French expats, Francophiles to fete Bastille Day in S.F.

The storming of a French prison that spurred the French Revolution is cause for celebration today by Bay Area French expatriates and Francophiles alike.

There will be music and plenty of haute cuisine, not to mention a free reception at the Palace of the Legion of Honor sponsored by the French Consulate.

Despite the defeat of France’s soccer team by Italy in the World Cup on Sunday, the mood of those celebrating Bastille Day remains upbeat, said Yvette Chalom, a member of a local group to foster bonds among French nationals living abroad.

“As far as I can tell, these things (soccer and the national holiday) are totally different,” Chalom said.

Dustin Duhne, a manager who is overseeing today’s planned feast at Grand Café, said the French people he knows were just happy to make it to the final round of the World Cup.

Bastille Day is not just about food, but a celebratory atmosphere often including dancing, Chalom said.

Still, unlike prior years, Belden Place won’t be closed off to make way for dancing and music. But Café Bastille, located on Belden, will be serving up meals for the French national holiday, sometimes equated with America’s July Fourth.

Bastille Day, which commemorates the 1789 storming of the Bastille prison, spurred the French Revolution and the overthrow of the nation’s monarchy.

Fast forward 217 years, and the French were again made notorious for what some consider on the violent side.

French soccer star Zinedine Zidane is infamous for his head-butt against Italian player Marco Materazzi during the critical championship game.

“I knew the Italians were better,” Chalom said. “He should have controlled himself better, but he was insulted.”

mcarroll@examiner.com

Just Posted

SF may ask voters to approve a vacant storefront tax in March

Supervisor Peskin says proposal to give small businesses ‘leverage in lease negotiations’

Chesa Boudin to be sworn in as San Francisco DA in January

District Attorney-elect Chesa Boudin will not take office until early next year… Continue reading

After high-profile dismissals, Breed appoints new SFMTA director

Jeffrey Tumlin to lead Muni after sexual harassment scandal, operator shortage

US diplomats describe Trump’s effort to hijack Ukraine policy for his political benefit

Historic public impeachment proceedings got underway Wednesday

Most Read