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Spend Bastille Day At These NYC Spots Celebrating French Culture

These museums, landmarks, and other sites celebrate the French connection to New York

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Paris and New York have always considered themselves sibling cities. But there’s much more to the America/France connection than just an appreciation for a good Beaujolais. This Bastille Day, look for these pockets of French culture and history throughout New York City, from the Upper West Side to Cobble Hill. Allez!

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1. The Cloisters

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99 Margaret Corbin Dr
New York, NY 10040
(212) 923-3700
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There’s plenty of French art inside this upper upper upper west side museum, but the building itself might be the most Gallic part. The namesake cloisters came from five Medieval-era structures throughout France. American sculptor George Grey Barnard purchased the pieces on trips to France, and the Met bought them from him in the 1920s.

2. Riverside Park

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Riverside Dr.
New York, NY 10025

The statue of Joan of Arc in Riverside Park was unveiled in 1915 by a crowd of local luminaries including Mrs. Thomas Edison. Some stones from Rouen Cathedral, where St. Joan was killed, make up the base of the statue.

3. French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)

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22 E 60th St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 355-6100
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Whether you’re a committed Francophile or just a fan of Truffaut movies, the Alliance Francaise is the beating heart of the New York French community. Stop by for French classes, film screenings, and Champagne tastings (of course).

4. Statue of Liberty

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Liberty Island
New York, NY 10004
(212) 363-3200
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One of New York’s most iconic landmarks lives as a reminder of Franco-American cooperation. The Neoclassical sculpture, designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel, was a gift from France to the United States in 1886 and named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.

5. Albertine

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972 5th Ave
New York, NY 10075
(212) 650-0070
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6. French Church of St. Esprit Graveyard

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Pine St & Nassau St
New York, NY 10005

St-Esprit’s second home at the corner of Pine and Nassau Streets served the congregation for about 120 years. During that time, the church’s cemetery was behind it, extending to Cedar Street. After the church relocated, the land was sold and the remains moved. Now, the site, just around the corner from Federal Hall, is home to (what else?) a luxury high-rise.

7. Église Française du Saint-Esprit

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Originally founded by French Huguenots, St-Esprit was home to a blend of French and English-speaking Protestants and became part of the Episcopal community in the United States. After starting in Lower Manhattan’s Petticoat Lane, the church continued moving northward half a dozen times before landing at its current home on 60th Street.

8. Huguenot Society of America

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20 W 44th St
New York, NY 10036

This society was founded in 1883 and boasted Federalist Papers co-author John Jay as its first president. Its library, housed inside the Huguenot Society office in midtown, has archival material about Huguenot genealogy in the U.S., church history, biographies of important Huguenots around the world, and other related topics. You’ll need to make an appointment if you want to dig around.

9. Bar Tabac

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128 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 923-0918
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A photo posted by Bar Tabac (@bartabacny) on

10. Sothebys International Realty

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38 E 61st St
New York, NY 10065
(212) 606-4000

Don’t feel like dodging tourists to get to Lady Liberty herself? Stop by the uptown Sotheby’s International Realty office, where an honest-to-goodness statue, made from Bartholdi’s original (more human sized) mold, sits hiding in plain sight.

11. Former French hospital building

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330 W 30th St
New York, NY 10001

The French Hospital in New York City originally treated only French-speaking people, but quickly changed its mission to care for anyone who needed treatment. After moving several times, the hospital settled into a building that stretched from 29th to 30th Streets between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. However, the hospital went bankrupt in the 1970s and was converted into homes, but you can still see some traces of the original structure, including telltale fleurs-de-lis markings.

1. The Cloisters

99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040

There’s plenty of French art inside this upper upper upper west side museum, but the building itself might be the most Gallic part. The namesake cloisters came from five Medieval-era structures throughout France. American sculptor George Grey Barnard purchased the pieces on trips to France, and the Met bought them from him in the 1920s.

99 Margaret Corbin Dr
New York, NY 10040

2. Riverside Park

Riverside Dr., New York, NY 10025

The statue of Joan of Arc in Riverside Park was unveiled in 1915 by a crowd of local luminaries including Mrs. Thomas Edison. Some stones from Rouen Cathedral, where St. Joan was killed, make up the base of the statue.

Riverside Dr.
New York, NY 10025

3. French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)

22 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022

Whether you’re a committed Francophile or just a fan of Truffaut movies, the Alliance Francaise is the beating heart of the New York French community. Stop by for French classes, film screenings, and Champagne tastings (of course).

22 E 60th St
New York, NY 10022

4. Statue of Liberty

Liberty Island, New York, NY 10004

One of New York’s most iconic landmarks lives as a reminder of Franco-American cooperation. The Neoclassical sculpture, designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel, was a gift from France to the United States in 1886 and named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.

Liberty Island
New York, NY 10004

5. Albertine

972 5th Ave, New York, NY 10075
972 5th Ave
New York, NY 10075

6. French Church of St. Esprit Graveyard

Pine St & Nassau St, New York, NY 10005

St-Esprit’s second home at the corner of Pine and Nassau Streets served the congregation for about 120 years. During that time, the church’s cemetery was behind it, extending to Cedar Street. After the church relocated, the land was sold and the remains moved. Now, the site, just around the corner from Federal Hall, is home to (what else?) a luxury high-rise.

Pine St & Nassau St
New York, NY 10005

7. Église Française du Saint-Esprit

New York, NY

Originally founded by French Huguenots, St-Esprit was home to a blend of French and English-speaking Protestants and became part of the Episcopal community in the United States. After starting in Lower Manhattan’s Petticoat Lane, the church continued moving northward half a dozen times before landing at its current home on 60th Street.

8. Huguenot Society of America

20 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

This society was founded in 1883 and boasted Federalist Papers co-author John Jay as its first president. Its library, housed inside the Huguenot Society office in midtown, has archival material about Huguenot genealogy in the U.S., church history, biographies of important Huguenots around the world, and other related topics. You’ll need to make an appointment if you want to dig around.

20 W 44th St
New York, NY 10036

9. Bar Tabac

128 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

A photo posted by Bar Tabac (@bartabacny) on

128 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

10. Sothebys International Realty

38 E 61st St, New York, NY 10065

Don’t feel like dodging tourists to get to Lady Liberty herself? Stop by the uptown Sotheby’s International Realty office, where an honest-to-goodness statue, made from Bartholdi’s original (more human sized) mold, sits hiding in plain sight.

38 E 61st St
New York, NY 10065

11. Former French hospital building

330 W 30th St, New York, NY 10001

The French Hospital in New York City originally treated only French-speaking people, but quickly changed its mission to care for anyone who needed treatment. After moving several times, the hospital settled into a building that stretched from 29th to 30th Streets between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. However, the hospital went bankrupt in the 1970s and was converted into homes, but you can still see some traces of the original structure, including telltale fleurs-de-lis markings.

330 W 30th St
New York, NY 10001