—Opening of the French Soccer Season to Take Place in the US for the First Time, at Red Bull Arena, on July 28—

New York City (July 11, 2012)—New York City is highlighting “all things French” this July, beginning with Bastille Day on July 14 and concluding with the Trophée des Champions on July 28. The annual kickoff to the French soccer season, the Trophée des Champions will take place for the first time on US soil this year, at the Red Bull Arena, home to the New York Red Bulls’ Major League Soccer team. The match is regarded as France’s Super Cup, acting as a curtain raiser for the three subsequent games (the League Championship, the League Cup and the French Cup), and brings head to head the champions of Ligue 1 (France’s soccer’s top division) and the winners of the Coupe de France (the premiere single-elimination tournament). To honor this historic event, NYC is recognizing French cultural celebrations around town for local and visiting enthusiasts to enjoy.

“New York City is a culturally diverse destination made vibrant by celebrated traditions from around the world,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “It is an honor to help host the Trophée des Champions’ first stint in an English-speaking country and a testament to the international appeal of our five boroughs. We encourage soccer fans and adventure seekers alike to partake in this momentous event and cheer on the visiting French teams.”

French cultural celebrations throughout the City this month include:

• On July 13, watch the Academy Award–nominated animated film Persepolis at Pier 1 on Riverside Park. The PG-13 French film with English subtitles is about a young girl coming of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. 8:30–10:30pm; free.

• Enjoy a Bastille Day brunch on July 14 at The Lambs Club with French cuisine, wines and music. The swing band Avalon Jazz Band will perform French jazz songs and old American classics that celebrate France, love and music. Noon–3:30pm.

• Listen to French jazz by singer Myriam Phiro at Brasserie Julien on July 14. In addition to the live music, the Upper East Side French bistro will serve pissaladier, a South France specialty similar to pizza, and cocktails made with St. Germain liqueur, a spirit made from elderflowers picked in the Alps. 7pm–midnight.

• On July 15, Smith Street between Bergen and Pacific Streets, in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, will be covered in sand for its annual pétanque tournament, frequented by 80 teams from around the world. Enjoy French food, aperitifs and live music. 11am–10pm.

• Celebrate France’s Independence Day on July 15 at the French Institute Alliance Française’s (FIAF) annual three-block street fair on 60th Street between Fifth and Lexington Avenues. The public is invited to dine on crêpes, canelés and fromage, enjoy French wines and beer, listen to live music and shop the French-themed market stalls. The Kids’ Corner will feature face painting and arts and crafts, and adults are encouraged to enter a drawing for prizes, including French dinners, French classes, gourmet gift baskets and a trip to France. Noon–5pm.

• From July 16 to August 10, enjoy a prix-fixe lunch ($24.07) or dinner ($35) at one of the 36 French restaurants participating in NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2012, including Capsouto Frères, DB Bistro Moderne, L'École, The Restaurant of the International Culinary Center and Plein Sud.

• Visit The New York Botanical Garden’s tribute to French Impressionist Claude Monet, whose art was inspired by outdoor scenes. Monet’s Garden features water lilies, a Monet painting that has never been publicly shown outside in the United States and artifacts from the artist, including photographs, letters and his paint palette. On July 19, the garden will host an evening concert starting at 7pm. Purchase a cocktail, enjoy the collections and lounge on the lawn. Exhibit runs through October 21, 2012.

• See the Statue of Liberty up close with a boat trip to Liberty Island. Ranger and audio tours are available on site to learn more about the monumental gift from France to the United States. Year-round.

• On July 28, at the Red Bull Arena, Ligue 1 champions Montpellier will face off against Lyon, the French Cup champions, in a historic Trophée des Champions match. 3pm; tickets start at $20; To capture photos with a simulated Trophée des Champions on your mobile device download the GoldRun app at

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Contact:     Marjan Inbar/NYC & Company     212 484 1270