Bastille Day in NYC

Bastille Day in NYC

Avalon Jazz Band has been called on duty to represent France at the French Embassy in Washington DC, so we won’t be in New York for what Americans very charmingly call «Bastille Day». We actually just call it quatorze juillet. If you are in Manhattan or Brooklyn, here are some places you might want to check out for French music, food and fun.

On Sunday, July 15th 2012, the French Institute / Alliance Française organizes their annual three-block party on 60th Street from 12-5pm. You can play pétanque, taste French specialties, listen to French music, look up the skirts of cancan dancers and discover the crafts of artisans from various regions of France, as well as other French-speaking countries. It’s a great place to take your kids too, fun for the whole family! There will also be a small parade of vintage Citroën cars, and that’s really cool.

If you are looking for a place to show off your dancing skills, you should go to the Bastille Day Ball on Thursday, July 12th, from 7:30pm to 1am at The Club 404. There will be a live band, including French perfomer Floanne singing Edith Piaf, and later on DJ Super Jaimie.

In Brooklyn, the best place to be on July 15th is without a doubt Bar Tabac: Smith street is covered in sand and 80 teams come from all over the world for the annual pétanque tournament. You can encourage theparticipants while sipping a glass of pastis and listening to live music. Festivities start at 11am and continue until 10pm.

On July 14th, if you are looking for French jazz, you can go listen to Myriam Phiro’s trio at Brasserie Julien on the Upper East Side. It’s a charming bistro, and Tatiana Eva-Marie recommends the Pissaladier, a South of France specialty somewhat akin to the Italian pizza. She also encourages you to taste any cocktail with Saint Germain liqueur in it (her favorite), it’s a spirit made from elderflowers picked in the Alps.

If your way of celebrating is simply enjoying great food, then Matisse Restaurant is the place for you. Celebrity chef Arnaud Perreau will be concocting a special Bastille Day menu. He is ridiculously talented and with him every bite is a symphony. We don’t even know what to recommend… everything is so good. Just be sure to wash it down with some Sancerre or Saint Emillion!

We hope these tips have helped you plan your Bastille Day celebration in style. Don’t forget that it is also French Restaurant Week from the 8th to the 15th of July, so check out their website to see the list of participating restaurants.