I came here as a 23 year old tourist and unpublished writer, and met a girl the first day. A few months later, married and penniless we went back to NY, and I went back to the Giants and to sending out stories no one wanted. I was desperate to get published, so I quit the Giants and we came back here, four of us now, and were again penniless. I had a few magazine assignments--I would get paid if the editor used them--and an arrangement with the Times--$50 an article if the editor used them. We rented a villa for $85 a month--you can imagine--high up on a snakey, snakey hill. Nice view, though. I was hoping book and magazine editors would see my stuff and want to publish me.
Well, it worked out.
You can see why Nice also feels like home.
In the years since we have had a number of apartments here. The present one overlooks the Place Mozart. We try to live half of each year in Nice, usually three months at a time, meaning we have never been away this long. But we had some problems in America and 9 months went by.
Returning after so long everything looks new. In the apartment this is a nuisance. Can't find anything. Chargers, adapters, garbage bags. Can't remember the pin number on my French credit card and the machine swallows it. My French vocabulary seems to have lost half its words. I will have to work to get them back.
These are incidentals and not important.
Out of doors I am charmed by everything. By the mountains, and the sea, by the flower market, by the Old Town with its rows of crowded restaurants outdoors in the night. Nice is a great eyeball town. By our many friends, by being out of range of the TV posturing of our faithless politicians. We went to the Provence wine country and stocked up on wonderful rosés, and to Beaulieu and St. Jean and to Italy for there is a wonderful market in Ventimiglia. My wife said to me: "I feel alive here in ways I never feel at home." I know what she means.