How nice it is to be a Francophile in the United States. With the barbecues of July 4 barely digested, it’s already time to prepare for the tournaments of pétanque on the 14th. As every year, a large number of festivities will take place for Bastille Day (though the French don’t call it “Bastille Day”) in New York. We’ve investigated the options and provide them to you here. The list will be updated as necessary.
Friday, July 13
We begin the weekend of festivities with the Bastille Day Ball 2018. Organized this year by the Committee of French and French Language Associations of New York and the Consulate of France, the big event will take place from 6:30pm to 12:30am at Sony Hall. The evening will be hosted by Oh La La Jazz Band and Romann Sebag (founder of the very popular Nuits Françaises). Space is limited. To register, send an e-mail to [email protected]. To participate in the traditional evening raffle that could have you leaving with New York-Paris plane tickets or other prizes, click here.
235 W 46th St, NY 10036.
Saturday, July 14
We’ll eat cheese and charcuterie starting 6pm at the new location of Coucou French Classes. The French language school for adults has just opened its new address in Nolita. For its launch party, they have excellent partners: the café Maman and Murray’s Cheese. You can enjoy the open bar of French wines and cocktails to the music of Marie Davy, a French singer based in New York who’ll be giving a mini concert.
253 Center St, 2nd Floor. Website.
From 7 to 10pm, Bastille Day will be celebrated with FIAF Montclair in New Jersey at Van Vleck House & Gardens. A gourmet buffet will be prepared by Michelin-starred chef Nicolas Houlbert and a team of chefs from Parisian restaurants. The singer-songwriter Violette and the band La Vie en Rose will offer you a jazz concert of American and French classics.
21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair New Jersey 07042. Website.
Still in New Jersey in Jersey City, The French American Academy celebrates July 14 from 11am to 6pm on 3rd Street. On the menu: French crêpes and other culinary specialties, a DJ, French musicians and singers, a French cancan performance, and a pétanque tournament.
209 3rd Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302. Website.
On the Brooklyn side, tu tires ou tu pointes? (Pétanque lingo, for those who want to know.) Provençal atmosphere at the Bar Tabac on Smith Street for one of the biggest pétanque tournaments in North America. From 10am to 8pm, 72 teams of three will compete with a glass of Ricard in hand. Concerts, food stands, and cold drinks will be at the rendezvous.
128 Smith St, Brooklyn. Website.
If you are on the Upper West Side, from 12pm onward, the Café du Soleil will also be organizing its pétanque tournament. Live music and French cuisine will accompany your tosses.
2723 Broadway, New York, NY 10025. Website.
The organizers of the “Une Nuit Française” parties invite you to a New York Firefighters Ball at Heavy Woods in Brooklyn starting at 8pm. If you want to groove to your favorite French hits all night long, this Bal des Pompiers is the place for you. A terrace has just opened at the back of the bar. On the program: a tasting of specialities from New Orleans, some Céline Dion, France Gall, and cocktails.
50 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237.
The Alliance Française de Westchester is organizing an immersion workshop, from 3pm to 6pm, around Bastille Day. Francophiles will have the opportunity to practice French while learning about the culture and customs of the country. French food and drinks will be served.
31 Avenue, Mamaroneck, 6th floor, White Plains, NY 10601. Website.
As part of the French Week organized by Oui Oui Je Speak Franglais, Trader Joe’s in Clifton invites you to a french toast tasting with your family. A coloring workshop for children is also going to offered.
259 Allwood Road, NJ 07012.
The Majorelle Restaurant at the Lowell Hotel is preparing a special Bastille Day lunch and dinner that day. Charles Masson and his team will help you (re)discover the French culinary classics. The main course: Vichyssoise or oysters with mignonette for lunch, and bouillabaisse Marseillaise or white poultry cooked in Pouilly for dinner. Finally, a sweet note to end on: raspberry or profiterole shortbread.
Majorelle, 28 East 63rd St, 10065. Website.
Let them eat cake! (Or whatever they want to eat to celebrate.) Remember what brought about Bastille Day in the first place and watch Kristen Dunst in Sofia Coppola’s film “Marie Antoinette.” As you watch Queen Antoinette be pampered with luxurious sweets and gems, you’ll be at Videology Bar & Cinema sipping on a cocktail and eating a Ladurée macaron of your own. Event starts at 9:15pm. Buy tickets here.
308 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn 11211. Website.
Bastille Day is also celebrated in Connecticut. Rendez-vous at Sub Edge Farm for the Bastille Day Farm Festival in Farmington on July 14th from 2pm to 6pm. Organized by the DORO Restaurant Group, go green and spend a day at the farm to taste fresh, local, and organic products. Make sure to try the hummus from Zohara market.
Sub Edge Farm, 199 Town Farm Road, Farmington, CT 06032. Website.
In New Rochelle, celebrate Bastille Day at Ruby Dee Park on Library Green from 9am to 2pm. Set up by the Alliance Française of Westchester and New Rochelle, the program promises to be rich. Red berets and balloons, French crafts, French cancan performances, and concerts. At 1pm, discover two exclusive episodes of “Enquêtes de Mirette,” a popular French cartoon, at the Ossie Davis Theater Library.
1 Library Plaza, New Rochelle, NY 10801. Website.
Sunday, July 15
Once again, FIAF is betting everything on Bastille Day. The French Institute Alliance Française organizes its annual fair on 60th Street (between 5th Avenue and Lexington Avenue). Many French associations and leaders from the French community (including French Morning and Frenchly) will be there. It’s the opportunity to (re)discover French culture through food stands and lifestyle products which you can shop from 12 to 5pm. Live performances: concerts, the traditional French cancan, mimes and zouk classes. Children can learn French through games and artistic activities. A children’s library corner will be set up between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue.
This year, July 15 is an important date. It’s also the World Cup Final, which will be broadcast on the big screen in FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall starting at 11am. For gourmets, champagne, chocolate and jazz will be in the Skyroom from 1:30 to 3pm and from 3:30 to 5pm. Southern summer atmosphere at the Tinker Auditorium will be bountiful as you meet to sip wine from the South of France and sample a slice of Bayonne ham and some cheese from 12 to 4:30pm. At 4:45pm, a big raffle draw takes place that will offer trips to Paris or Martinique, beauty products, and other gifts. To participate, buy your ticket here.
For moviegoers, Yvan Attal’s “Le Brio” with Daniel Auteuil and Camelia Jordana, nominated for the Best Film César award, will be shown at 5:30pm in Florence Gould Hall. And The French Garden opens its shopping area between 5th and Madison Avenue with French brands such as Jérôme Dreyfus, Emma & Chloé, Tissage Moutet, and more. See the whole Bastille Day FIAF program here.
The long-awaited Citroën Bastille Day Rally & RendezVous will meet at 9am at 122nd St and Riverside Drive (south) for a tour through the streets of New York starting at 10am. More than 40 Citroën, Solex, and other vehicles will be on hand for New York’s biggest automotive event. French food and drinks will be provided complimentary of the event’s sponsors.
At Maison Harlem, 11am, you’ll meet to watch the World Cup final. You can continue the festivities over a game of pétanque and live performances.
341 Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY 10027. Website.
Over several days
From July 7 to 15, the Oui Oui Je Speak Franglais association is organizing a French Week in several Choc-o-Pain bakeries in New Jersey. Charcuterie, cheese, and kouign-amann tastings will be held throughout the week.
From July 9 to 15, the group Les Incognitos, from the southwest of France, will play in eleven bars during the Provence Bastille Days. Their music is diverse: from rock to French variety and Latin rhythms, the band criss-crosses New York restaurants with a Provençal air. Full program here.
Good news for gourmets. From July 2 to 15, it’s French Week Restaurant. Two weeks during which lovers of steak tartare, mussels, and legs of lamb can enjoy menus at fixed prices in 22 French partner restaurants.