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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Petanque


I love watching petanque in the shade on a warm sunny day. It's so relaxing and I feel transported to Provence, where the game originated. These courts in Washington Square Park are quite busy in nice weather and home to La Boule New Yorkaise, a local club which also plays in Bryant Park and Central Park. What's interesting is that although they are centrally located in a such a small and heavily used park, it is easy to overlook them, and most people are probably not aware of their existence. I know nothing of the game, but in observing I have noted a lot of French being spoken, so I would imagine this is quite serieux ...

14 comments:

Mark said...

Fantastic, petanque in New York wow! I am sure there is a lot of French ex-pats living in and around New York, and playing petanque transports them backhome, even for a short time.

Anne said...

Hmmm...I have not heard of the game too...is it a ball game?

Sam said...

How great! Petanque in NY!

Nerissa said...

Ahh... I remember that game being played in front of me in Brittany and my fiance explaining the rules. It was a lovely summer's evening with the one I love so I associate it with happy times. Can't say I've ever played it though.

Jenny said...

I saw it in France quite a few times, but never noticed it in NYC before - now I'll be on the lookout (was just in Bryant Park yesterday!)

luggi said...

There were a lot posts about petanque a while back.

Eric said...

That is really unexpected! This is so French I would have never thought they would have Pétanque in NYC. I have to show the Jardin du Luxembourg version some day!

Jonathan Wichmann said...

I'm really surprised to see such a french place and sport in the US. I will definitely look for it next time around. But hey, we play pétanque in Denmark too...

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Olivier said...

Je l'ais vu jouer un Dimanche au Bryant Park (mon Park prefere de NYC)
Petite photo pour un bon souvenir ;
Petanque au Bryant Park
Je savais pas aussi qu'il jouait aussi au Washington Square

Jeppy said...

Petanque is a fun and easy sport to learn. Basically, you have 2 teams (singles, doubles, triples) and each player has 2-3 balls - called "boules" made of metal (the size of an orange and 1.5 lbs.). The aim ball (call the bouchon or cochonnet) is tossed on to the field (piste) from a circle scrawled in the dirt. Then Team-A tosses a boule as close as possible to the bouchon (using a palm-down throw with some backspin). Then Team-B stands in the same circle, ad tries to get their boule closer than Team-A's boule. You're allowed to hit away opponent's boules, move the aim ball by hitting it, using all sorts of strategy. A fun game and fun for a lifetime too.

Check out my site: www.detroitpetanque.com for more information.

Julian said...

Heck, we even have Petanque now in Minneapolis; just recently met some new players from Malaysia. I played in Washington Square Park during the 1980's. What a great way to spend the afternoon. I was going to bring my boules with me on this trip to NYC but forgot them in my car at the train station. Bummer