Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Matisse Museum / Musée Matisse Nice-Cimiez

The chic, historical district of Cimiez in Nice is a fascinating area to explore and in what seems like the heart of it all sits the Musee Matisse.

Surrounded by a beautiful park on one side of the museum and the open excavations of Roman ruins on the other side, this alluring red and yellow sun-kissed villa holds many varied paintings, illustrations, sculptures and even tapestries created by the artist Henri Matisse who had a long history in this part of the city.

Getting to the national Musee Matisse by taking one of the city public buses (#17, 20, 25) from outside Galeries Lafayette is very easy and knowing where to disembark is not a problem as you can see the colors of the grand museum as you are arriving from a distance.

Once off the bus, just follow the signage and make your way through the park and past the Roman ruins towards the museum which feels like it is beckoning you to visit.

Depending on the time of the year, exhibits, events, etc., the cost to enter the museum is either free or a small nominal fee.

I must admit when I first entered the museum, even though the size of the building is large and wonderfully maintained, I assumed the artwork would only encompass maybe the main floor and the second floor but was soon pleasantly surprised by just how much more there was to the whole Musee Matisse.

The first piece of art I saw near the entrance was definitely a showstopper and when I went into the next room, you could see and read more about his early work which was a great way to start telling a life’s story.

I quickly realized the museum’s mission appeared to be to teach the visitors about the evolution and importance of Matisse’s work.

Not knowing a whole lot about the artist beforehand, what surprised me was how much of his vast influences seemed to come from the movements of dance and his appreciation of music.

I was entranced with this man’s history and moving from floor to floor, room to room you become completely enthralled with his art work.  There doesn’t seem to be any medium Matisse was not interested in attempting and exploring thoroughly.

His range seemed to run the gamut, completely inspired by his travels and the people he was surrounded by, everything from romance to religion seemed to be touched upon.

I love a wide range of artists, and I was glad the Musee Matisse helped me understand much more about the man and left me intrigued to learn more after my initial visit.

As you follow through the exhibits in the building that houses the large collection of Matisse’s work you will naturally venture into the newer section that was added on to the villa by digging down and out to the side underground, keeping the integrity of the structure and surrounding landscape intact and making for a more interesting architectural experience.

The Musée Matisse makes for a wonderful way to spend part of an afternoon and a very pleasing educational art experience.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Morgan Hot Cruising Bar

With an abundance of gay nightlife available in the French Riviera, going out for the evening can sometimes require a little planning, especially in a city like Nice where you can check out any number of gay hotspots given your mood.

One of the places I recommend you add to your list of night activities (if not the entire night) is the Morgan Hot Cruising Bar!

Morgan Hot Cruising Bar

Cruising sex bars can be a dime a dozen, sometimes the bar will be crammed full of men drinking with little to no action taking place in the actual cruising section.  Or the opposite can happen where the cruising section is busy but not feeling altogether that clean or even safe at times and the bar area itself is devoid of people.

The Morgan Hot Cruising Bar in Nice is neither of those.  I love the anticipation of going into any type of club for the first time, and I have to say, the Morgan Hot Cruising Bar hits all the marks on exceeding your expectations once inside.

Located not far behind the High Club, the outside of the building that houses the Morgan Hot Cruising Bar is on the street level of a quieter, residential building so there is a sense of discretion.

My first impression upon entering the club was that it is clean and noticeably well maintained.  And the first person I happened to meet that night was the owner himself, a very charming man to converse with and helpful in the way he gently let me know that it was a naked event night.

This was totally fine with me.  I paid the small fee, stripped down, submitted everything to coat check and I was ready to go!

Without giving away too much detail so that you can experience that adventure for yourself, I'll just give you a brief description.

The club is far larger than it appears on the outside, the space inside does feel like it is split into two large cruising areas once you are past the entrance.

You'll find there is a bar where you can purchase reasonably priced drinks, sound system to get you in the mood, flat screen TV's providing all sorts of porn and plenty of play areas.  And at the Morgan Hot Cruising Bar, safe sex is also strongly encouraged.

The front of the club has a laid back feel to it with the bar area, cozy, semi-circular lounge sofas with a smattering of stripper pole tables and fetish hardware in which special guests are sometimes flown in from Paris to demonstrate a full on sex act.  Or if you are an exhibitionist yourself, you can take to one of the vinyl covered stages in this erotic atmosphere on your own or with a friend (or two).

Take a step up into the back area of the club and cruise the hallways where basically anything you can imagine can come to fruition.  There are glory hole booths, small private booths, throw in a sling rack or two, shower facilities in the wet area and a few dark play rooms to explore.

On my visits I noticed a more international clientele, the local residents certainly seem to mix well with the other men that are in Nice from around the world and there really seems to be a type for everyone.  Age, weight, ethnic race and background, it truly doesn't matter.

One of the many things I enjoy about the Morgan Hot Cruising Bar is the variety of themed event nights.  If you don't know what is going on before you arrive, when you enter the premises and before you pay, you are told what the name of the game is for the evening.  Just go for it!

A favorite of mine is the Cagoules Sex & Naked Party (balaclava & naked) night, I never knew I could get into that kind of thing but apparently I am.  There is never a pressure to participate in these events, but you would kind of feel out of place (and really stand out) if you didn't.  You'll certainly discover more about yourself and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Not being the kind to usually wear a hood, the one I was given at the entrance was very light and breathable, with only that on and being naked, it certainly doesn't take long to get into the thick of the action and it presents an air of mystery that everyone really seems to get into.

What I also like is that the owner and his staff are very imaginative with the space.  As it appears most of the furnishings and fixtures in the club are completely interchangeable for a fresh take on the environment and ever-changing, fully equipped events.

Open 10pm until late, Tuesday to Sundays, whatever you are into, whatever you are about, the Morgan Hot Cruising Bar will certainly satisfy all those needs.