How to Celebrate Bastille Day in New York City
By Laurent Berstecher For those who feel that this year's Fourth of July celebration ended too early, there is still hope to keep on partying for independence and democracy, French-style. There will be more red, white and blue this weekend as Francophiles around the world celebrate Bastille Day, the French national holiday commemorating the storming of Paris' emblematic prison on July 14, 1789, and the subsequent popular uprising known as the French Revolution. New York City will not be spared the French celebrations, and you should be getting ready for a weekend of wine tastings and pétanque tournaments in the five boroughs. Eager to help you get in touch with your French side, we have selected the best of Bastille Week for you. Thursday, July 12 Pétanque Tournament Tribeca's French Bistro Cercle Rouge will be hosting its third annual pétanque tournament today. Ricard-based cocktails will also be served, giving Tribeca a touch of Marseille for the afternoon. Cercle Rouge, 241 W. Broadway (at N. Moore St.), 212-226-6252, cerclerougeresto.com; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Bastille Day Ball The Committee of French-Speaking Societies (CAFUSA) organizes its yearly Bastille Day Ball under the umbrella of the French Consulate and the New York City Mayor's Office. This year's edition will feature a live orchestra as well as French singer Floanne and French DJ Super Jamie. General admission tickets are available for $30, but a $120 VIP ticket will grant you access to a gourmet French buffet and an open bar. The Club 404, 404 10th Ave. (at W. 33rd St.), bastilledayball.org. Saturday, July 14 Bastille Day Brunch French food, wine, cocktails and pétanque on the patio are coming to Le Meatpacking District on Saturday, with music by DJ Marco Peruzzi. Yes, he is Italian, but we are told he started his musical career in the south of France. Brasserie Beaumarchais, 409 W. 13th St. (betw. 9th Ave. & Washington St.), 212-675-2400, brasseriebeaumarchais.com. Bastille Festival 2012 in Times Square This year's edition of the Bastille Festival in Times Square will take place in the Times Square Novotel and feature over 12 hours of live music by five bands, as well as a sculpture exhibition by French artist Pierre-Henri Guérard. Resident DJ Maklen will also be there to make sure that the rooftop keeps shaking until 3 a.m., closing time. Sky Deck Terrace at Novotel Hotel, 226 W 52nd St. (betw. Broadway & 8th Ave.), novotel.com; 3 p.m.-3 a.m. Sunday, July 15 10th Anniversary Pétanque Tournament Not even Brooklyn is spared by Bastille Day, as French bistros Bar Tabac and Provence en Bôite host their 10th annual pétanque tournament, the largest in North America, on Sunday. Go watch over 80 teams from around the world play it out in Smith Street while enjoying French music, food and drinks throughout the day. Bar Tabac, 128 Smith St. (betw. Bergen & Pacific Sts.), bartabacny.com; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Bastille Day on 60th Street On Sunday, 60th Street will be taken over by over 25,000 Franco-friendly visitors for a day of festivities and celebration of French culture. Hosted by the French Institute Alliance Francaise, this is the largest celebration of Bastille Day in the United States. Events will include food samples by some of the finest French restaurants in New York City, live can-can performances, free French language workshops, street mimes, accordian players, an old Citroen car show and, of course, more wine, cheese and pétanque. 60th Street betw. 5th & Lexington Aves., www.bastilledayny.com; 12-5 p.m.
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