Archive for May, 2007

Brad Pitt in Montreal

Ask anybody who’s been to the Old Port lately and they’ll tell you that Brad Pitt is currently in town to film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. There aren’t too many images on Flickr yet, except for those in 3.1415926535’s photostream.

If you happen to come across Mister Angelina Jolie, send us a comment and I’ll make sure to link you back. That stuff makes excellent Googlebait.

Metro de Montreal sur Google Maps

Je m’amusais sur Google Maps comme je le fais souvent et j’ai remarqué des M dans des carrés bleus avec le nom des stations de métro. le Le métro est maintenant sur la carte de Montréal. Il y a aussi des heures de départs, mais on dirait que c’est seulement les quelques premiers départs.

Rien à voir avec Montréal, mais Google Maps a dévoilé hier l’option Street View pour certaines villes comme New York et San Francisco.

Gérald Tremblay’s New Brand

The Montreal Island Citizens Union (MICU), Mayor Gérald Tremblay’s party, has been rebranded. It’s now called Union Montréal.

If you want to know more of what Union Montréal can do for you then you should visit their slick new website. It relies heavily on video clips to communicate party messages to users. Gérald Tremblay wants to make sure you get his message so you don’t even get the opportunity to switch off the sound. Nevertheless it’s a pretty effective production.

Related: Union Montréal – Brand New

Breaking news: Tentative deal reached in transit strike

According to local media reports, an agreement in principle has been reached between the STM and the Syndicat du transport de Montréal. Both sides must still ratify the agreement, which would end the four-day old transit strike.

In other news, a protest called yesterday to denounce the striking STM workers drew exactly three people: the organizer and two of his friends. Maybe if they had offered to provide transportation…?

UPDATE: The agreement has been ratified. According to the STM, bus and metro service is being gradually resumed and will return to full service by Saturday morning. Negotiations between the STM and the union will continue with conciliator Jean-Pierre Gosselin.

Le meilleur chien chaud en ville

Chien chaud is literally French for hot dogs, except nobody says chien chaud. On an uneventful day, you can say “Je veux un chien chaud” and it might bring a few smiles and laughs.

This is on Cote du Beaver Hall close to the north exit of metro station Square-Victoria.

Le meilleur chien chaud en ville

New Street Art Vernissage

Howdy!

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Glen LeMesurier makes a bunch of people in Mile End happy. Go make him happy by seeing the new sculptures he made at Van Horne and Saint Urbain tonight from 6 pm.

Ten Eleven things that differentiate Mastigouche from Montreal

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I was lucky enough to go on a three days fishing trip to the Mastigouche Nature Research with my father and brothers. It’s only a 3.5 hrs drive (accounting for the horrendous Friday afternoon traffic) and yet it’s a completely different world:

• In Mastigouche, going out for sushi involves using a row boat.

• Montrealers who complain about potholes have obviously never driven there. I have never been so happy to own a small four-wheel drive.

• Consequently, we rarely exceeded 45 km/h. What’s your average speed on residential streets?

• In Mastigouche, it is socially acceptable, and even expected, for you to get drunk every evening.

• You can actually see the stars up there. Fortunately I was out during the few weeks of the year where we can do that without losing extremities to frostbite or bodily fluids to thousands of blood suckers.

• If you thinks that rents are bad, you haven’t been paying $284 a night for a 4 bed log cabin.

• No depanneurs, we drove 43 km each way for for some potatoes, bread and mushrooms.

• Montreal has pigeons and seagulls, Mastigouche has quails and loons. At least you can eat one and buy food with the other.

• Cells phone won’t work up there. Come to think of it, there are a lot of places on the island where they don’t work either.

• No electricity, which means that the dominant smell in the cabin is propane…I’m sure that for some places this would be an improvement.

• And for now, neither has decent public transport.

Day one

Well, I went out and rented a car this morning. It was the only way to get to my work obligations downtown, and in Brossard and Laval. I’m not accustomed to driving here, so I don’t know if traffic was particularly congested today, or if it’s always like that. But I can say that it seemed like there are way too many cars and not nearly enough streets! At about 3:30, I saw hordes of people at bus stops waiting for the afternoon rush hour service to begin. Even this morning when I took the bus to the car rental place, the bus was so full after a few stops that the driver just stopped stopping. I’m glad I got on at the beginning of the circuit. I just now came back from Laval and I saw a dozen hitchhikers near the 40, looking for rides back into town. I stopped and picked up a couple of guys who had finished their shift at 6:30. I felt glad to help these hard working young guys with no means to get home. They were positively radiant with hatred for the situation, and I could hardly blame them.

After all this nonsense on the FIRST day, I can’t believe we live in a place where public transportation is not considered an essential service. There’s no way this town can function smoothly without it. Having no means to get to and from work is NOT an inconvenience, it’s a HARDSHIP.

Well, it’s official: the STM strike starts NOW

Via La Presse:

Les pourparlers entre la Société de transport de Montréal (STM) et le syndicat des employés d’entretien ont été vains. Ce dernier a déclenché une deuxième grève des transports en commun en quatre ans, ce qui perturbera les services d’autobus et de métro dès aujourd’hui.

For the full scoop, click here.

Rum and Escargot

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On the cold and rainy early evening that was Sunday, a friend and I nipped into a favoured haunt of mine, Barraca on Mont-Royal. I have been a few times to this unpretentious rum bar, but this was the first time I decided to try the tapas menu. I was duly impressed. We had escargots in a compote of tomatoes, figs, sage, cider and melted chevre, as well as the xeres-scented chicken cassoulet nestled in an artichoke puree served with orange and rosemary. This went rather well with a glass of 12 year Appleton rum, I must say.

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