The cleanup continues on Nice beaches as plagistes try to salvage their livelihoods after the devastating storm a few days ago. A tour of the Promenade des Anglais this morning revealed furious efforts to remove the debris, sand and stones that blight Nice’s most beloved beach restaurants. The upcoming holiday weekend that typically marks the start of the beach season adds urgency to the situation. Plagistes already suffered from poor weather that delayed the start of their season before the storm swept through.
Meanwhile, the Prom’ was an obstacle course of trucks, pumps, municipal vehicules and tools this morning. Adding to the chaos was a huge section of pavement torn-up for drainage repairs, not to mention the scaffolding obscuring the facade of the Negresco that’s undergoing renovation. Neither has to do with the storm but the overall effect is to remind Nicois that the easy days of summer are far away.
Azuriens awoke to a steady drumbeat of radio, tv and newspaper reports this morning assessing the damage wreaked by yesterday’s furious storm. It isn’t pretty. The 10-meter waves that pummelled the coast from Menton to Theole-sur-Mer swept away rows of beach restaurants as though they were children’s sand castles. The plagistes in charge of maintaining the establishments were devastated. Most were just in the process of readying the lounge chairs, parasols, tables, beverage services and kitchens in preparation for the summer season only to find nothing but sand and rocks where their livelihood had been.
The damage on Nice beaches was terrible but the situation in Cannes is desperate. The Cannes Film Festival opens in only a week and festival-goers depend on the luxuriously-appointed Cannes beaches for everything from afternoon cocktails to exclusive midnight parties. OK, maybe’s it’s not as desperate as fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico, but still. Our beautiful Cote d’Azur has little going on economically except tourism. Tarnish our sun ‘n sea reputation and what do we have? Shopping? Yes. Fine dining? That too. Culture? Sometimes. But our main selling point is the beaches. If they go, you might as well stay in Moscow.