1. The other day I walked a short ways with a retired pilot from Iran (it’s crazy what can happen when you are on the right side of the sidewalk at the right time).
“Be happy,” he said, through a thick accent and moustache’d lips, “When you are young, the world is for you.”
He asked me where my boyfriend was and I told him I was single. Grabbing my hand, he exclaimed, “Pretty, young, and kind! I am a lucky man!” I laughed at his cheekiness.
When we parted ways, he called after me: “Travel as much as you can while you are young! And above all, be happy!”
2.Up the ladder, down the hatch – my oldest friend and I snuck up the roof of a McGill dorm. We were silent, not only because we had to be, but there was a sense of revere up there. We were celebrating the sweet 16 of our friendship, and I think it’s okay that sometimes celebrations can be quiet.
TRIVIA NIGHT: Brutopia
MONTREAL SMOKED MEAT: Schwartz’s
THRIFT STORE H(E)AVEN: Eva-B
STATIONARY SHOP: Papeterie Nota Bene
COFFEE: Pikolo Espresso Bar
1. The rate at which I’m intaking information, sensory details, and experiences makes it easy for my travels to become a kaleidoscopic blur. One moment I am enthralled by the story of someone new, and the next, I am in awe by a mural or building or cute coffee shop, already leaving behind the former and letting bits and pieces fleet away as I move forward more quickly than my soul can handle. I forget why writing is good for me, and try to keep track of everything in my head; glazing over the small things and acting as if the things that fall between the cracks don’t have the power to move hearts. There is a quote that goes: “Being inspired is not a luxury. It’s a responsibility.” And I think part of that responsibility is letting myself soak in and process the things that I see. It’s tempting to always go and go and go and go when I only have short spurts of time in each place, but I’m always getting my ass kicked with that lifestyle. I’m wired to rest once and a while, even if there is an entire city to be explored before me. How am I going to come home a changed human being if I don’t give the things that are going to change me the time to sink in a little more than skin deep?
2. My mom always told me to never go to Montreal, because once I go, I will never come back to her. When she went to school in Ontario, she would take trips to Montreal on the weekends purely just to shop, and I still keep a few pieces in my closet from her shopping trips. Her favourite part of the city was Old Port. I wonder if I fell in love with Old Montreal the same way she did when she was 21.
3. Nancy and I checked out a band called • Seoul • on Saturday night. They have chill vibes and there is nothing bad about them, so you have no reason not to click that link. (There are a lot of negatives in that sentence, but I promise that you will feel positively about this band.)
ART AND GRAFFITI SPACE: Under Pressure
ITALIAN RESTAURANT: Wienstein & Gavino’s
BAR: Bar B1 (we got frozen beers or ‘ice cream beers’ here!!)
TWO DOLLAR CHOW MEIN: Two Chow (he gave me a free spring roll, because I took his picture.)
I have arrived in the land of BYOW (Bring Your Own Wine), French everything, and best of all, brunch city! Here are a few shots form my first two days here, but it’s been so crazy since I got here that I’ve barely had time to transfer photos from my camera to my laptop. In the words of my favourite Montrealer, Francis (actually, I think he is the only person I know who’s actually from Montreal and not just here to study/work):
“This is Montreal. You pretend to be rich by going to fancy restaurants, bars, and shops. And then you end the night by eating poutine in the park.”
BAR: Big in Japan Bar (“the place you would take your mistress”)
COFFEE SHOP: Kitsune Espresso Bar
LUNCH: Lola Rosa (make sure you check the drawers for notes!)
DESSERT: Juliette et Chocolat
BAR: Bar le Saint-Sulpice