It is a whole bunch of goodbyes again. Every time I come home to Montreal I fall in love with my friends and the city and the lakes all over again and start to wonder whose crazy idea this is to keep saying goodbye. By the time I am old I will be hard and calloused around the heart from leaving people so often.
Montreal has been rarely sunny this summer but for two glorious and sunny days I walked around the city, camera in hand remembering why this place is home. I looked up at buildings and down at feet. I watched people ride bikes and eat bagels and I saw way more pregnant women than is normal. It started to become a little game. Who will spot the next one?
I am bewildered as to why I counted over 30 pregnant women in 3 days. And all about 7-8 months along, looking just fetching in stretchy dresses that lovingly wrap the bump and flowing glowing hair. One theory that I am supporting is that there was a power cut one night back around February 1st. Can anyone check that for me?
Montreal has its own flavour. It is a place where people drink a beer at midnight at a famous look out spot on top of the mountain where you think you could lean over and touch the dreamy night lights of the city. And if a cop car should come by while the beer is being sipped, the kind cops mildly suggest that the beer should be popped into a bag out of view. ( So I hear.) It is a place that is famous for its bare-all strip clubs but is also a hot house of strong and fascinating women. Writers, artists and chefs have all left their mark on this city with the famous mountain. Jazz, comedy and Francophonie all bring festivals right onto the street for free.
Montrealers are laid back and generally happy liberal people. They creatively dress from a mixture of second hand shops ( called Fripperies) and high end designers. They love their food and any tourist wondering these streets would quickly remark upon the number of restaurants and boutique bakeries. The girls are pretty, the architecture is interesting, the festivals are abundant and life here is sweet. Until the winter. Then it turns into some awful frozen horror flick, complete with people fighting with icy sidewalks, falling down stairs, shoveling mountains of snow just to get out of the house, scraping cars and looking grim.
But I have had a summer’s time here in my favorite city and as I depart yet again I leave you with these Montreal moments.
This is a typical Montreal home in the Plateau neighbourhood.
A great coffee scenc, pregnant woman and all.
Those glorious Montreal Fairmount bagels.
And this is how they make them.
The famous Plateau Mont Royal.
I think you need a PHD to figure out the parking rules in Montreal.
Fixing the cobbled streets of Old Montreal.
And now off to London before we leap of the cliff and head to Africa.