of all the action.
When I wasn't using the computer, I spent all my time out here.
I'm going to try to create a nice video of what happens here throughout the day. But, trust me, it's a wonderful thing to watch.
A true concert of culture.
Bonaparte is about six blocks long and is chock full of every kind of
store/shop you can think of..
It's not a thoroughfare but it does have significant traffic.
It's 4 lanes wide but double parking limits it to one lane of traffic.
There's a fruit and vegetable market just there on the corner, and next to it is a wine store where you can buy quality wine by the bottle, the cubitainer (Bag In Box), or even bring your own jug and get it filled up from the huge vats in the back room.
Down the street a little way is a small grocery store run by a really nice and friendly guy.
There's also a pharmacy down there with
the green plus sign, but take note, in France they have two types of
One is like we are used to in the US that fills prescriptions and sells over the counter medicines.
The other is a homeopathic pharmacy which sells natural products more like a health food shop would carry.
So you won't find your Advil or pseudophedrine there.
I don't really have an opinion about which one sells products that work.
But they are very helpful and will try to get you what you might need.
In the other direction, there is an appliance store, a fish market, another fruit and vegetable store, a deli, and a butcher shop. Among other things.
Those cars aren't moving, they're all
If you get parked in you just sound your horn, until someone comes and moves their car so you can get out.
So, if you want a really great place to
stay when you visit one of the most beautiful areas in the world,
give Ray a call or
e-mail and tell him Jerry sent you.
Just don't pick next May, I'll be back if he will have me. And he doesn't sell it.
And Ray, if you do think about selling it, let me know first.
Here's a little video he made of the apartment.