The inspirational journal of rising NYC jewelry designer, entrepreneur, violinist, and pastry chef, Yumi Chen.

NYC Jewelry Designer, Violinist, Pastry Chef, Small Business Owner, Free-Spirit, Positive Thinker!

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Posts Tagged ‘sports’

A Lesson in Petanque

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009


This is Pierre. He is a retired French man, from Brittany, who lives on the West side of Manhattan. He spends his sunny days in Bryant Square Park playing Petanque. He is as much a recruiter as a player, happily telling anyone with any curiosity that, starting in April, the “school” will be open and he and his French pals will be there, at the Northwest corner of the park, with enough Petanque balls to share. If you are unfamiliar with the French game, Petanque, Pierre will be happy to teach you all about it at their “school” in the park.

Essentially, Petanque, (pronounced “Pah-tahnk”) is the French version of the Italian game, Bocce, and also somewhat similar to horseshoes. It originated in Provence in the early 1900s and is one of Europe’s most popular outdoor games (as well as New York City’s apparently). As explains, “The aim is to toss, or roll a number of hollow steel balls (“boules”) as close as possible to a small wooden target ball, called “but” or “cochonnet” (meaning “piglet” in French). Players take turns and the team that ends up nearest to the target ball when all balls are played, wins. Unlike horseshoes, where the aim stake is fixed, Petanques’ target ball may be hit at any time, which can completely turn around the score at the last second. And whereas the official bocce rules call for a smooth, prepared court with markers and sideboards, Petanque can be played on most outdoor surfaces, without any setup.”

Even if the game is uninteresting to you, spending the afternoon with Pierre is sure to be some of the best entertainment around.