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French Five: June 2012

June 4, 2012

Summer in New York is bursting with Francophile fun – so much of it that it’s hard to even keep track of. In my own effort to get organized, I found myself putting together a list of the events where I’ll be prowling for a French fix this month.  Which I figured it would be only fair to share (read: coerce others to come with me). Let me know what must-do event is missing, and hope to see you at one of these!

1. A Friday Night Flick and Fresh Air: Films on the Green, the annual outdoor festival of French films in New York, has just kicked off. From June to September, catch free classic and recent cinematic works in your favorite NYC parks. Just remember to sneak in a bottle of Rose!

June 8: The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Washington Square Park
June 15: War of the Buttons, Washington Square Park
June 22: The Axe, Tompkins Square Park
June 29: Donkey Skin, Tompkins Square Park
July 6: Tell No One, Riverside Park – Pier I (at 70th St)
July 13: Persepolis, Riverside Park – Pier I (at 70th St)
Sept 6: Jules and Jim, Columbia University – Low Library Steps

2. Bouillabaisse Festival (June 6 – 15): Stop by one of the nine restaurants in the Tour de France group for a taste of this iconic seafood dish the second week of June. And this is no ordinary bouillabaisse. Each restaurant is offering a customized menu with creative takes ranging from a Moroccan bouillabaisse at French Roast to a Bouillabaisse-inspired ice cream trio at Pigalle.

3. Sweet, Sour, Savory: Talk with Eric Ripert & Christina Tosi (June 13): If you like food, and have been in NY for more than a month, you’ve likely heard about both the untouchable position of Le Bernardin near the top of the French restaurant list, and the ridiculously tasty treats produced by Momofuku Milk Bar (need I say Crack Pie?).  For a very reasonable $25, the Alliance Francaise of NY is offering a brush with foodie fame. Eric Ripert, executive chef and partner of Le Bernardin, and Christina Tosi, pastry chef and owner of Momofuku Milk Bar, will host a discussion on how they explore new flavors with classic ingredients. Grab a signature on their books on the way out and consider yourself an automatic NYC culinary insider. FIAF, Florence Gould Hall, Part of FIAF’s Art de Vivre series Fabulous Flavors

4. Fete de la Musique (June 21): This all day music festival that takes over entire French cities at the end of June is quite possibly my favorite French tradition. Mini concerts fill the streets, musicians camp out on the sidewalk and bars and restaurants swing open their doors to allow the revelry to continue into the wee hours of the morning. The US translation isn’t as spirited in my mind, but it’s a rare occasion to enjoy live music from every corner on the world. Keep an eye on Make Music NY and the French Embassy Cultural Services website for specific French artists, or catch tunes from your favorite culture.

5. Monet Gardens (through August 31): My first trip to France included a stop at Giverny to see the gorgeous gardens that inspired the famous French impressionist Claude Monet. This summer, the New York Botanical Gardens will feature a tribute to his passion for gardening by recreating the lush greenery he painted. Adult All-Garden Pass tickets start at $20. Or go on Saturday, June 16 to enjoy “Monet Evenings Featuring Water Lily Concerts” – a cocktail and live music on the Conservatory lawn. Saturday, June 16; at 7:30 p.m.

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