Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Exploring your city and Finding your tribe

Do you ever feel unorthodox,  eccentric or perhaps wayward?   All the others seem to find congruency everywhere but you are always the "odd-ball"?

 This must be true of me or how do I explain the more than 50,000 sterling reviews that have shown up on Amazon for a popular thriller that I read for my book club when I,  of course, thought the book was rubbish. 

   I have gotten to the point that if a zillion people like a book, then I deliberately avoid it.  I am suspicious too of tastes in films.   I realize that this might mean that I miss out on some good stuff but who likes disappointment? 

  At first, not being "main-stream"  bothered me,  then puzzled me, but now I own it.   It must be said, though, that there is a certain pleasant feeling on finding a person (or more than a few people) who sees your point of view. 

So I felt delighted to attend a Nice book club and find that many of the people in the group agreed that "Girl on the Train",  by Paula Hawkins is a very unsatisfying read...  with minimal character development, unsympathetic characters, a predictable ending and a painfully slow plot development. 

It was satisfying to spar with new acquaintances to agree and disagree and gently ( ha) eviscerate the book.  I guess that is the point of a book club, to disagree but still have a lively, good time.  So "get- togethers" like this can be a good thing even for odd balls like me.  

 And there are loads of clubs and events like these to choose from in Nice now. 

  Just today I walked by the "Little Resto Cafe" on Rue Bonaparte.  Besides serving food, my friend told me that they have a "meet -up" almost every day of the week.  On first glance at their Facebook page, past events have included,  knitting nights,  philosophy discussions, used clothing exchanges, art lessons,  musical evenings and more.
 At Little Resto these evenings are conducted in the French language but there are hundreds of meet-ups in English if you prefer and there are many more venues and areas to choose from.

Little Resto Cafe  happens to be located in my new favorite area of Nice, Rue Bonaparte.  It was in this neighborhood that a friend and I ended up having lunch yesterday. 
 We wanted to try Chez Papa, a wine bar/resto.     The menu there has an refreshing mixture of classic dishes and some with Asian influence.   There was a friendly, jovial vibe and the "carte" was reasonably priced.  

 I ordered seared tuna on a bed of wok-prepared vegetables .  The tuna was barely cooked,  close to sushi, the way I prefer it and the vegetables were well spiced.  My friend ordered and enjoyed  Salmon tartar.  Our dishes were quite similar in fact but our over-all impression was favorable.   Its great to find something a bit different from the norm.

The seaweed covered salmon tartar with wok vegetables on the side

The perfect finish to such a meal was to share a plate of ice cream profiteroles.  The serving size of these puff pastry delicacies was "grande" with plenty of Chantilly and chocolate sauce.  It was certainly fine to share,  although I could have polished off a plate of my own ( shhh).   That dessert just disappeared so fast, it was scandalous really.

We both agree that Rue Bonaparte is a section of town that is becoming one of the most attractive and worthy of further exploration. Bonaparte itself is a walking street but the side streets are spilling over with cafes and imaginative boutiques as well.  

This area has a gay San Francisco aesthetic with a  shabby chic authenticity of its own. There is that "je ne sais quoi" don't have to define it because it is apprehended . 

  So have a look...Go, seek and find your tribe.  They are out there waiting for you in one neighborhood or the other. 

1 comment:

  1. I love this post Mary and definitely march to the beat of my own drum as they say. Sometimes I find myself the best company, really, but it is cool when you find a few tribe members. I felt the same way about The Girl on the Train too. It was a slog to finish! It's a movie now as well...don't go!