Promenade du Paillon in Nice

Promenade du Paillon in Nice
Water jets on Promenade du Paillon, Vieux-Nice, Côte d’Azur, France, Leica M (Typ 240), Summilux-M 50 mm f1.4 ASPH, 1/750 sec., f8, ISO 200

The Hairdresser knows a lot.

Do you think things are meant to be, or they are just coincidences? I think I’ll go for the former simply because it proved to be that way for so many times. No one knows for sure, and we all have our beliefs. Whatever it is, here’s a short story about something that happened to me this morning. For the first time in many days I had the opportunity to go out and shoot for a little while. I didn’t have any location in mind and decided to go with my feeling and end up somewhere. The weather was great, I was free and had a couple hours to dedicate to photography. That’s awesome! But I had to get my hairs cut first and decided to go to the hairdresser first. Once there I was listening to people talking about a new spot in Nice, an area closed to the public since last year for a complete makeover of the land. This is where the Paillon flows underground. It used to be a grey and dirty area used for 3-4 story parking lots. Apparently the area was now a very nice park, opened to the public. That’s something I didn’t know.

Let’s give it a try

When I was done with the haircut and went back to my scooter and thought it would be a great idea to visit this new park. After all it’s just 10 minutes from where I was and just about lunch time. I love Old Nice for lunch.. :-) So it sounds like a good plan and I decided to drive there, park the scooter near destination and start shooting.

What a surprise!

Driving there was refreshing and I realized I haven’t done that in a little while. Living in such a beautiful region, it’s a pity if you don’t take it and enjoy. I have to remember that for sure! Anyways, driving near the park I decided to go around it quickly to get an idea of what it was before parking. That’s when I realized the park was huge and very special. I knew it would be an interesting shoot and I was very excited about it. The light was great, the weather was perfect. I found a place to park right in front and I was in the park in no time. And I started shooting as soon as I was there.

I remembered the hairdresser calling this place “Coulée Verte”. That’s a strange nickname for Promenade du Paillon. The place is pretty large, starting at the fountain in Jardins Albert 1er the Méridien hotel and it goes up to Théâtre National de Nice near Place Garibaldi. There are a few themes in the park and the one that seems to attract the largest crowned is the water jet works in the middle. It’s gorgeous, original, refreshing and very well done. I had a great time shooting from different angles. The best part is that it brings something completely different in Nice. When you stand there in the middle of the park, you realize it really is something different, you can see Nice in a whole different way. I can’t wait to go back there at night, before it closes, to see what they did in terms of lighting and effects.

Personally, I say “Kudos” to those involved in this project. It’s beautiful and well executed.

You can find the whole picture set on my website at

Good Light!  


© Normand Primeau