Archive for June, 2007

Le Rendez-vous des cultures

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Le plus grand événement en ce moment est sans aucun doute le Festival de Jazz, mais il y en a d’autres comme le Rendez-vous des cultures qui se déroule autour du musée Pointe-à-Callières. C’est un merveilleux événement avec beaucoup d’items à vendre venant de toutes les cultures sur notre planète, sans compter les jeux et les shows gratuits.

Ça termine demain, dimanche le 1er juillet à 18:00. Je conseille de voir la Société de tai chi taoïste à 11:00 demain matin. J’ai oublié de mentionner que le musée Pointe-à-Callières est moitié prix durant le Rendez-vous des cultures.

Spilling the Bean

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Whenever I walk around the city, I like to look up, around, and try to pick out interesting features of buildings or signs. Something that I find to be kind of cute and funny is the big bean perched atop the sign for “La Binerie”. Located in the Plateau, La Binerie is a Montreal landmark establishment dedicated to the baked bean. I’m not sure how long the bean has been up there, since this sign replaced the older one, but it got me to wondering, what other city holds the humble bean to such high standing? How curious that we have a restaurant renowned for its baked beans. I remember growing up eating fèves au lard with maple syrup, runny eggs and sausages and loving it. Would I have enjoyed this concoction as much had I grown up elsewhere? I certainly would have been less gassy…

In the Art of the Village

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Headed down to the Gay Village today to check out the arts festival that Tornwordo mentioned in yesterday’s posts. The 8th edition of the Festival International Montréal en Arts (FIMA) is taking place this weekend along Ste-Catherine East from St-Hubert to Papineau and features some really cool stuff. What a great way to enjoy art, strolling along outdoors under summer skies. A mix between crafts and visual arts, not everything may appeal to all tastes but you will definitely find a few pieces that delight, attract, intrigue, perplex, or affect you in some way or other. I of course, lingered at the jewellery kiosques but I also enjoyed browsing the different styles of paintings on display. Purchasing a painting might be a bit too pricey for some but one can always opt for a more affordable notecard or magnet. In any case, whether you’re an art connoisseur or not, it’s a nice way to spend a weekend afternoon in the city.

The festival runs for another day tomorrow on Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Eat Your Vegetables

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Today I went for lunch at one of my new faves. Yuan, located at 400 Sherbrooke East, corner of St-Denis, bills itself as “Cuisine Créative Végétarienne” and it lives up to the description. Run by a Taiwanese couple, this all vegetarian asian resto features some really interesting fare. What I like about the food at Yuan is that even if you’re not normally a vegetarian, everything tastes just as good as “regular” food, so that you really don’t feel like you’re missing out on meat at all. I would be hard pressed to actually identify what some of the mock meats are made of but they are so tasty it’s crazy and to me, they’re the standouts that make me keep going back. What I like is that the mock meats actually have a meaty chewy texture to them which is not the case for most of the simulated meats I’ve tried from your typical supermarket.
Although they have service à la carte, the buffet is a real steal at $6.99 on weekdays and $9.99 on weekends. Unlike some vegetarian dishes which although wholesome, can be somewhat bland and too “granola” at times, many of the offerings at Yuan are intense with flavour as asian food should be. They have a good selection of hot stir frys, soups, salads and assorted other pickings like maki rolls or tempura sweet potato slices but you really can’t go wrong trying a bit of everything. However, the one caveat would be that the variety of dishes seems to fluctuate week to week. Having gone on several different occasions, it seems that some days feature more variety in dishes than others. For instance, the mock General Tao chicken which I loved a few weeks ago was sadly not available today. Nevertheless, I still managed to stuff myself and squeeze in some dessert. Not bad for an all veggie outing!

More about the décor after the jump…

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Happy Canada Day

One might have hoped that the Célébrations Canada website would help us all get into the party spirit. However as Kate McDonnell says its coy design and programming make it nearly impossible to find a simple listing of events.

With a city with so many talented web designers, it’s a shame to see such a poor example of User Experience In Montreal.

Nevertheless a Happy Canada Day to all our readers.

Tango de Montreal

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Whenever I’m waiting for the bus outside the Mont Royal metro, I’ll stand at the stop or sit on one of the benches and read this poem embedded into a red brick wall facing the Place Gérald Godin. No matter how many times I’ve read it, it still resonates with me every time. It’s these little gems in the heart of the urban landscape that make Montreal what it is.

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge and enjoy. I would translate it but that would take away from its natural beauty.

Bécikverts

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A new green initiative this summer in the borough of Plateau Mont-Royal is the “Bécikvert” program. Until September 2nd, there are 20 “green” bikes that can be borrowed to be used around the Plateau. Not only can you get around the neighbourhood in an eco-friendly way, you’ll also be rewarded with rebates from participating merchants on Mont-Royal avenue. I myself, prefer to walk and enjoy the street at a leisurely pace, but for those who feel a little more need for speed, it’s a pretty interesting option. The bikes have a little basket in front so you can do your shopping and have a place to store your purchases while you ride around. The kiosk where you borrow the bikes is located right outside the Mont-Royal metro station in the Place Gérald Godin and they can also be borrowed from La Capitale du Mont-Royal (1152 Mont-Royal East). Opening hours are Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oh, and the bikes are of course – you guessed it – green!

Day trippin’ – perfection

There’s so much to do around here in the summer. What with the festivals, public pools and water parks, bike paths and terrace dining, it’s a wonder any of us has time to work. A friend and I headed out of town yesterday to visit the Granby Zoo and their new African safari theme. Wow did we luck out. With the heat wave broken, all the animals came alive and were out and about, running, playing and of course eating. Even the lions were running around, I think I’ve only ever seen a sleeping lion at the zoo. june%20052.jpgThe zoo set me back $30 including tax, but it was well worth it for the chance to see such exotic creatures up close. There’s rhinos and elephants, zebras and giraffes. And of course a gazillion kids. But that’s part of the charm, seeing the young ones wide eyed and enchanted.

After the zoo, you’re already in wine country, so why not snake your way back to the city on the Route des Vins. That’s what we did and sampled (okay, bought too) several local wines and finished off the day at a fromagerie in St Jean where we had a cheese tasting out on the farm.

Once back in the city, we stopped to have a frosty beer on one of the many terraces lining Ste-Catherine street from St-Hubert to Papineau. This entire stretch of Ste-Catherine is closed for the weekend for the International Festival of Montreal Art. Not only can you see loads of art and artisinal crafts, but the people watching is awesome too. Finally we strolled up to Place des Arts to scope out the Jazz Festival. God we were pooped, god what a perfect day!

iPhone on the front page of La Presse

Le iPhone sera disponible sur le marché américain dans quelques heures. Mots-clés: marché américain.

C’est important de savoir ça parce que la première page de La Presse montre une photo d’une fille avec un faux iPhone. L’article mentionne que ce n’est qu’une fois “allumé que la contrefaçon devient évidente”.

Des choses à savoir à propos du iPhone pour ne pas se faire duper. En fait, il n’y a qu’une seule chose à savoir:

  • Le iPhone n’est pas disponible au Canada (et ailleurs qu’aux États-Unis)

Autres choses à savoir:

  • Il n’existe pas de version européenne, asiatique, africaine, australienne ou martienne de ce téléphone.
  • Le iPhone n’a qu’un seul bouton à la surface. En fait, il ressemble à ceci. Si quelqu’un à l’intention de le copier, les dimensions sont indiquées sur le site de Apple
  • Et enfin, le iPhone n’est pas disponible au Canada (et ailleurs qu’aux États-Unis).

Pour finir, si quelqu’un veut un iPhone, j’en ai quelques uns en stock. Je demande 900$ l’unité. C’est une version montréalaise, alors ça va fonctionner.

Aujourd’hui, le Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Jusqu’au 8 juillet 2007 aura lieu le festival de jazz comme à tous les ans au centre-ville de Montréal dans l’espace bordé par les rues Sainte-Catherine et de Bleury et les boulevard de Maisonneuve et Saint-Laurent. Voici un plan des lieux.

Il y aura de nombreux spectacles gratuits à tous les jours durant toute la semaine. Les rues seront fermées. Tenez compte de ça pour prévoir vos déplacements.

Tous les détails sont sur le site du Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.

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