Ok summer is caught up. I swear I’m almost done with all my less interesting personal life.
Montreal in one word – wowsir. I am so used to a city being manageably sized, easy to traverse, mediocre food, minimal hipster quotient. Now I am getting pummelled with the exact contrast. I really do like it, but I feel it will take me a while to feel fully comfortable here – the Quebecois accent that I can barely understand (yet feel quite good about the Parisian/international accent), a city that is easy to navigate but much larger than what I’m accustomed to, and there’s always the whole street kids with two dying dogs shooting up heroin 100m from my front door. I don’t mean to sound like an intolerant naive person, but when 2 random street guys knock on your door asking for money in the past 2 weeks, and one is a 6’4″ 250 pound Haitian immigrant, you get a bit concerned with security. It’ll be an adjustment.
On the brighter side of things, I’ve fallen in love with Montreal’s architecture, joie de vivre, and definitely its food. On my birthday Cara took me for dinner at Chao Phraya, arguably the best Thai place in Montreal. This was literally one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life – lemongrass that would kickyourass, crab claws, peanut tofu with crispy spinach, garlic and pepper duck, and the best spicy shrimp this side of Somerset. Cara’s friends are awesome and luckily one of my dear mates from Waterloo has coincidentally moved here with his girlfriend. Chris’ place on the web can be found at “foundinthemargins“. Click here (or in the sidebar). The transit system is very solid with an amazing metropass rate of $66 per month of unlimited use (eat that TTC). I miss my friends in Waterloo, but I will be back regularly to visit. Like a predictable white person, Montreal has an unbelivable market, Marché Jean Talon. So far, this is definitely my favourite place in the whole city. Unbeatable produce, fish, herbs, ALL organic meats, cheese shop, SAQ, everything. I go at least once or twice a week, I feel like Jamie Oliver when I’m there. And who doesn’t want to feel like Jamie Oliver.
I will leave you with photos from my apartment and some shots right outside our door. I do admit that reviewing these photos makes me realize how beauitful of a city this really is, with Old Montreal and St. Catherine steps from my bedroom.