Archive for March, 2006

Quebec Rocks Rock

So what’s the big news item this morning? We should all be talking about it. It’s the first time it’s happened since 1977. The Quebec Curling Team won the Brier Canadian Men’s Championship. The quartet of French-speaking Quebecers won in a sport that often seems to be an English-speaking domain. Our team was skipped by Jean-Michel Ménard, with third François Roberge, second Éric Sylvain and lead Maxime Elmaleh. You can read more about it in the Curling News under the heading, Vive Le Quebec Fantastique!.

Now they’re on to the world championships April 1 to 9 in Lowell, Mass. They do not currently have any corporate sponsors so their win is even more remarkable. Chapeau!

Where and what is this new thing?

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Montreal, The City Of Words

Montreal is still the World Book Capital according to UNESCO until April 22. To close off the year with a bang, the Blue Metropolis International LIterary Festival is taking place from April 5 to 9. It’s bigger than ever with 129 events involving 271 participants from 11 countries speaking in seven different languages. Some real stars of the literary world community will be present. You can get more details from the Blue Met 2006 website.

St-Patrick’s Day Parade

What’s a big green event coming up on Sunday?

It’s the St-Patrick’s Day parade! This website has some information – map, time for street closures, etc – but it’s from the 2005 event… It seems they haven’t updated the website! But I’m guessing it is similar as last year… Once again the parade will run along Ste-Catherine, starting at du Fort going West.

This parade marks the beginning of Spring in Montreal…! I think if I remember right last year it was freezing cold…! Hopefully on Sunday it’ll be nice and sunny.

So who’s going?

St-Patricks Day Parade
Photo by jump4jay, flickr.

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse This Evening

The partial lunar eclipse may be visible this evening in Montreal during and after rush hour. When the moon rises at 5:55pm the eclipse will already be underway and should be finished in two or three hours. It will be the only eclipse visible in Montreal this year. I wasn’t going to post on it since the forecast was for clouds, but the sun is now streaming through the windows. Maybe the clouds will break up enough to see it.

A well-known street in an unusual setting. Where is it?

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Frank got it right. This part of Maisonneuve is often closed during the summer for the Just For Laughs festivals. During the day, it’s usually filled with rolling cars and parked cars. I took this shot at 9:11 am. It looks deserted right now, but I actually rushed to shoot it before the many cars behind me could pass.

Vincent Ponte 1919 – 2006

There was an interesting obituary in the Montreal Gazette today. Vincent Ponte was the urban planner who 50 years ago developed the concept of Montreal’s underground city. Ponte was working for the internationally renowned architect, I.M. Pei, when Pei’s firm became involved in the design for Place Ville Marie. Ponte was asked to do the master plan for the project’s developer, William Zeckendorf. Ponte envisioned a new environment for Montreal, which he called “the multi-level, interconnected city”.

Ponte was so attracted to Montreal that he moved here in 1964. He felt that Montreal was one of only three North American cities with a distinct personality, the others being New York and San Francisco. He continued his transformation of downtown with his plan for the site for Place Bonaventure. You can read more about him in a Time Magazine profile in 1970 calling him the Multilevel Man (this is a summary – free subscription required to read the full article).

He was involved in other major projects such as the area in Paris known as La Défense and the Bank of Canada development in Ottawa. All in all, someone who left his mark on the world and particularly on Montreal: we Montrealers should be truly grateful to him.

I found the sun in a day of rain

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Homeless

There is one thing about cities I still am not used to. I lived in a tiny 800 people isolated village for the first 17 years of my life. Then I moved to Quebec, Amsterdam and finally Montreal, 6 years in cities. And in all these cities there is something I find disturbing. It’s homeless people/beggars. In my little village no one is homeless. No one sits on a corner to beg for money. But in Montreal it’s everywhere. Everytime it evokes an emotion, sometimes I feel bad, sometimes I feel annoyed, and so on. For example today I was waiting for the metro to arrive, watching the people/action on the other side of the platform. I saw a very old man (like a grandpa) dragging 5-6 old shopping bags (Old Navy, Transit, etc). He was looking in the garbage cans for bottles. And also looking for change in telephones. He had trouble carrying the bags around, changing them from one hand to the other, walking slowly, dragging his feet. Then I saw a younger guy also homeless probably. He was going around asking money to people. No one sitting on the benches gave him anything and at the last person he walked away swearing. Then he approached two old ladies (grandmas) and they opened their purses to give him money as my metro approached and I got aboard.

Homeless
Photo by Whiny Dancer, flickr.

International Women’s Day March 8, 2006

As it says on the International Women’s Day website, this is the universal day that connects all women around the world and inspires them to achieve their full potential. IWD 2006 launches another year of working progressively for women’s equality worldwide. It is an important day around the world because the collective power of women is witnessed by milions, and the brave achievements of women past, present and future are respectfully honoured. International Women’s Day 2006 will be celebrated globally on Wednesday 8 March. Join the action !!

On the website there’s a multitude of events around the world to spread the world. You’ll even find an appropriate and charming exhibition at the McCord Museum of Canadian History here in Montreal. Its title is Picturing Her – Images of Girlhood. It continues until March 26, 2006.

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