Giant Petanque Court Takes Over Smith Street

By Jess Wisloski and Paul Lomax  on July 15, 2012 7:40pm

BROOKLYN — France's popularity enjoyed a renaissance among Brooklynites as Bastille Day took over Smith Street and celebrated the country's independence.

Despite the heat, and having to brave a brief summer downpour, the restaurants spilled over with people from around the world who had flocked to Smith Street, which is known for its abundance of adored French bistros. Meanwhile the street itself spilled over...with sand.

As people sampled French wines, sipped champagnes and noshed on baguettes as they watched New York teams play the traditional French bowling game pétanque, where hollow metal balls are rolled as close as possible to a small wooden one (similar to bocce or bowls.)

Kamel Gaiu, 51, from Marseille, France took part in a local game of pétanque that was set up using gallons of sand that was spread across the street outside the popular French restaurant "Provence en Boîte,' on Degraw Street near the 263 Smith St. eatery.

"I've been playing since I was two or three years old. This is just such a fun day. I've really had a great Bastille Day in New York City," said Gaiu.

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