If you can’t afford to hop on a jet plane to France, perhaps the next best thing is a staycation in New York City. Mark your calendar for July 14th — Bastille Day lands on a Friday this year; however, festivities will run throughout the entire weekend. The following are several suggestions for ways to enjoy with those who celebrate the holiday — red, white and bleu — French sophistication, American style.
Just a hop, skip and perhaps a jeté across 6th Avenue, and you will land at Sofitel New York mid-block. They always celebrate Bastille Day and this year marks the hotel’s 23 anniversary. They are offering several rate options and I recommend you check out their rooms with a view or terrace.
You may want to stop in Gaby Brasserie on the ground floor for some bubbles and bites. They have created a special prix-fixe menu starting on July 10th that includes various specialties, such as onion soup gratinée, demi poulet rôti, pan-seared striped bass, French apple tart, and a gianduja chocolate tartlet. Check out their website for details. I’ll be reviewing their complete summer menu in the coming weeks.
Set your weekend on fire(works) with tickets and see Moulin Rouge — mesdames et messieurs are still high-kicking at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on 45th Street. If you’ve seen the movie or even visited the actual place in Paris during its heyday, now is your chance to see or revisit the spectacle that transcends the can-can and captivates the audience with a French twist on l’ amour.
Over 30,000 visitors and residents participated in last year’s festival on Madison Avenue. The event is family-friendly and runs from 59th to 63rd Streets, beginning at noon. There will be music, art, and vendors lining the blocks. Their main stage is located at 59th Street, offering music, live performances, and several surprise guests. Sponsored by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), the celebration is a must-see for patriots, ex-patriots and francophiles.
Make your plans to attend any or all of my recommendations and remember: we received Lady Liberty as a gift from the French. Merci!
Photo Credits: Sofitel, P. K. Greenfield and French Institute Alliance Française.