Has it already been a year since the advent of the much-mocked (and deservedly so) phrase "trés Brooklyn?" It has! This year has flown right by, hasn't it? Time just marches on relentlessly, leaving New York Times-endorsed "trends" in its wake, doesn't it? Yes. It does. But even though "trés Brooklyn" might not be something that anyone says anymore (if they ever did in the first place), not all New York-French hybrids need to be dismissed out of hand. Which, of course, you already knew that, didn't you? You're no fool. And because you're no fool, you're probably already thinking of good ways to celebrate Bastille Day this Sunday, right here in Brooklyn. Only a fool would forgo the chance to celebrate France and all the wonderful things the French culture has given us. So don't be a fool. Here's how to best embrace your inner Francophile this weekend.
Not to traffic too much in stereotypes, but little is more important to the French than baked goods. Also, who cares if I traffic in French stereotypes? They're basically all really positive ones. But so anyway, bread. Bien Cuit in Cobble Hill is about as close to a Parisian bakery as you can find in Brooklyn. So it's only right to start your Bastille Day with a traditional, perfectly chewy baguette or a flaky almond croissant that's been laced with brandy. Fun trivia: in French, "bien cuit" is a term used to refer to a bread that has been baked just the right amount of time, so that it achieves the intended dark brown color on its crust. You can now use that information to impress all your friends. Or, you know, just keep it to yourself. Either way.
Bien Cuit; 120 Smith Street, Cobble Hill
Gravel and Gold Boob Top
I know, I know. Most people think of a classic, navy-and-white striped shirt when they think of French style. But what do you want me to do? Also recommend that you buy a beret? No. Please. This shirt is much more evocative of French culture to me, because when I think of being in France, I think of boobs. And this shirt has lots of boobs. So it is therefore very French and thus worth wearing on Bastille Day.
In God We Trust; 70 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint
Every year, longtime Cobble Hill restaurant Bar Tabac hosts a Bastille Day extravaganza that includes petanque, pastis, and much more, making this the largest Bastille Day celebration in the United States. So go play petanque in the middle of Smith Street, and drink pastis, and eat moules et frites and just have an amazing time. I mean, even just saying the word "petanque" over and over is a guarantee that you'll have a good day. "Petanque." It's a great word.
Bar Tabac; 128 Smith Street, Cobble Hill
Alright, so Before Midnight doesn't take place in France, and it isn't made by a French director, but it does star Julie Delpy, who also co-wrote the film. And it's an aching and beautiful and honest portrayal of a relationship, which seems like a more French way of looking at long-term love, doesn't it? Plus, Julie Delpy has one of the best topless scenes that's ever been on film, because of how natural and lacking inhibition it seems, which is just what nudity is like between people who have been together for years. And, also, it's further proof of what I said before, namely, France= Boobs.
BAM Rose Cinemas; 30 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene
The Philosopher: For that, love would always have to be true.
And then go to sleep, promising yourself that you'll start saving up for that trip to Paris, because Brooklyn is great but, really, there is no substitute for Paris. Vive la France.
Maison Premiere; 298 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen