Wednesday, June 10, 2009

sour milk.

I wish I could say that I made this, but I didn't.

Still it would be a shame to not pass it along.

And that is indeed Oscar nominated actor John C Reilly.

Truly a genius.

things I like about montréal - number 4

Groll street.

In the midst of Mile End is a cute little street only available to the non-car people… like French Panic and myself.

It is a short street with people’s houses abutting it on both sides in that very Montréal sort of way. Graffiti, most of it very creative, decorates these walls, which I’m sure sort of pisses off the home owners. I like to think I wouldn’t mind if it was my house, cause it wouldn’t matter. Like having a grudge match with the ocean, anger towards street artists has exactly zero effect.

I have no idea why it is named Groll, or what Groll even means. I’m not going to bother trying to find out either.

Every time we walk near Groll to go anywhere, I insist on walking down it… and then down the alleys that connect to it. It makes me smile, and that is some special street.

I’m going to miss you, Groll street.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

things I like about montréal - number 3

Drawn and Quarterly.

I grew up reading graphic novels. Except they were called comics back then and despite the fact that for me they were always in French, it still annoyed my mother who thought that literature was only that which had no pictures.

But I remained loyal to my heros Tintin, and Asterix, and happily spent my summers at the cabin absorbing countless short graphic novels of adventure.

I was so happy to find that one short block away from my little Montréal home was a book store/publisher dedicated to the graphic novel. It even has books with no pictures in them, but I still like the ‘comics’ best.

Although I can’t afford to buy everything in the store, it is where I shop for gifts and where I like to spend an hour on the way home from a café.

I will miss browsing your many books, Drawn and Quarterly.

Monday, June 08, 2009

things I like about montréal - number 2

Ice covered trees.

This is an odd one, as I don’t actually like the winter in Montréal, nor will I miss it, nearly at all.

But every once in a while a Montréal winter will be quite beautiful. At some point every year, the ice seems to coat everything. This keeps most people off the Mount Royal (the big hill the locals call a mountain in the middle of the city) leaving me and a very few other brazen people to try their luck on the icy paths. You can’t run, but some people try, which is great fun to laugh at.

The ice just sits on top of everything making all the trees and branches seem like some sort of crystal sculpture. And because most Montréalers are busy foolishly trying to drive most people seem to miss it, angry at the ice instead.

I’m going to miss you, ice covered trees.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

things I like about Montréal - part 1

We are leaving Montréal soon. Not because we are done with it, but just cause we got to. I’m not so good at leaving places that I like. I get sad.

Here is the first in a few entries about things I like about Montréal and will miss.

Then, I’ll try writing about things that I won’t miss about Montréal and that should about balance things out for me.


A Montréal bagel, for me, has to be one from either St. Viateur or Fairmont. I know they are probably exactly the same in taste, and I go to St. Viateur more often because it is a block closer, but I always prefer Fairmont bagels.


That’s only because that was my only landmark to find French Panic’s apartment when I came to visit way back then. Montréal seemed way too cool for me to actually live in then.


I thought all this fuss over bagels was bullshit. But it wasn’t. Just like when you think you spent too much on wine and it turns out there is a reason why it was more expensive; so too with bagels. Except the best part is that the bagels themselves aren’t that expensive.


Going to Fairmont Bagels means a longer walk, which I usually like since there is always something to see. On library days French Panic and I would walk all the way to the library together looking at stuff and then talking about it. The library is another subject though. The important thing is stopping at Fairmont Bagels on the way home.


The best thing about Fairmont Bagels is that they also have new york pretzels.

I like to wait until I get home and then eat them with mustard while I look through my newly gotten library booty.

French Panic doesn’t like to wait as long.

It’s hard to be patient and it’s true for the bagels at least, that there is a small window in a bagel’s life when even seconds can count on just how good it tastes. That seems extreme, but they really do taste different as time goes on. In fact, they end up tasting the same as any other bagel a day later, which made for lack luster appeal from the guys I’m working with.

 Apparently you can order the bagels anywhere in Canada and they will send them to you, but I don’t really think that would be the same at all. There is no way I can just get up at 3 am and go and get a fresh, oven baked bagel and day of the year, even Christmas, anywhere else. It’s those little unique things about a place, any place, that makes it special.

 I’ve had good bagels in Vancouver too, so it won’t be like I’m suffering at all. But that’s not the point of missing something. Certain things cannot be replaced and you just have to let go.

And I’m gonna miss you, bagel shop.