Thursday, June 8, 2017

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 302

Flower Market, Nice, France, 1956

This is a used black & white photo postcard produced by Editions NICECO.  Postmarked 1956, it is identified at the upper left of the reverse as “NICE  20. Au Marché aux Fleurs” or the Flower Market.

I was visiting Nice in April of 2012 and stayed at a small hotel a couple of blocks up from the Promenade, the wide walkway along the sea.  It was an easy stroll from the hotel to the Promenade and a lovely walk along the sea to the flower market.  In addition to all the flowers there were a variety of other choices including vegetables, herbs, fresh seafood and handmade goods such as soaps, lotions and embroidery, as well as a number of artists who were sometimes working on a watercolor painting or just had displays of their work for sale. 

 Views looking down at the city from the Colline du Château

The flower market can be seen as the two rows of canopies at the lower left

Before we left Nice I bought three small paintings from artists at the market and before I got home wished I had gotten more.  The flower market was open from early morning to around 4 in the afternoon most days.  One of the paintings I purchased, Lavender fields in Provence, was by a very nice young man who spoke English and after I got back to the hotel I decided I wanted to get another one from him to give as a gift but it was after 4 pm so I had to wait until the next day.  It was somewhat of a surprise to discover that not all the vendors were there every day and the young artist was missing when I returned.  In hindsight I would advise purchasing anything you like right then because the next day it might be too late. 

The perched village of  Eze

Lavender fields in Provence

All the flower stalls were in the center of the street most under striped canopies while along the sidewalks were restaurants open until just after the lunch hour or about 2 pm.  Most of the tables were outdoors but some were also under a canopy.  It is a very lively, charming, colorful place.  One day when the others in the group went to visit the perched village of Eze I stayed in Nice and spent about half a day just slowly going around enjoying the market and the sea.

Nice is a tourist city with expensive high-end shops and lots of places to eat wonderful meals or get scrumptious ice cream cones.  It must be unbelievably crowded during the peak season but it was not so in early April.  It was still too cold for swimming or sunbathing so the beach only had a few brave souls sitting or walking around.  It has mixes of both French and Italian cultures, foods and languages.  The flower market is closed on Mondays and has something like a flea market instead with bargains and interesting items for sale.  Our tour guide was constantly advising us to go to these small local markets and avoid the over-priced tourist oriented shops.  I think the market was more fun than the expensive stores too.

It was a delight to find this postcard in a local antique shop and relive some very nice (no pun intended) memories.

The stamp on the card was issued in 1955 and shows the Marseille harbor.

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