Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NEGRESCO, not NEGRO



The beach in the seaside town of Nice, France is aptly named. It's nice, really nice if you like laying out on . . . ROCKS! Yes, instead of sand on the beach, it's rocks. Apparently, that doesn't deter topless women from sunbathing there. Some were laying not on their towels, but bare-back on the black pebbles.

The Diva, the Doc and I had to drag Sarge away from the half nude sun worshippers. Since it was the end of summer and not stiflingly hot, we decided to walk along the Promenade, which is a boardwalk that parallels the beach. Off in the distance, we spotted a seven-foot-high statue of a black man holding a trumpet. We all like jazz, and the Doc plays sax in his spare time, so we walked a little closer and saw that it was a place called Hotel Negresco. Something about that name -- and the big black statue out front -- made us think it might be a place where the Blacks in Nice (if there were any besides us) hang out. We felt compelled to investigate further.

We wandered inside, and it was decorated Art Deco style, rich and elegant. The lobby had red velvet sofas on top of black & white marble floors. Tres chic, as the French would say. It was probably "the spot" in its day. It had an art museum and, of course, stores for the Diva to shop in.

Alas, other than the iron behemoth out front, we could not find one black person -- employee or guest. We still wanted answers, though. So using our CSI-like skills, we sought out the one person who would know all the goings-on at a hotel . . . the bellman. We took him downtown for questioning and he sang like a canary and ratted his employers out. Naturally, he spoke English as does everyone else in Europe, and he confessed that Negresco was the name of the family who owned the hotel, and no, they were not black, but they did like jazz.

Well, crime solved, another case closed. Stay tuned for the next episode. Maybe Sarge will finally take me to the shooting range?

1 comment:

Patricia W. said...

Cracking up! I recall dying to get to beach in Nice only to find the rocks. Ruined the whole French Riviera thing for me.

Don't recall seeing any Blacks but did see the sunbathers. Overall I liked France.