Regrets…

…so I was invited to a really cool thing here in Montreal. It is a meeting of local bloggers that happens once a month organized by the guys over at Yulblog. In case you have not heard there was a big storm that moved through here on Wednesday it dumped 20 – 25 cm of snow on the city which if my math is correct is between 7 and 8 inches. So, being from the South and not just the Southern area of Canada but the Southern areas of the United States I bailed. I saw the snow and the sun going down and I was not brave enough so I did not go. I heard that it was great, they had a great turnout and everything went swimmingly. Well, I just want to say I should have gone. I mean when am I going to be here again…yeah so. If you are here then you should check out their next meeting with is scheduled for February 4th at la Quincaillerie, 980 rue Rachel E. After we bailed on Wednesday we did go back to the little restaurant right next door for some Poutine but that calls for a whole blog post on it’s own so check back here soon too.

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Redpath Museum

The Redpath Museum in Montreal

The Redpath Museum in Montreal

While looking for interesting and inexpensive things to do in fairly close proximity to our hotel I stumbled upon the Redpath Museum. The Redpath Museum is one of the oldest freestanding museums in Canada and is part of the Faculty of Science at McGill University. Research at the museum focus’ on evolution. It has a wonderful collection of fossils. The museum encompasses three floors with shells, dinosaur bones and even mummies, two to be exact. I was highly impressed with the array of items in Redpath’s collection especially considering the fee to get in the door was 0.00$ that’s right it was totally free. You can not beat that price tag and they could easily charge and no one would feel bad about paying it once they explored what Redpath has to offer. The museum is pretty easy to get to as well. You can take the Green line to either McGill or Peel stations then just walk a couple blocks and you are there. One thing I find very helpful on this trip is Google maps, specifically their public transit and walking directions that they now give when you are asking for directions. I don’t know how long they have had those options but this is the first time I have been on vacation in a city where I could use them. They get two thumbs way up, accurate every time, the little metro map was a handy backup but having jotted down directions from Google earlier at the hotel I could pull out my piece of paper discretely to double check I was headed in the right direction instead of whipping out a huge map. That is basically like tattooing “tourist” on your forehead which I try to avoid at all costs
Sara the Triceratops from the RedPath Museum

Sara the Triceratops from the RedPath Museum

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Santa’s

Statue of Black Peter at the Centre de commerce mondial de Montréal

Statue of Black Peter at the Centre de commerce mondial de Montréal

I thought Christmas was over but not anymore. I was wondering around today when I ran into these guys in the Centre de commerce mondial de Montréal. This first one is Black Peter, he helped out Saint Nicolas in dealing with the naughty boys and girls. The sign said he is not well known in America but is in Europe which lead me to wonder two things. 1. is this display on loan from somewhere in the USA or 2. is America used in reference to North America in Canada and I just don’t know that because like a self-centered American I always think it is referring to the country and not the continent when I read it on signs back home. The second picture is actually the first Santa I saw when I walked into the building he was pretty hard to miss. It is 21st Century Santa. He comes equiped with a cell phone (and hands free headset) and a computerized disc listing all the nice and naughty children this year. I am fond of his all over thermal suit, he must have been working out too, there seems to be a little less jelly in his belly.
I had an excellent time walking around today, In addition to the Santas you see here I saw the Notre-Dame Basilica my words nor my pictures could possibly do it justice all I will say is if you live here and have not seen the basilica yet then stop whatever you are doing and go, or at least plan a visit soon. If you are visiting soon then put the basilica on your must see list. There is a 5.00$ recommended donation and it is worth every cent.

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Hello Montreal

My name is Rayna and I usually post on the New Orleans metblog. I am in Montreal for the week and thought I would stop by to make a few posts here while I am in town. We flew in to Burlington, VT yesterday, the drive through the coutryside was nice. The GPS device we got with our rental car took us through a lot of back roads to get to the main highway into Montreal. I am pretty sure we did not have to go that way but it worked out because we got to see farm land and little suburbs that we would not have seen otherwise. We could really tell when we were getting close to the city. It is as if the land begins to sprout buildings. First one or two and then ten and then twenty and then you are in the city. I love the view you get of the city when driving in from the South. The city rises up behind the river. During this time of year it is hard to tell which parts of the river are frozen and which are not, it is just a blanket of white leading up to these tall skyscrapers.

We are staying at the Embassy Suites which is right on the cusp of both Old Montreal and the downtown area. It is the perfect location for us. My husband will be working here this week and I will be keeping myself busy with all the wonderful things there are to do in the city. Being in this hotel puts us right on a large road making it easy for my husband to drive to work and it is easy for me to walk around. Also, it is right on the Orange line of the metro so I should be able to get where ever I want/need to go during the day without having to worry about not having a car. I am so excited to be here.

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Little City Gems: 2

Every first Sunday of the month, the people of ¿Que Pasa Montreal? get their Andalucía on at La Place à Coté. Admission costs $10 and the drinks are rather inexpensive at this grungy little venue of great character. In true Peña Flamenca form, you get to experience an improvised evening of some of the best Flamenco music and dance the city has to offer. Get there early to get a good seat!

Next show: Sunday, January 4th, 8pm
La Place à Coté, 4571 Papineau (corner Mont-Royal)
T: 514.522.4571

Enjoy. :)

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Little City Gems: 1

Now may be the winter of our recession, but I am on a gentle quest these days to find new and unique activities about Montreal that are equally gentle on the wallet as well as a nice change from watching whatever on TV at home.

Last night’s activity took place at The Yellow Door at 3625 Aylmer, just below Pine. A scant two hours of poetry, prose and spoken word readings in an intimate space by fresh and established (multi-lingual) writers, and there was even a moving a capella quartet. All for the sum of $5. I left feeling rather fulfilled and inspired to start a series of blog posts of neat things about the city.

For more information on poetry readings in the city, visit the following links:

http://www.yellowdoor.org/
http://www.nochesdepoesia.com/


See The Light with Simon’s

Heads up for an upcoming event this weekend called “I See The Light” in promotion of a new cd compilation and limited edition t-shirt collection with local artists, also featuring live DJ’s and painting. It’s free and sounds like fun.

The details:
When: Saturday, August 30th, from 12-5 pm
Where: Simon’s downtown store, 977 Ste-Catherine W.

Download the PDF press kit here

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Frosh Alert

Walking along Sherbrooke around Parc yesterday evening, my senses were suddenly assaulted by crowds of youths in ill-fitting, white tank tops markered up with cheeky smut. They shrieked excitedly, chanted cute obscenities in unison and carried placards as they marched giddily through the streets.

Yup, watch out, Frosh has been turned loose on the town.

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Introducing The Hub

hub.metblogs

If Metblogs is a city, hub.metblogs is the playground. We kept hearing from people that one of their favorite parts of Metblogs was meeting and interacting with readers and writers from other parts of the world, as well as getting requests for more ways that readers could be involved besides just posting comments. We thought about this for a while and decided that with a network like this, a giant community area where folks from all over the world could hang out, post photos and videos, talk with each other, form groups, play games, send messages, and do about a million other things was probably a pretty fun idea. The Hub is that.

If you have any tech ideas or suggestions join this group and speak up. See you on hub.metblogs!

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Roller Derby Dirty

When a friend of mine called me up to invite me to go to an all-girls roller derby final championship game at a convenient plateau arena where cheap beer and raging girls with attitude on rollerblades were to be featured, it sounded too ridiculous to say no.

Indeed, we lined up yesterday evening at the St. Louis arena on St. Dominique just north of St. Viateur, paid our $12 entrance fee, paid for our 2 for $5 beers (or $3 for one, but who only gets one?) and made our way down into the hockey area. Having the foresight to bring pillows, we settled down in prime parterre seating (at your own peril) and cracked open our first cans of a truly horrible-but-good American brew “Pabst” and the Roller Derby championships between the two Montreal teams La Racaille and Les Contrabanditas began. Hosted by the fabulous Plastic Patrick and some other dude, we were quickly launched into screaming, cheering fans as the first half started.

What fun! I highly encourage you to check this sport out. Teams of mouthguard wearing, fishnet sporting women racing around a hockey arena in a violent, jostling, strategic, competitive and action-packed activity, it’s fun for the whole family. (There were a significant amount of kids there, actually). With player names like Wrath Poutine, Ashley Thudd, Iron Wench and Georgia W. Tush, how can you not go?

(Next game happens at Arena St. Louis on August 13, between Montreal’s New Skids on the Block and the Long Island Roller Rebels).

Official site: http://www.mtlrollerderby.com/
An informative Flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bubbabrown/sets/72157606154552557/


Come Blog With Us

moar.gifWriting for Metblogs has the potential to be the most rewarding experience in your entire life. It’ll make you rich, famous, good looking, will help you lose weight, make your clothes fit better, and get you a super good deal on a new car. It will make you the most well known person on the entire planet. Yes, each and every one of you. Really.

OK maybe not. Actually those are all lies, but it’s fun at least. The truth is Metblogs is the largest network of locally focused blogs on the web, covering almost 60 cities around the world and we’re looking to add a few new bloggers/writters/authors to this fine site. If you wanna know more about us check out this wikipedia entry but it’s kinda boring so I won’t waste time repeating it all here again. If you wanna write for us, here’s the scoop:

  • All author positions are volunteer. That means you don’t get paid.
  • You must live in (or very near) the city you plan to write about.
  • Anything you post must relate to the city somehow. That means you shouldn’t post a movie review, but talking about going to see a movie at a local theater is fine.
  • There’s no requirement for how much you can or should write, but we ask that if we set you up as an author you make about 3 posts a week.
  • You can post about things you love, you can post about things you hate. It’s entirely up to you

Additionally, because of our global network, there’s plenty of options for things you write to be read by people all over the world. Interested? Want more details? Post a comment and we’ll be in touch!


Dear pedestrian…

The new bike path on deMaisonneuve running through downtown is all very well, but there are some surefire hazards. As a véloïste, I’m getting used to the concrete median between road and bike path though I’m not sure it has been the best of ideas. Let me tell you, it’s absolutely horrible when it comes to pedestrians. Pedestrians downtown still need to learn that they cannot loiter in the bike path oblivious to bike traffic, with their backs to oncoming speeding cyclists. Also, they need to learn that they cannot take up the entire width of the path by using it as a sidewalk. They need to learn faster. I have nearly sliced pedestrians in two with my bicycle several times this season, giving myself and hopefully the pedestrian a proper heart attack. It is rare when cars are less hazardous to cyclists than pedestrians, but that is the case in this city right now, especially where the bike path is newest. All I can say is that they are darned lucky I tuned up my brakes this year.


Les activités ne manquent pas pour la Saint-Jean

La Saint-Jean approche à grands pas et il faut bien fêter quelque part. Voici une liste avec pleins d’endroits où faire la fête!

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Bike Law

I was stopped yesterday by policeman on a bike at the mouth of the pedestrian area of Prince Arthur and St. Laurent. I had just biked through that area wondering ever so slightly if what I was doing was indeed 100% legal. Apparently, it wasn’t.

“Come here often?” Mr. Policeman asked. I smiled and chuckled and said “Euh…”
“You want the correct answer? Not often.”
“Yes, not so often.”
“You see that sign behind you?” I turned and spotted a sign of a stick person walking their bike inside a green circle.
“Ah…”
“Now that you’ve seen it, you know you can’t ride your bike on this part anymore.”
“Right.”
“This is a warning, but next time it’s a ticket of $37.” Eek.
“Okay, merci!” I said and biked off on the legal part of the road.

So naturally, I’ve been biking around a little more carefully, since.


Terrible!!

No post here since May 3rd. That’s terrible. I must break that… whatever it can be called. Until this post, I have disappeared from the author list. And so has Andre, which is rather surprising to me. So few authors in Montreal.

Here’s a trivial subject: the weather! It’s been a terrible week of rain, clouds and low temperatures, well below what Montreal should get in May. Hopefully, it’s going to get back to normal next week.

On a personal level, I don’t have internet at home. It started as a nightmare, but I have come to appreciate Gmail’s filters which I use to forward messages to my phone. I’m also finding out WiFi around that city, that are way faster than what I used to have at home. I’m enjoying working in cafes and stealing people’s unprotected internet access. Last year, I discovered that the Old Port of Montreal offers free wireless internet access, I’ll have to go back down there at some point.


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