- I wanted a slow place, reminiscent (in terms of pace) of Quebec City. It is most definitely that. It is also surprisingly sexy - as long as you don't define sexy in terms of haute-luxury. It's very earthy.
- The atmosphere is languid and sultry. It feels like Spain in this part of the world. Of course, the French would have you know that Spain feels like France.
- The food is very good. I haven't hit the full-meal jackpot at a restaurant yet, but this dish was utterly fantastic:
- There is lots of culture here, even though the town is on the small side. If you like museums, there are 3 of them (with worthwhile collections); if music or photography appeal, there are festivals for both in the summer. There's a Roman arena (the architectural claim to fame of Arles - only outdone by the Alyscamps, depending on whom you ask). There's Camarguaise bull-fighting at the arena - a totally bizarre spectacle. The fighting style in this region is non-violent (though mean, if you ask me).
|Click on this photo to see the panoramic fabness in full size...|
- It's gorgeously old here, in a vaguely creepy way. Streets meander into other streets. Detours return you to your starting point. People live here. They stay up all night - talking. It's noisy. It's messy. But it makes for atmospheric photos:
- Arles is all about its light. I can totally understand why everyone wants to decamp to Provence. The watery sunlight is spectacular, engaged in centuries of collaboration with the stones. It's is a player in this place, a guest at the table, an ancient friend. When the sun fades, the town loses a considerable portion of its luster (IMO). Happily, the sun seems to shine most of the time (and rain, while heavy, is not long-lasting).
- The temperature is fucking perfect - like 28C with no humidity. Honestly, I'm beginning to feel like I live in the shittiest part of the world for weather. It's always dull - or cold, or wet, or freezing, or like an oven or threatening to be one of those things. In my town, temperate weather is practically an unknown. It's is a trickster. Even in summer, it is unwise to leave the house without a sweater and an umbrella (and you're probably wearing pants). In Arles, you put on some shorts and a t shirt. You wear them out in the morning. The temperature is perfect. In the evening, you to wear the same shorts and top (or a little sundress, perhaps). The temperature continues to be perfect. It storms for an hour. While you watch the rain, you note that the temperature is perfect. Life, from this vantage point, is so tremendously easy. This experience has helped me to viscerally reaffirm my ever-deepening perspective that it's hard to live in a northern, interior city because every move you make takes foresight. I love not having to concern myself with the environment!
And, if you want to know about a great venue, email me. This house is not perfect for everyone, but it might just be for you.