French National Day
So, being a good French, I couldn’t miss the Bastille Day celebrations that went on in New York and Brooklyn on July 12th!
To be honest, I think it is pretty amazing all that is done to celebrate this French National Day! I mean, it is still the U.S. and I was not expecting that much enthusiasm for a foreign holiday but I am glad 🙂
A little history
I think that you all know about Bastille Day, but I thought I would write a brief paragraph about it!
In France, this day is called La Fête Nationale, meaning The National Celebration. If this day is that important for France it is because it commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the storming of the Bastille, which happened on July 14 1789. This pulled the end of the absolute monarchy and was followed by the end of the society of orders and privileges as well as the unity of the French people on July 14 1790.
This day is celebrated all over France with fireworks, and the largest and oldest military parade being held on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. If you ever get a chance, go see the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower, it is so wonderful! Although I do like, Bergerac– my little home town’s fireworks, which are music-themed each year (this year theme is “Bergerac a city, a port”).
I first headed to Smith Street, in Brooklyn. Once there, I just couldn’t believe it: a whole installation for a petanque tournament, which was a big success! Most players were French (guess why ahah) but some Americans as well, which was great!
There were sponsors such as Air France; Marseille, Aix…La Provence; and Ricard. Ricard, a famous anise-flavored liqueur who originated in Marseille, even offered hats and sunglasses for people buying Ricard drinks (they got out of hats when we arrived… so sad they were awesome!). There were refreshment stalls (“buvette” in French) and even musicians, it was great! I felt like I was back in France 🙂
Pictures: Petanque and sponsors
I read that every year, there is a lot going on for Bastille Day on 60th Street, between the 5th Ave and Lexington Ave.
It was pretty crowded, even though we arrived near the end! So many small stands where you can buy crepes, French pastries such as macarons, canelets and pies. I came across Maison de L’éclair, which makes chocolate eclairs with a modern twist.. they had salty eclairs! I thought the idea was amazing; worth to check them out!
I was even surprised to see that the European Best Destination 2015 is Bordeaux… My home town being close to Bordeaux and loving this city, I was proud! Bordeaux has everything you would wish for: great culture, lifestyle, food and… wine!
There was also a vintage Citroen car show in the morning, but I missed it… Very sad, as the 2CV or “deudeuch” are like iconic French cars and I love how they look! 🙂
© Paul Margolis – NYTimes Wheels
That was my first Bastille Day in the U.S., such a nice experience! How was yours? What did you do, if anything?
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