The Street Scene

The beach in Nice at nightTake a wander around Nice at Night… and you’ll see a veritable street-side parade. Here’s where to go, what to do, and which characters to look for.

In the summer Cours Saleya never sleeps, and the daytime fruit and flower market transforms at 6pm into a Summer Night Crafts Market. The rule is that everything must be hand-made or painted by the local artist, which happily eliminates the mass-produced trinkets.   It makes for a festive atmosphere, surrounded by the café tables and restaurants.

Why not dance the Tango under the stars?  Regular moonlight Milangos happen all summer long, usually Sundays at Place Garibaldi, and Fridays at the MAMAC esplanade (up the stairway at the Museum of Modern Art, just off Place Garibaldi).  Sometimes you can also find a small one at Rauba Capau (on the Promenade des Anglais between the #ILoveNice sign and the Port).  They start at 9:30pm and go until midnight.

Check out the Buskers and Street Performers… the best spots are in Old Nice, along the Promenade des Anglais, and at Place Massena, especially under the arcades.  Some of the musicians are amazing, like Steve Villa Massone who wheels his bright red upright piano out to the street nightly, …and some …not.

Stoll down the Promenade des Anglais and you’re likely to see the usual tourist hit parade (Peruvian flutes, spray paint artists, Brazilian acrobats, breakdancing, living statues… yawn), but you will also see some true originals:

The ageless Michael Jackson clone (he’s been moonwalking like that for least 25 years!)

The aforementioned Nice Piano Man who gives nightly street concerts to the transfixed crowds

The Cowboy Drummer jamming away in his customized VW van

…and Bela the Cat Man.  Actually, he’s only out during the day, but here is the back story and “a day in the life” of one of Nice’s most unusual and original street performers…

Photo Credits:  Beach at Night by Aiden McMichael, licensed under Creative Commons.

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