Sunday, February 19, 2023

Marvelous Mosaic: 10+ Great Ways to Vive La France in NYC

French films at FIAF, Kirsten Dunst, Marie Antoinette  
(©Sony Pictures Entertainment/Photofest: Sofia Coppola)
By Jacquelin Carnegie – (New York, NY)
New York has always been the melting pot of world cultures. Former mayor David Dinkins called the city a “gorgeous mosaic" and, to that end, you can find food, culture, and entertainment from just about every country. If you’d like to experience some French culture right in NYC, here are some terrific ways:

Dine à la Française:
While there is no joy in the world like sitting at a café in Paris, you can experience that feeling right here in NYC at several, top-rated French restaurants such as Le Bernardin, Benoit, Daniel, and Jean-Georges. There are also plenty of more affordable options and you can discover new places during French Restaurant Week (July) such as:
Springtime in Paris (artist: Liudmila Kondakova)
West Village: Boucherie (99 7th Ave So;
Mid-Town: Bistro Vendome (405 East 58th St;
Upper West Side: Café du Soleil (2723 Broadway, btw 104-105th St.

Live & Learn à la Française:

Michel Fau & Jerome Deschamps, Courteline en dentelles,
 FIAF (photo: Joachim Olaya)
These French cultural institutions offer wonderful events open to the public—films, plays, lectures, photo exhibits, concerts, and more. Many of the events are free; some have a nominal charge.

French Institute/Alliance Française
22 East 60th St.; Tel. 212/355- 6100;
Yes, it’s a place to learn French, but FIAF offers so much more. Every week, there are cultural events--from cutting-edge French films, often introduced by the director and the movie's stars, to performances by popular French singers and acclaimed French actors. There are wine tastings and talks (in English or with a translator) on topics ranging from French fashion to gardens and décor. And, every fall, the Crossing the Line festival brings acclaimed, international performers to New York. 
La Maison Française at NYU
16 Washington Mews; Tel: 212/998-8750;
Since 1957, New York University’s La Maison Française has been a forum for French-American intellectual and cultural exchange. During the year, over 100 events take place in this lovely, historic Greenwich Village setting. Leading writers, artists, musicians, and performers present along with scholars in a wide range of fields. On any given evening, you might attend a program by eminent philosophers or prominent politicians.

Jules et Jim, Truffaut
Maison Française Columbia University
Buell Hall, Columbia, 515 West 116th St.; Tel: 212/854-4482;
At Columbia’s Maison Française, distinguished artists, leading faculty members, and academics from around the world address topics ranging from French culture and history to societal trends and global political issues. Notable guests range from renowned composers to famed filmmakers. (Also, great films are screened.)

French Resources In NYC:
Macaroons (photo: Angelina Herman)
For activities: French Morning; For musicFrance Rocks. And, if you just want to meet some people who speak French: French New York City
Shop à la Française:
Fabulous French chocolates: François Payard Chocolates & La Maison du Chocolat; French groceries: Le District Fun, silly gifts: Pylones; Quality skincare products: L’OccitaneClassy booksAlbertine (972 Fifth Ave, at 79th St.) - Located in the stunning French Embassy building, the bookshop highlights French literature and culture with talks and an annual Lit Festival. Idlewild - Offers French language lessons and books.
Church Services in FrenchEglise Evangélique Amour du Christ (250 East 61st St; & Eglise Evangelique Française de New York (128 West 16th St; Tel: 212-929-6312).


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