Monday, 20 August 2012

Montreal 2012.


- What’s worse, bad sex or no sex? – asked Gabe.
- No sex! Bad sex!

We answered at the same time. There were seven of us at the table and we were all nodding our heads like we’d had a serious moral issue to resolve. Each of us reached the point of two glasses of sangria, two large jars(!) of drinks, a few beers and visit at the hookah bar. The only problem was - Gabbi and I were still sober. There is something about Montreal’s air. It makes you sober I swear.
Gabe started swinging on his chair and kept going :

-…this one girl, she just laid there – Starfish! He spread his arms and legs at the same time – we roared into laughter but he was already demonstrating the Snail-bed-moves of the other one.  

Look at me, look at me…strutting down the streets of Montreal like a pro and if anyone was surprised it was me. All you hear about Montreal in New York is how beautiful and French it is. Well yeah…sort of. It’s trying really hard, but contrary to Washington D.C the results are rather adorable than tacky. Except for, Café Coffee Starbucks (seriously?!). Montreal won’t sweep you off your feet. It won’t overwhelm you with its architecture and style. Perhaps the only thing, that Montreal has in common with Paris are the names of metro stops. Apparently Canadian accent sounds to the French the same way as Cockney does to Etons graduates. But unlike Paris almost everyone here speaks English. And they’re not snobs about their language either. Montreal looks like any bigger European city but…Stick your nose out of the guidebook and you’ll find out that Man this place is fun. We[1] climbed the hill of Mont Royal and kept finding some grammatically perfect sentences around like : you on fire. The view of the city from the top was worth a climb. We walked down to the Vieux Port and it was so touristy and crowded we left as fast as we came. We switched it for little vinyl shops and two or three stories tall townhouses of the streets of St.Laurent and St.Catherine[2]. We saw the new Batman, without even realising what was going on in Colorado at the time. We discovered nights at La Distillerie, covered with colorful, delicious mixtures that went straight to our moods. They made us ready for the Game Bar where you could find us sitting with pieces of paper tapped to our foreheads or laughing our bottoms off about drawing we just created. We had long conversations of life and death and movies and literature, just when I thought they died for me since I left college.

You know the Canadians, they’re so…nice. Though it’s not like you’re first association with Canadian is – party. Have you ever heard somebody saying:

- Dude I got smashed last week with these Canadian chaps, I haven’t got sober for a week.

The truth is I had better time in Montreal’s French Quarter than I often do in the Lower East Side. It’s label-less ( Hipster vs Eastsider) ; label-less (Ralph Lauren vs H&M) and label-less (- Oh so you know Steven Klein? No?). In New York we’re tolerant of your beliefs and judgmental of your shoes[3]. In the meantime Quebec is having a marvelous time sipping wine and absorbing fair amounts of fried goods. Perhaps it is the French soul in Quebec. L’Art de Vivre. Culturally they could be a separate country. Away from Toronto. Keep calm and stay away from Toronto. 

And then there was food…the orgasmic crepes with Nutella, topped in caramel bananas at L'Avenue[4]. French toast with berries. And lots of meat. Talking about meat. Steak was a theme of the trip for Gabbi. Poutine with steak in the middle of the night, steak with fries for breakfast, steak for the barbeque, which our kind hosts Maxime and Martin made for us. I don’t have to mention cheese and wine right? The last night of our stay, Gabbi and I skipped the dessert after dinner and went out. We found our way back at 5 am and made a discovery. It was there, just lying on the counter, covered with foil…Maple syrup bread pudding.

- I’ll just have a taste – I said sticking my finger through the golden-sugared top.
- Mmmm it’s goooood…
- Let me try - said Gabbi. Thank God she didn’t bother with a spoon either.

We firmed the edges in a nice looking - nobody has eaten it over night - square and went to sleep. The next morning Gabbi woken up, and found me sitting on the bed,

- Would you like a piece? I said handing her the plate.


[1] We drove to Montreal from Boston with Matthew and his girlfriend Sarah. In Montreal we met our hosts Maxime and Martin and their friends. Last but not least we met up with Gabbis Haitian high school buddies. Hope to see you all in New York soon!

[2] I stolen the name of the crossroad form Sam Roberts song :

[3] I wish I would have come up with this line myself.. It’s again the add for Manhattan Mini Storage


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