The French have a saying for this time of year: “Let’s play Boule.”
Of course, they don’t use wooden bats in France and the petanque balls are made out of heavy metal and not horsehide, but the Brooklynites that have been enjoying Bar Tabac’s annual Bastille Day celebration on Smith Street for almost 10 years now don’t seem to mind.
You can get a chance to try out your own petanque skills on July 12 when Smith Street − from Bergen to Pacific Streets − is cleared of traffic and replaced with tons of sand and about 18 homemade petanque courts.
Petanque is sort of like bocci and is easily learned − if not difficult to master.
They’ll be plenty of good food and music as well, as the top−notch restaurants dotting the thoroughfare bring their entrÉes outdoors. Let them eat cake and a whole lot more.
Don’t forget to try the guillotine on for size while you’re there.
Organizers expect about 64 petanque teams to battle it out throughout the day. The squads are pretty booked up, but stragglers can probably find a team who’ll take them on the day of the event.
More than just the glory of the new republic is at stake. In years past, top prize−winning petanque teams have scored stellar vacations to the Hamptons and even Paris.
Bar Tabac will also be serving brunch from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. − and insiders say that the Eggs Bar Tabac with ratatouille and merguez sausage is not to be missed.
“This is an opportunity for the French community and the whole neighborhood to get together and celebrate,” Bar Tabac manager Nate Bolio says.