The Storming of the Bastille Starts This Weekend

Seige of the Bastille, by Claude Cholat, 18th century artist [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Seige of the Bastille, by Claude Cholat, 18th century artist [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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

You don’t need to confine your celebrations to just one day: French Restaurant Week (eat more than just cake!) which started on July 4th, continues on until July 17th .  Find more here 

On Saturday, July 9th, La Defense  restaurant in MetroTech (downtown Brooklyn) kicks off the festivities at noon with a pétanque tournament, and festivities continue until 8:00pm.  Information here 

On Sunday, July 10th, start the day by viewing the parade of vintage Citroën cars, Starting 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 60th Street.  Find complete information here  

Many of the vintage Citroëns will be parked at the Bastille Day Celebration which runs along 60th Street between 5th and Lexington Avenues, hosted by the French Institute Alliance Française. In addition to tastings of wine, beer, cheese,champagne and chocolate, there are activities for children and adults including live music, a performance by cast members of An American in Paris, a puppet show, and a broadcast of the finals of the European soccer championships.  And can-can dancers!  Sunday, July 10th noon to 5:00 Information here 

Brooklyn, having become la Petite Paris, has for many years boasted it’s own Bastille Day celebrations on Smith Street in Boerum Hill. On Sunday, July 10th, the road bed is transformed into pétanque courts starting at noon until 6:00 pm, at Bar Tabac  and at Provence en Boîte  

If you can’t make this weekend’s events, all is not lost.  On July 11th, join the Paris-American Club’s pre-Bastille Day Happy Hour  Mix, mingle, parlez with old friends and make some new ones.  You’ll also have a chance to win tickets to Out of the Mouths of Babes, a new comedy at the Cherry Lane, by Israel Horovitz, the most produced American playwright in France. From 6–8, at Brasserie Ruhlmann, 45 Rockefeller Plaza at West 50th Street. Information here

Les fȇtes continue during the week, with the official Bastille Day Ball on Wednesday, July 13th at 404 10th Avenue, where there will be live music by Brick City Gospel Chorale and turntables will be spun by DJ Super Jaimie.  From 6:00 pm to 1:00 am Information here 

On evening of the 14th, celebrate in Prospect Park, where Celebrate Brooklyn will be screening Les Tripeletes de Belleville, with the original hot swing score performed live by its composer Benoît Charest and his 9-piece Orchestre Terrible de Belleville band accompanied by chanteuse Jessica Fichot.  8:00 pm.  Information here

Also on July 14th, Le District at Brookfield Place will have a celebration of all things French, starting at 5:30.  Which is only Part 1;  on July 16th, they’ll have pétanque and live music, as well as food! Information here  Throughout Brookfield Place you’ll find Bastille Day celebrations with music, films, games and other activities.  Information here  

On Saturday, the 16th, head over to Long Island City Queens, where you can catch the pétanque tournament hosted by the restaurant Tournesol starting at noon  More information here 

And don’t forget the fabulous exhibit of monotypes by Edgar Dégas (see my review here ) at MOMA which is on only until July 24th!

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