Bastille Day in Oak Cliff: French as she is spoke

As a speaker of English, lover of languages and wearer of berets, I still find French confounding. Call me gauche, but it annoys me beaucoup when English raconteurs use French cliches. That’s why I only look at Vogue for the couture — the writing is so bourgeois, using French words a-gogo. Forget your pied-à-terre or somebody’s nom de guerre. Or pis-aller, parking under the porte-cochère.

I will concede, however, that pamplemousse is a pretty awesome word that’s fun to say. “Pamplemousse.” See?

But if you and your clique find yourselves in the millieu of Bastille on Bishop, which starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, feeling like poseurs without a clue of the patois, just remember: ce n’est pas grave. You’ll fit right in.

Go Oak Cliff, the soirée’s hosts, say in their reportage that several restauranteurs will go tête-à-tête in a mussels contest, vis-à-vis a muscles contest. Plus, we hear that boutique Indigo 1745 is putting together a coquettish French maid relay. Sounds like quite a rendezvous. See you there.

Also, for the above, désolé.


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  • Brandon Huddleston

    Last time I checked, anyone can pull a permit, raise funds, and advertise an event. If you dont like how something is being done, organize it yourself, form you own group, and do something about it.

    Besides most businesses come to be by giving and volunteering yourself to a cause, realizing that you are really good at it, then taking it to the next level. Not the other way around.

    Kuddos to Go Oak Cliff and all that they do.

    Btw annonymous, if you have some great ideas I am sure Jason, Amy, Rob, and others would be happy to help you bring them to life and give you all the credit because they do care that much about this neighborhood.

  • Jenni Stolarski

    If “anonymous” and/or “me again” actually wanted results they would publish their name so Go Oak Cliff could contact them. Short of that all you have is a negative nancy or ned…and no parties to show for it.

    I say “Go Oak Cliff” all the way!

  • Me Again

    Sadly, there will always be people around to promote themselves while trying unsuccessfully to disguise their actions as public service.

  • The negative comments about Go Oak Cliff are interesting – primarily because they are so completely out of left field.

    Talk to the merchants in the Bishop Arts District – most will tell you that they had one of the best sales nights ever during Bastille on Bishop. Tony at the Soda Gallery said he had a line out the door for 3 hours.

    And mafia-like? We’re just a group of volunteers who have a track record of doing things in the community over the past 5-6 years who have come together to try to do more. And it’s all volunteer work. No money, no power.

    Sadly, there will always be people like anon around to criticize and nay-say… thankfully, the rest of us can enjoy and appreciate all that our neighborhood has to offer, which is really the mission of Go Oak Cliff.

  • Jason Roberts

    @anonymous

    I’m sad that you’d make the remarks you’ve made, considering they appear to be directed at me or my friends. I will say that I personally never take success for anything within Bishop Arts unless it’s related to an event, and if I ever speak at Universities or to city planners, it’s regarding Bicycling, Streetcars, Art Conspiracy, or the Better Block project (at Davis and Tyler). The two prior events that Go OC hosted were outside of BAD (Mural project, and Better Block). We’ve also done a block party at Jefferon Boulevard and Madison (Halloween Party). We do keep constraints by using Historic Oak Cliff boundaries, but that’s simply because they’re built in a more walkable fashion.

    I will say we didn’t anticipate the crowds we received, but considering we held the event on a Wednesday, a traditionally slow day for the District, the amount of people that did arrive only helped bring greater awareness and business, which is a good thing.

  • Also, any assault on the reputation of any business in our community is a direct attack on the innocent residents OF the community, and that will not be taken LIGHTLY, because CliffNotes is for the COMMUNITY.

  • We just read this comment left by someone claiming to be ‘ Cliff Notes’ however we want EVERYONE to know that this isn’t us. We have worked with Jason and Go Oak Cliff durring the Tyler/Davis project and we experienced a wonderful time being a part of this experience. Carlos and I are at a loss to who would be doing this to us. Anyone who knows us, knows that we love Oak Cliff and welcome anything that brings its character to all the people of the metroplex and celebrates it for the wonderful place it is to live and own a business in.

  • George

    I’m so glad you sited pamplemousse as an example of a truly wonderful french word. I had a beloved pumpkin one Halloween in the ’90s that I called Pamplemousse. I also gave the name to a spectacularly large lemon I purchased in southern Italy in 2007. It would be a good name for my wife’s fat little dog, but he already has a name.

  • Anonymous

    Too bad the Go Bishop Arts Distri- i mean Go Oak Cliff people didn’t consult with the business owners and PO’d half of them with their mafia-like “my way or the highway” attitude. I will never work with that so-called organization again! If Go Oak Cliff was SO MAGNANIMOUS on supporting Oak Cliff, why are they only concentrating their efforts in the already gentrified area of the Bishop Arts District and not around other, less desirable locations where our businesses are? Because they’d rather take credit for those existing business’ success and claim it as their own and go off and do talks to universities and city planners claiming The Bishop (lack of) Arts District’s success was because of them. Don’t be fooled by Go Oak Cliff – These people are frauds & politicians and are causing more rifts than successes.

  • Stephen

    Great post…I had no idea grapefruit could sound so sensuous!

  • C-Rayz Walz

    “I want a Blaque Beret Dammit/ Like Rachele’ Stonesque/ Like Rachele’ Stonesque”

    Classic “Let The Good Time Roll….”(in French)

  • Rachel Stone

    Maybe Indigo 1745 should change its name, temporarily, to Bleu 1789.