Archive for December, 2007

Shopping and cinema

I arrived in Montreal last Friday, and until now I’ve done mostly my Christmas shopping! The verdict: not so bad… It’s all about choosing the right moment to go shop! Saturday and Sunday are nuts in malls, especially in the afternoon. I went to the Salon des Métiers d’Arts on Sunday at opening time and it was already packed! Yet… Going to shop on a weekday morning, the shops are empty! So that’s my favourite time. No bumping into anyone, no waiting at a cash register, the attention of workers… PERFECT!

I also went to the cinema twice… I saw Atonement at the AMC (really good) and Fred Claud at the Scotia Bank (a good low-thinking entertainment movie).

I’m running out of ideas of cheap activities to do… I thought about visiting the exhibition A Victorian Christmas at the Sir George-Etienne Cartier National Historic Site of Canada, but I don’t know if it’s worth it… What else is there to do that doesn’t involve shopping or cinema in this town a few weeks before Christmas? :)

Winter Bicycling

Back when I was a student, I rode my mountain bike into school every day. I layered up on all kinds of muddy, oil stained cover pants, an old beat up jacket from MEC and layered on motor oil on the chain and by the end of the second winter, the bike was a trasher. Nothing really left of it. But it was doable.

I didn’t bother to replace it as I was walking into work at that point. A few years ago, after switching contracts, I started to bike into work again on an old Marinoni I converted to a fixie with spare track parts I had lying around the apartment.. and built up some wheels myself with some hubs I had as well.

Last year and this year I decided to not take the bike into work in the winter. It isn’t really the cold, or wet that bugs me but the salt. It will destroy a bike.

But after 2 months of being squished into a metro, and the 15 minute walk to the metro, I’m starting to rethink this idea and maybe riding in on days where the roads aren’t covered in slush/salt.

First off will be to fit the bike with some fenders. Next, maybe a decent set of cyclocross tires.. Any other ides from those of you who still ride in ?

Oh, and if you are thinking of a great gift for your ‘special someone cyclist’, head on over to Rapha. Yes, it does cost that much. But it’s OH so nice.

Too bad my girlfriend never reads this blog.. sigh

St. Henri Art Walk

The weekend promises to be sunny so, if you’re like me and you have yet to do any significant Christmas shopping, here is a good suggestion:

The Second Annual St. Henri Art Walk (Soiree d’Art de Saint Henri). Three days of free “open studio” tours and gallery exhibits.

WHEN: Thursday, December 6th and Friday, December 7th, from 5-9 pm, and on Saturday, December 8, from noon to 5 pm.

WHERE: Studios throughout the St. Henri area. The major starting points for the Art Walk are:

• Galerie d’Art Quartier Libre, 4289 Notre-Dame

• The Canal Complex, 4710 Saint Ambroise”

Now is the Winter of Our Non-Discontent


Despite all kinds of reports, today’s snowstorm made me immensely happy. It took me double the amount of time to trudge into work, and at lunch I battled a furious western wind that made a point of hurtling sheets of snow crystals painfully into my eyes. I was ecstatic. Nothing stokes the spirit like the Montreal elements, I say.

On the way home, I passed many neighbours digging, shoveling and snow-blowing their way through the snow, remarkably all with gleaming smiles on their faces. The most heartening sight was a father taking a break from shoveling his sloping driveway to drag his gleeful toddler up in her toboggan as the older daughter squealingly sleighed her way down the hill. I paused and thought: despite global warming, it is still possible for today’s kids to encounter those ridiculous snowfalls of my childhood again. Thank goodness.

Better enjoy it while we can, we’ll all be complaining non-stop about the “frickin’ weather” come February.

Montreal as a tourist

Since September I am no longer a Montrealer. I accepted a job offer back in my little home village, Blanc-Sablon. It’s where I will live until June. Still, I am excited about coming back to Montreal on holidays! For example, I’ll be there from December 7th to the 16th.

In this time, I am planning all kinds of activities… It’ll feel strange to be a tourist in the city I’ve grown to know and enjoy for the past 5 years!

I will…
-Go see the fireworks at the Bassin Bonsecours on Saturday December 8th (they are on every Saturday of the month).
-Go do some serious Christmas shopping. I can’t wait to see the neatly decorated malls!
-Enjoy a OSM concert, the Christmas Oratorio on December 12th.
-Go out with friends at a good resto… Here in Blanc-Sablon, there’s only one, a Pizza Delight. I can’t wait to be in the city and eat out and enjoy all of the great Montreal restos!
-Go see a hockey game, the Habs agains’t the Leafs on December 15th.

I’ll report on my activities and my week in Montreal as it happens…!

For now, still got to wait a week more… 3.5 more days of work and I’m off to the big city!

1 out of 2

Last night I was staring out the window trying to remember which side the plough pushes the snow to. I didn’t want my car totally buried under a snowbank. I was racking my brain trying to remember. Finally I figured it was to the left of the street and I got out and moved the car to the right.

As I am leaving to go to work by metro, and I am looking at all the cars parked to the left of the street and I’m thinking “SUCKERS!”.. It’s at this very moment that the plough goes by and pushes the snow to the right, ensuring my car will be stuck there until May.

So I lost that one. Now the question is, do they remove the snow on the right side of the street first or on the left.. I’m sure it’s the left!

Bracing for the Big One

So it seems like we’re expecting up to 30 cm of snow overnight Sunday into Monday. No matter how many Montreal winters you’ve been through, there’s still that sense of anticipation, excitement and trepidation at the announcement of an impending storm. The little kid in me says defiantly to Mother Nature, “oh yeah? show me what you got lady… bring it!” but then the worker bee adult part of me says, “I better be able to get to work on time *grumble grumble*…and those bus drivers had better not even THINK of striking during a storm…” Love it or hate it, the first big snow storm of the season is usually kind of a mixed bag of whoop ass. At least temperatures will be relatively mild. Take it easy with the shoveling, stretch, and enjoy!

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