(A belated) Bonne fête!

The 14th of July is the fête nationale of France–Bastille Day.
I have fond memories of celebrating the holiday in France: In Paris, with fireworks and the Eiffel Tower–once with my friend, Christopher, the evening on which I arrived for a month of travels through the country; and once with fellow students when I was studying abroad in Sancerre. In Dijon, while in graduate school, I danced the night away at the Bal des Pompiers (the Firehouses open for parties on the eve). And in the south, as Aron and I traveled through small towns on a road trip, we celebrated by the river. For the past three years, Aron and I have taken part in the French holiday by attending Petanque tournaments on Smith Street, in Cobble Hill.
We didn’t last long yesterday in the extreme heat, I must admit (we both agreed that the beach could have been amply French, too)–but toasted the players with plastic glasses of Pastis, bought from the Ricard-sponsored booth, and swayed to Lillet-inpspired sing-a-longs. We could hear the jazz as we neared Bar Tabac–the host of the annual party–and found the crowd to be the largest yet.

Sand was brought in to fill two entire blocks of Smith Street, and teams competed in rounds of play to determine who–among the young hipsters and old expats–would be deemed champion.

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