After brunch today, we drove to Carroll Gardens to watch the petanque tournament (pronounced pay-tonk) in honor of Bastille Day.
We bumped along the BQE, Mark's Mom in the passenger's seat and me, squished in the back of the Mini. I kept my eyes on the horizon and pledged to brush up on my yoga, provided that I could get out of the car.
We arrived to find parts of Smith Street blocked off from traffic and covered in sand. Rows of makeshift courts were made in front of the cafes and shops, outlined with rough timbers. It was not even noon, but the place was hopping – New Yorkers old and young were playing petanque under the bright sun, a game similar to curling and bocce.
Folks were heaving heavy metal balls down the courts, knocking others out of the way and kicking up sand. The player who got his or her ball closest to the little colored ball tossed out at the beginning of each game, won.
Competition was serious. Contestants wore numbers and followed the round robin diagram that was mapped out on a board. Some players wore tshirts specially designed for the day.
We hung out near the stalls for beer and water, the camera crews, and people brunching under umbrellas. Alas, the games could not compete with the sun and humidity. After twenty minutes, we’d had enough petanque to last us til next year.
[They got the date wrong in all the PR. For photos from this year's event, click here].
Photo by Calvo. For more great images, click here.