What does it mean for me, being born and growing up in such a town? Does its antiquity give me (and everyone born here) a curious feeling of superiority, a kind of skepticism, an inclination to fatalism? As if everything had come here, carried by the sea waves and the invasions, as if everything had landed here, driven by storms or coming with the tide, onto the worn and weather-beaten pebbled beach."
. . .
"The leading tendency here is not toward openness: people waver between frank fascism and latent xenophobia. My latest find is a T shirt with the motto sieu nissart et m’embatti, which could be translated as “I don’t care, I am Nissart.” No doubt this is one momentary attitude in the history of this town—it’s the advantage of being heir to such an ancient past. I was born in Nissa la Bella, I grew up here, and there is probably no place in the world I understand better. My feelings for Nice are a bit like what is sometimes written on Mexican cakes for Valentine’s Day: te amo y te odio. I love you and I hate you."