Bastille Day – Taking NYC by Storm

Place de la Bastille Copyright Andreykr |

Place de la Bastille
Copyright Andreykr |

Even though the official National Day of France falls on Tuesday, July 14th, it will be celebrated this weekend.  You don’t need to wear a beret or sabots – just some joie de vivre as you take your pick of fêtes across la Grosse Pomme, on Sunday, July 12th.

Start the day on Sunday by viewing the parade of vintage Citroën cars, Beginning at 9:00 am, the caravan will wend its way from Grant’s Tomb at West 122nd Street and Riverside Drive, down the West Side to Union Square Park, then up 3rd Avenue to 86th, then along 5th Avenue down to Rockefeller Center.  

Perhaps the best known of all the Bastille Day celebrations is to be found on 60th Street between 5th and Lexington Avenues, hosted by the French Institute Alliance Française. In addition to tastings of wine, beer, cheese and champagne there are activities for children and adults including film and live music.  And can-can dancers!

In Tribeca, Le Cercle Rouge will be hosting a celebration, including a pétanque tournament.

In Lower Manhattan, Brookfield Place will be celebrating with music, films, games and other activities at the Winter Garden, Le District  and other venues.

Brooklyn, having become la Petite Paris, boasts its own Bastille Day celebrations on Smith Street in Boerum Hill whose road bed is transformed into pétanque courts starting at noon until 6:00 pm, from Bar Tabac   to Provence en boîte  .

In Long Island City Queens, you can catch the pétanque tournament hosted by the restaurant Tournesol or you could explore the other French restaurants in that neighborhood or in Sunnyside. 

Bastille Day has been transformed into Bastille Week, complete with French Restaurant Week ! Break out the Champagne! and le Bourgogne, et le Bordeaux, et le Languedoc, et….  

If you still have energy on Monday evening, head over to the Bastille Day Ball, at 404 10th Avenue, where Luxembourgoise/German singer Adrienne Haan  will be headlining (I caught her at the Cutting Room earlier this year performing her high-energy rock meets musette cabaret – she knows how to put on a show!).   

Amusez-vous bien!

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