Nice is Love, a love declaration

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Nice is a great city and your choice for focusing part of your time ! Please introduce your project to our readers ...  how it all started and what it meant at the beginning !

Nice is Love is a lyfestyle concept that inspires you to fall in love with your life in Nice. 

It happened to me and I believe it can happen to you. And I would tell you how. 

I am sharing pictures of other people on my account - the ones which match my point of view on Nice: how I saw it for the first time and how I discovered it further. I have collected my most favorite things to do on my guidebook and also printed postcards made from my photography which are available at the old town.

What is your story and your connection to Nice ?

My name is Alyona and I have been working in top international companies for brand management and advertising for 7 years in Moscow. 

Now I work for Marketing and SMM consulting and, from time to time, I take part in chic events organisation (I really love to create beauty!)

I had studies in IPAG in Nice in Luxury Brand Management in 2014: I was so lucky to have an incredible professor who made it so full of practice. And we became friends there.

My passion is photography, travel, blogging and long conversations! 

For example, for my birthday I always go to the city I've never been, take pictures and love to talk to locals about life with a glass of Aperol or rose.

Nice is Love started with ... my first visit to Nice in 2008. I didn't plan it: my best friend planned a trip with parents and I knew about Nice only that there is the Sea. 

It always happens like when you fall in love: have you ever planned that? That's what I mean. 

The city literally embraced me with everything I love reflecting me but, at the same time, teaching me many simple things like enjoying here and now, changing your plans spontaneously and exchanging inspiration. 

I've always been a Sea-lover and that's why I was impressed of the chairs in front of the Sea: sea-watching is a special thing to do here. Like riding a bike, going out or painting. 

For a person who lives in a big city it's so amazing to talk to a friend saying that your plans are going for the sea-watching and you find people like you who love that. 

So I arrived to Nice at the beginning of September. 

Nice was full of inspiration: the incredible Sea, the colourful old town I'm in love with, markets of Cours Saleya, lovely chairs, red rooftops, design of promenade (I love the curves of the road by Rauba Capeu and the view you see there). I loved how different the city is: you have the Sea, the village of the old town and you can easily find stylish boutiques and modern avenues. 

And people are dancing, playing music, painting, creating masterpieces everywhere. There is a spirit of creativity and desire to live to the fullest! 

Indian Summer with +22+24 has always been my favourite time of the year. Like the last bites are always the sweetest: you are not sure when it happens. And, when it happens, you are happy as a kid! 

When I was a small girl, I promised myself to go somewhere in September to prolong summer. I was born at the end of September and every year I go somewhere to the south where I can wear at least my sneakers and leather jacket at night. 

By the way, I immediately became a fan of pebbles: I even brought a few with me as souvenirs. And no, they don't hurt me. 

Actually pebbles beach has this amazing sound when the waves meet the shore. 

After that I came back every year. After my studies at IPAG I came back to Moscow and asked myself: so what is next? 

I felt that Nice is something bigger for me so I simply couldn't make it just my vacations town: I really needed to become a part of it and to do something for the city.

I really missed it. I looked for pictures on tags #nicefrance, #nice06 and saved on my phone.

Besides that I realized that people from all over the world don't get the city before they come: some of them think it's for the old people, others think it is superficial or even dirty. I saw it from another angle that made me fall in love. 

I didn't check the statistics that time, I just knew that percentage of people who are coming back is quite high and my project only proved it. 

So I decided to share the pictures and to introduce Nice with my eyes. And, at the same time, to have Nice every day in my life.

Since then I do that and it still makes me happy. 

The first hashtag was #nicemakesmehappy. The concept says that first it makes you happy and then you realize you are in love - that's how it works though these processes, often work simultaneously. 

What Nice means to you ?

Nice means for me magic, inspiration and wisdom giving answers to many questions we have in life. It's the place where I meet happy version of myself. There is a belief that we love the cities where we've been happy and we leave a part of happiness ourselves. And when we come back, we meet them. It's not that Nice is about pink glasses and happy world, but there is something in this city that makes you waken up to remember who you are and where you go. And it always makes me feel good. 

What differenciates Nice from the other cities ?

I believe it's one of the cities that inspired so many people to create something bigger. So many painters and writers came here for vacations and stayed to create their masterpieces. Besides that people are really proud of the city. I met many great kind people here and I have a huge respect for them. They don't accept you easily but if you do something and prove it, they would truly appreciate it.

I understood how much they love it when I found the group called "I have Nice below my skin". You see how they call the group? It says everything about people of Nice. 

Even though I have letters from people from all over the world, I am always really touched by every letter and it is very important that many people of Nice loved the concept. 

One word to describe Nice ...

My word for Nice is... love. To life, to the Sea, to the old town, to a person, to people who become your family, even to that ice-cream and pebble on the beach. We are capable of loving much more. I love who I am in Nice. It always reminds me of my credentials of who I am, where I am going to and why and the most important - what I love. It happens that we forget that. 

What is your style and philosophy of life ?

You are what you love. Don't compromise on it. 

One of the recent lessons I've learnt is: "Choose the things and people you want to be". 

From now on I always ask myself this question and life is not that complicated as it seems to be! 

I even asked myself if I wanted to be Nice. And the answers was yes! 

What are your futur plans regarding Nice ?

Everyone is asking me if I'm going to move to Nice. But the answer is no. I love missing the city, to keep it precious and have a little bit not enough of it. 

When you don't get full with something, it always stays your favourite dish. 

I will keep discovering new places, do more creative collaborations, maybe exhibition one day. 

Also I really love what airbnb is doing with their experiences connecting locals with travelers. 

People don't want to see sights of the city anymore. They want real things: to learn something new, share experiences, play music, create together overcome their fears, exchange inspiration, fall in love... 

So I think I will work more on personalized individual experiences more.

Interview by Andra Oprea

Collocutor Alyona