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recent photos of Antibes (give or take a century)

Antibes has been around since the 5th century BC when the Greeks discovered that its protected port made it an ideal trade center.   Unfortunately, they didn’t have cameras back then to document the changes over the millennia and archaeologists have yet to unearth any ancient postcards. I did, however, find some postcards from the […]


finding something to fear in marseille

“Marseille isn’t a city for tourists. There’s nothing to see. Its beauty can’t be photographed. It can only be shared. It’s a place where you have to take sides, be passionately for or against. Only then can you see what there is to see. And you realize, too late, that you’re in the middle of […]

the night of a billion bubbles

If the bottles pictured above were mid-priced champagnes, together they’d be worth over a thousand dollars.   But these are bottles of cremant, roughly valued at $250.00.   Much more my speed. Cremant is basically a sparkling wine made in the traditional “method champenoise” manner.   The only thing that separates a cremant from champagne is […]

my name is lesley stern and I am an addict

My first taste was during the Menton Citrus Festival in February.   Some pusher on the street was handing out samples. I guess you could say it was peer pressure…I was trying to be agreeable. I generally pass on samples because I’m afraid they’ll make me buy something. That was the least of my worries. The substance? […]

my lavish lunch at the hotel du cap (or thereabout)

The Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc is a landmark.   Well, it should be a landmark.  Maybe even a UNESCO world heritage site.   It was built in 1869 by the founder of Le Figaro newspaper as a sanctuary for writers seeking inspiration. In 1889, it was sold to an Italian hotelier and became the Grand […]

an inconvenient truth

One of my favorite things about living here, is being able to step out on the balcony and see the port, across the bay to Nice with the Alps looming majestically in the background.    There are still moments when I gasp at the shock of its beauty. However, lately that gasp has been tinged […]

a tale of two dermatologists

I’m fair skinned.  That means I have to go to the dermatologist a lot to make sure one of my 8 million freckles hasn’t become deadly. After hearing about a few people dying of melanoma recently (thank you Facebook), I figure it’s time for a check up. I have two choices, find an English-speaking doctor, […]

is this august or have I died and gone to hell?

August is the month where everyone flocks to holiday on the glamorous French Riviera.   Who can blame them?  It’s oppressively hot.  It’s crowded.   Huge vicious mosquitoes are on the prowl and basically an air of rudeness permeates the entire Cote d’Azur. For example, as I was waiting for an appointment in Juan Les […]

an apology to maligned pigeons everywhere

Ever since my grandfather died 40 years ago of some mysterious “pigeon related” disease, I’ve reviled the dirty birds.   In my book, no bird was more heinous.   Disease-ridden rats of the sky.   Worse, pigeons have absolutely no concept of space.   I’ve had them literally fly into my face (after which I soaked my face […]