Thousands on Smith Street
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Thousands came to Smith Street in Boerum Hill on Sunday for the largest -- and most convivial -- Bastille Day celebration in the U.S.
Mellow, fun-seeking crowds danced to swing bands, drank apéritifs, posed in the guillotine and enjoyed the unique French game called pétanque, played on courts created by the Quadrozzi Concrete Company, which spread 12 cubic yards of sand over Smith Street.
Pétanque is similar to bocce, but is played by throwing metal balls (boules) at a small wooden ball, or “pig” — usually while sipping a glass of pastis (Ricard’s anise-flavored French apéritif). Roughly 64 teams from around the world competed in the tournament.
This year, Bar Tabac installed a giant video screen in the street so attendees could cheer on their favorites in the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. (In extra time, it was a dramatic victory for Germany.)
Jennifer Amaral, national brand manager at Ricard, pointed to the seat of white hats and ventured, "Pétanque and pastis speak to a hip, young crowd."
She added, "We don't advertise, it's all word-of-mouth buzz. It gets bigger every year."