Archive for April, 2009

I Never Cared Whether They Won Or Not

The crack of the bat. Crowd chatter and cheers. The honest smell of hot-dogs and leather mitts ready to snap up bleacher-bound balls like Venus flytraps. Salt assaults from the fresh pretzel on my tongue.

I miss the Expos.

Redpath Museum

Redpath Museum

Over the six years that I’ve been in Montreal, I had visited the lecture hall at the Redpath Museum for professional lectures.  The corridor leading to the hall had skeletons of various sea creatures and there was a nice little diorama near the entrance.  Since this is on the campus of McGill University, I assumed that there were either classrooms or offices on the floors above and that this was the extent of the “museum”.

Turtle Skeleton

Then one day last fall our office was asked to do some consulting work on the building.  This required climbing to the floors above and eventually the roof.  When I reached the second floor, I was completely blown away.  It was like finding a hidden treasure.  A full natural history museum complete with a dinosaur skeleton.

Albertosaurus libratus

So I resolved that I would return with the family in order to get a better look.  Our daughter had suddenly become infatuated with dinosaurs this spring after being introduced to them in school.  So we made an excursion downtown to visit the museum.  I have to say I’m greatly impressed. My point of comparison is the Field Museum back in my old hometown of Chicago.  The Redpath Museum has all the main exhibits that the Field Museum has, but boiled down enough to be covered in a leisurely Sunday afternoon (or maybe even a long lunch hour).  It also has an emphasis on items from Quebec.

Redpath Museum Overview

And on top of it all, the museum is free.  It is open from 9 to 5 during the week and only from 1 to 5 on Sunday during the weekend.  It’s definitely worth a visit for both the young and old.

Little City Gems 5: Jewels of St. Henri

I took a walk into St. Henri the other day westward along Notre Dame, admiring the lovely and impressive Carré George-Étienne Cartier (which looks like a larger, grander Carré St-Louis), and was pleasantly pleased to spot a few curious and worthwhile establishments. All in the vicinity of Metro St-Henri, here are my little finds:

Ambaa Yoga
A great little yoga studio with a nice relaxed vibe that teaches classes of mediation, pilates and yoga in several styles, including ones for kids, which seems to be an additional specialty of theirs.

Recessionary note: They have a community drop-in class on Friday evenings which costs a very affordable donation of $5, taught by a featured teacher of the week.

4660 Notre Dame O.
(corner of De Courcelle)
514.996.3620

Perfide
A curious little boutique that caught my eye, full of neat and cheeky clothing designs, jewellery, accessories, books and other fun knick-knackery. Definitely worth a browse.

4217 Notre-Dame O.
514.509.0731

La Gaillarde
I walked into this shop with its deceptively non-descript store front to find a treasure trove of fripperie, and many of the local as well as local-eco designer wear and accessories we already know and love.

Recessionary note: Sundays are 2-for-1 days in the basement fripperie section.

4019 Notre-Dame O.
514.989.5134

Le Caffe Mariani (read the review)
What a great find! Facing a lovely church and an interestingly designed last-century caisse-pop building I happily stepped into this cafe. The decor is lovely and unpretentious as are the staff. I enjoyed my cafe au lait and choco-cranberry-banana bread and the general ambience of the place. I made a mental note to come back with a book and be ready to spend an afternoon eating an affordable and delicious lunch made with excellent and possibly organic ingredients. They also sell locally made fancy soaps and not-so-local olive oils and the like. Judging from the number of laptops I saw, I suspect they must have wi-fi as well.

4450 Notre Dame St. West
514-504-7458

Enjoy.

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