New car parking in Nice

The long-awaited car park underneath the Quai des Etats Unis in Nice has been inaugurated. The new facility was created to replace the former car park that was demolished to make way for the Promenade du Paillon.

With a total capacity of 455 cars, the new ‘Parking Sulzer’ is located between the old town and the sea. With a combined surface of 2,600 square meters, its six underground levels were gradually opened to the public since early November. The sixth and final level was inaugurated by Mayor Christian Estrosi on Wednesday morning. (December 11, 2013)

The project started in September 2011 and cost the city over 15 million euros. But the new parking area is a necessary replacement to the ‘bus station’s’ car park, which was demolished as part of the Promenade du Paillon’s construction, which started in 2010.

This new car park is another step in the right direction in the city’s fight against the lack of parking space. A study done last year estimated that about half of the traffic inside Nice everyday was due to motorists looking for a place to park their vehicles.

In an effort to please residents’ and visitors’ sense of aesthetics, a new garden was built on the surface area above the car park. Covering nearly 2,000 square metres, the new green area features 3,500 plants and 36 palm trees.

The south lane on the Quai des Etats Unis had to be closed to accommodate for the new car park. As a result, traffic was redirected to the north lane, which is being rearranged for two-way traffic. Construction should be finished by the end of January 2014.

Meanwhile, the city is also implementing a smart parking system where motorists will be guided to free parking spaces by their smartphone’s GPS system. Currently operational in the Notre Dame neighborhood since March, the system should be up and running in the whole downtown area by the end of 2015.

Source/Credit: Stan Aron for The Riviera Times

Lebanese Restaurant in Nice

One of my go-to places for non-French food, is a Lebanese restaurant, where many of the neighborhood locals eat. The “Beyrouth Restaurant” is at 12 rue de la Buffa, is family run, and has great food and polite service. It was good that I got there at Noon for lunch the other day, as within a half hour, there was not a seat to be had!

I always order their vegetarian plate (choice of falafel or eggplant) and the variety of textures and tastes served is absolutely delicious! The menu includes “thé à la menthe” (tea) served with fresh mint – a great way to end the meal!

Learning French – Oui, French Today!

Of course, one can learn a language at any age, although it has been proven easier to do before the age of 13,  due to the brain’s stages of development.

I went back to university as an adult to earn a B.A. in French – a “fait accompli” in three years time; the focus was mostly on learning to read and write French. Bien sûr, there were the required grammar classes and a lot of literature classes, but surprisingly not many French conversation classes. So, learning was how to speak textbook French, which is not always what’s truly spoken.  Afterwards, when I lived and worked in Paris, this all became amusingly quite evident (read about it in “Solitary Desire – One Woman’s Journey to France” – available on Amazon)!

Spoken French is like spoken English, where words are slurred together, spoken quickly, and includes slang.  I have a good friend who takes lessons via skype with French Today (click on the image icon on the left sidebar on my blog for direct access) to improve her speaking ability, and she highly recommends the company.  They also have a variety of listening programs & lessons in communicating in modern day French.

What a great idea, as well, to give as a gift to a Francophile friend!  Let’s speak French (Parlons français) and oui, let’s speak French Today!


Burger King Expanding on 3 Locations in France

McDonald’s Le Royal Cheese in France will soon be facing more competition with Burger King signing a deal to expand in the country.

The Miami-based chain said Tuesday that it’s partnering with restaurant operator Groupe Olivier Bertrand to build on its three French locations, which are in travel hubs such as airports. It didn’t specify the financial terms or how many more restaurants it will open, but said the joint venture is expected to create 1,200 jobs in the first year.

Naxicap Partners, a French private equity firm, will have a minority stake in the joint venture.

Burger King re-entered the French market last year after exiting in 1997, said Jose Cil, Burger King’s president of the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company had had as many as 40 locations in France in the past.

Globally, Burger King Worldwide Inc. has more than 13,000 locations. The company has pointed to McDonald’s 34,000 locations as evidence of how much room it has to grow. But it will be up against the marketing muscle of its much bigger rival in many regions. In France, for example, McDonald’s has more than 1,200 locations.

In the latest quarter, McDonald’s Corp. said sales for Europe rose 0.2 percent at established locations. The company doesn’t break out its performance by country but said France had “solid results.” Burger King reported a 2.4 percent increase in the same period for the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The deal with restaurant operator Groupe Olivier Bertrand is just the latest push by Burger King to rake in more revenue by striking deals with franchise operators overseas. Since owner 3G Capital announced last year that it was taking Burger King public again, the chain has signed deals to open locations in Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa.

Franchisees often have flexibility to adapt to local tastes overseas. In Latin America, for instance, McDonald’s often offers condiment bars where customers can top burgers, said Woods Staton, CEO of Arcos Dorados, which operates McDonald’s in the region.

In France, the Quarter Pounder at McDonald’s is called Le Royal Cheese. As for Burger King’s three locations in the country, Cil said there aren’t too many tailored options yet. And he said the company’s flagship burger goes by the same name.

“A Whopper is a Whopper everywhere,” Cil said.

Credit/Source: NEW YORK November 27, 2013 (AP)
By CANDICE CHOI AP Food Industry Writer

Photos – Costume “Bal des Favorites”

As followup to my video post of the costume ball:

The vibrant colors, rich textures, and varied styles of costumes were stunningly beautiful and a sight to behold!  Some of the attendees were ‘pros’ at these kind of events and had even made their own dresses and menswear !

So, that got me thinking, although I haven’t sewn in a very long time, maybe I could make a gown for myself.  I would have to use a borrowed sewing machine, and I’m not sure I can really do this, but if so, what color brocade fabric would you suggest ?