There's just something about Bryant Park, at least where the French are concerned. Starting with Diner En Blanc last week and culminating in the Taste of France event this weekend, the iconic park has seen lots of francophile action this month. It's the second Taste of France event taking place in New York City and the first time they'll be occupying the grounds behind the library, transforming it into a bustling French marketplace, with cooking demonstrations, wine sampling, health and beauty vendors and even a French Bulldog Show.
The event seeks to highlight the "best of French innovation, lifestyle and culture," according to the release. Over 120 booths offering food, cosmetics, metal workers, music and other facets of French identity are set up throughout the park to immerse visitors in a mini-France between the skyscrapers of midtown. You won't suffer hefty exchange rates for Euros, but in order to purchase goods at the event you will need to trade in your cash for Marianne's—the official currency of the event—which luckily are exactly equal to one dollar.
Though visitors are offered free entrance into the main grounds, a few ticketed events offer deeper immersion, like Le Grand Wine Tasting, the headline event of the weekend. On Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., the terrace transforms into a giant wine tasting area with room for 500 guests to sample over 100 French wines plus French cheese and charcuterie. Tickets for the event cost $150, with a portion of sales benefiting Action Against Hunger and Wheeling Forward.
Like its predecessor Diner En Blanc, the Taste of France is throwing a big picnic on the lawn of the park on Sunday at noon. Diners are encouraged to don their finest red, white and blue duds and snap up a basket filled with all sorts of French treats for a relaxing afternoon in the autumn sun.
The Taste of France runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, September 28th and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 29th.