This afternoon Bastille Day was celebrated a day early on the Upper East Side. Hosted by the French Institute Alliance Francaise, three blocks of East 60th Street were taken over by vendors selling food, drinks, and gifts along with various organizations advertising everything French from learning the language to travelling to French-speaking countries. There were also wine tastings for the adults and face painting for the children.
The day was filled with performances including Can-Can dancers, a marching band, and Les Petits Chanteurs de Monaco (school boys who sounded like angels). Everyone seemed to be having a good time even if the humidity made it a tad uncomfortable.
The highlight for me was running into singer/actor Patrick Bruel whose photo I quickly snapped (I felt like a member of the paparazzi). If you're not familiar with his work, you should check him out (he's performing in New York on November 1).
There was a surprise waiting for me when I got home and started to look through my photos. While attempting to photograph the balloon man, I unknowingly took a photo of the legendary Bill Cunningham. At first elated, a second later I realized I probably ruined his shot. So apologies, Mr. Cunningham. If I had been paying more attention, I would have moved out of the way.
Leaving the event, there was one last special treat in store. Across Fifth Avenue, next to the park, was a collection of classic Citroëns, many of which had Quebec plates. It was such a delight to see the various models and all their different colours. Wouldn't it be lovely if everyone drove cars like these?
So Vive La France and Happy Bastille Day!