Cell phone series #1: Photogenic Cafés of Nice France

So, I’m really excited about introducing this new series of blog posts called “Cell Phone Series”. The idea behind the series is twofold: 1) to share with everyone little moments of my daily life that are not so “professional” and 2) to help people take better photos on their cell phones. A lot of times when I approach blog posts I want to do things like share my favorite restaurants, my favorite shops, etc… but I don’t walk around all day with my large camera, and when I’m not working I don’t particularly love uploading, editing, etc. This series will give me the opportunity to share and connect with everyone on a different level. I also hope that this will allow me to post on a more regular basis.

Villa Rina on the Promenade des Anglais, for that Parisian touch in Nice France

If you’re looking for that cliché “je ne sais quoi” that only France has to offer than look no further than Villa Rina on the Promenade des Anglais. This tastefully decorated cafe is so cute it almost feels out of place next to the horrendous McDonald’s next door. I love sitting on the terrace outside in the sunshine. It has an old world vibe that is not typically found in Nice. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of lounging around the Promenade des Anglais, it feels like sitting next to a highway next to the sea, however when you’re at Villa Rina you can almost forget the road rage filled drivers swerving past at unruly speeds. The perfect place to sit and watch the wild array of tourist walk by. Bring your sunblock if you don’t want to walk around for the rest of your trip with a red forehead that screams “English Tourist” lol. 

This place is also the sister restaurant of ”Rina” which is found on the pedestrian zone in Nice. 

A croissant, coffee and a large glass of orange juice in the shade of palm trees next to the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean: honestly, what more can you ask for? This “formula” cost under 8 euros.

Breakfast is served at Villa Rina on the Promenade des Anglais on the French Riviera

I love the bistro vibe.

I love the interior design of Villa Rina on the Promenade des Anglais.

Fresh orange juice is essential in France and Nice is no exception. Jus d’orange pressé, si vous plait, is how you ask for this.

Malongo Cafe on Avenue Jean-Medecin - For the Coffee Nerd

This cafe is surprisingly chic. First of all, Avenue Jean-Medecin is not really a street that I like to hang out on, the crowded high street is way too jam packed for my taste. However, in the shadow of the Cathedral in Nice is Malongo Cafe. The cafe offers a really wide selection of coffee and is definitely coffee-nerd friendly. For me, someone shallow, it is really the sleek look of the cafe that attracts me. The interior is really tastefully done and has huge windows with light streaming in all day long. In terms of photography, this means that you can get some fun shots playing with the light. At the moment, I’m really into hard shadows and high contrast images, so the windows and the sleek furnishing satisfy my aesthetic appetite while my nervous system jumps into high gear.   

It’s also interesting that Malongo is a true product of Nice. The company was founded in Nice in 1934. If you want to read more about Malongo you can check out their website

The large windows in Cafe Malongo on Avenue Jean Medecin in Nice France allow for a nice stream of light to enter. Great for high contrast images

My current read: Mort sur le Nil, or Death on the Nile, the Agatha Christie classic that I have actually never read until now. I read it because I wanted to take a moment to read in French and thought it would be the perfect level for my juvenile french reading skills. I loved the book, btw and will definitely pick up another Christie read. A summer of murder mystery.

The Country Store, A Brooklyn Hipster Cafe in the Heart of Nice France

I stumbled upon this little gem on my way to the photography shop on Rue Hotel des Postes and was like “say WHHHHAAAAT, Brooklyn has arrived!” This cafe is trendy, super trendy, but luckily I was wearing my skinniest of skinny pants so I walked in like it was no big deal. This one is for you vegan weirdos. Personally, I don’t condone of such nonsense but I will give it a pass because it’s cute. When ordering my coffee I heard a very American accent talking to the barrista “these cookies are no gluten, no sugar, no…” “no fun” I though, but I ordered one anyways. Turns out the cookie was pretty good. Yes, I said it was good, so now all you vegans can pretentiously nod your heads and say “told you so”… 

Read more about their bio, vegan, hipster offerings on their website

The Country Store is found on rue Hotel des Postes, just a few steps away from Place Massena

I tried these no gluten, no sugar, no fun cookies and I wasn’t disappointed.

Despite the crumbles, this cookie was surprisingly moist. Sprinkled with pretentious non sugar sugar (haha, I don’t know if that actually true but whatever this is not the Michelin guide)

Marinette Cafe, The Old Town’s Photogenic Gem

I remember a moment where instagram was flooded with photos of Marinette Cafe. Late to the show, I stumbled across the cafe the other day and decided to give it a shot. I had a chocolate roll cake with chocolate interior. “Is this gluten free” I asked “no” he responded, “good, I’ll take it then” lol! =)

Marinette cafe is located at 13 Rue Colonna d’Istria

Marinette has everything a local hipster can dream of complete with customized chocolate stamp on your coffee to give your instagram a millennial heart attack.

La Popote d’Ondine, Your Grandma Hipster

If your granny was a hipster, she would be here on the regular. I always come here at odd hours to avoid the crowd. I’m actually finishing writing the blog post here, which means they are laptop and wifi friendly, which is not the case for many places in Nice. I recommend their bagel sandwiches, I would say they are the best in Nice. But that doesn’t really say much as it’s probably one of two places you can actually order a bagel sandwich in Nice. 

This cozy corner in Nice France is the perfect place to chill for awhile.

The Caesar Salad Bagel. I would order it again.

Lol, it’s almost too cute. Actually the chocolate syrup on a capuccino is gross but the flavor of the actual coffee was good.

How I Edit My Cell Phone Photos

When it comes to cell phone photo edits, simplicity is the key. On the run, I don’t have the time for complicated things. I’m sure many of you out there will agree, there just isn’t enough time for that shit. However, I always take the time out to edit my cell phone photos. In the past, a photo wasn’t a photo until you developed it in a dark room. The methods of development in a dark room significantly changed the way a photo turned out. For me, the same is true of using editing software. My photos are absolutely tied to editing. I believe a photo unedited is only half complete. Some people think of editing as “manipulating” and distrust the editing process, considering unedited photos to be more “pure”. In my opinion that is absolutely rubbish, your camera is a tool, and so is your editing software. The same way you manipulate your camera to get specific results, you manipulate your editing software to enhance the message that you are trying to convey. In any case a photo is an artificial 2D representation of the 3D world, so if it’s edited or not does not make it more or less fake. A photo is by default “fake”. 

All the above photos were edited with the app VSCO, a pretty common editing app. Which filters I use and how I use them depends on the photo and lighting. If the original photo is dark I may want to enhance the darkness to give a more dramatic feel (the example would be the photos from Malongo Cafe). If the photo naturally has warm tones and has elements such as wood, it’s good to use a filter that is a bit warmer with a lot of yellow in the highlights (such as the last photos from Popote d’Ondine). 

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