The tens of thousands of French people living in New York City are about to celebrate their national holiday on July 14th. No one does national holidays quite like ex-pats: dance parties, pétanque tournaments, pastis — you know you want to be part of the fun. Here’s a week-long schedule of events with a map to help you find them. Vive la France!
Saturday, July 11th
Pétanque tournament at Tournesol
Bistro Tournesol in Long Island City is organizing the first pétanque tournament in honor of Bastille Day. Sign up by emailing [email protected] or just show up to drink, eat, and cheer on the participants.
12am-8pm. Click here for more info.
Sunday, July 12th
FIAF Bastille Day on 60th Street
This is THE big Bastille Day in New York bash! The French Institute/Alliance Française (FIAF) blocks of 60th street between 5th and Lexington to have a block party à la Française. Tons of stands promoting French culture (including French Morning, of course!) will be there along with music from la Chroale Arpège de Martinique and others. For those who prefer dark rooms on a hot day, FIAF will also be screening the Franco-Polish film Danton by Andrzej Wajda with Gérard Depardieu at 4pm and 7:30pm.
Noon-5pm. Click here for more info.
Bastille Day at the Maison Harlem
This restaurant is having it’s first Bastille day affair after it closed due to a fire incident.
It wouldn’t be Bastille Day in New York without an armada of vintage Citroën cars and Vélosolex mopeds grinding down Broadway! The parade, organized by the Greater New York Vélosolex Club, will start at Grant’s Tomb and pass by Herald Square before heading over to 3rd Ave and back up to 96th Street. It will finish up at the FIAF on 60th. Click here for a video of the festivities 2 years ago.
Click here for more info.
Pétanque at Bar Tabac
Georges Forgoes has been organizing a giant pétanque tournament at his Cobble Hill restaurant for 13 years. Even if you miss sign-up for participation, you have to take a walk down Smith Street to witness its transformation into a giant pétanque playing field!
Starting at noon. Click here for more information.
Pétanque at Provence en boite
Brooklyn’s “Little Paris” will be busy! Here’s another pétanque tournament, complete with music, barbecue, and plenty of rosé to go around. Sign-ups for the tournament will take place in person.
Click here for more information.
Monday, July 13th
Le Bal du 14 juillet
This is the traditional bal you’ve been craving ever since you saw those cute old couples dancing in the square of that small French town on your last vacation. This bash to celebrate Bastille Day in New York will feature a French cabaret and a DJ, as well as a raffle with a grand prize of two round-trip tickets to Paris. VIP guests get to lounge in a private room with an unlimited buffet and open bar until 10pm. It’s all organized by the Committee of Francophone Organizations of New York.
6pm-1am at Club 404. More information here.
Tuesday, July 14th
Bastille Day at The Box
The Box will celebrate Bastille Day in two 25 minute shows. Gorgeous girls + freaky thrills = guaranteed excitement.
Doors open at 11pm. More information here.
Historic walking tour in the life of Eliza Jumel
Local historian and guide Eric K. Washington organizes a walking tour based ont eh life of 18th century socialite Eliza Jumel. Wife of the French-Haitian merchant Stephen Jumel, Eliza’s story is somewhat Cinderella-like, going from domestic servant to wealthy intercontinental high-society fixture. The tour begins in her sumptuous manor in northern Manhattan and ends at the Trinity Church cemetery where she is buried alongside other illustrious New Yorkers.
11am. Tickets are $20. Click here for more information.
Stephane Wrembel at Times Square
The Avalon Jazz Band is organizing a French soirée at the Urbo restaurant in Times Square with the king of Gypsy jazz Stephane Wrembel. There will be dancing and delicious French food!
5pm-2pm. Free. Click here for more information.
Bastille Day with Maison Kitsuné
Mixing New York rooftop with the French national holiday, Maison Kitsuné is organizing a special “Oulala” night at Le Bain at the Standard Hotel on the High Line. DJs Chordashian, Antoine Karl and Air Zaïeron will delight your ears.
Click here for more info.
Pétanque at Félix
Another traditional pétanque fest: this tournament happens inside the Félix restaurant.
Noon-8pm. Click here for more information.
Pétanque at Cercle Rouge
The Georges Forgeois restaurant Cercle Rouge hosts some 40 pétanque teams and about 5,000 spectators for this pétanque extravaganza on West Broadway. More information here.
Saturday, July 18th
Pétanque at La Défense
Restaurant La Défense will also host a tournament on Saturday July 18th. Brunch will begin at 9am and an outside bar will offer beer, wine and cocktails all day long. More info.
All week long
French Restaurant Week
New York’s annual French Restaurant Week coincides with Bastille Day, and participating restaurants offer prix-fixes menus at all price points.
Monday July 13th-Friday July 19th in all participating restaurants.
New Jersey also celebrates Bastille Day with its first-ever French Week. This bilingual and bi-cultural event is organized by the Oui, Oui, je speak Franglais and is already underway with events like linguistic exchanges, prix-fixes menus and deals from businesses from L’Occitane to Trader Joe’s. More information here.