Montreal

I took a quick trip to Montreal to meet up with friends over Memorial Day Weekend.  It was the first time I’d been there and we had a blast.  It was a very laid back trip and we spent our time mostly walking around, eating and drinking.  We rented a very cute apartment in the Plateau district via airbnb.com and began each morning with bagels and coffee on the patio. We spent our first afternoon walking through Old Montreal and were treated to a little French Canadian “Zou Bisou Bisou” to get the weekend rolling.


Inside Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal photo credit Meaghan Calcari Campbell

Inside Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal photo credit Meaghan Calcari Campbell

These Bixi bike rentals are stationed all over Montreal.  Though we didn’t get a chance to ride them our first day, we were definitely not leaving town until we made that happen.

To our taxi driver’s relief, we hopped a cab back to our apartment just before 8 p.m.  For the past week or so, there are have been nightly protests in Montreal opposing an increase in college tuition.


The evening protests take the form of peaceful banging on pots and pans.  I captured this scene on the street.  People also gather and parade through the streets.

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Following the “pandemonium” we ended the day with a fabulous dinner which included a cheese board, olives, french fries and rotisserie chicken and vegetables at the nearby and lively restaurant, Buvette Chez Simone.

via buvettechezsimone.com

The next morning we started our day with a fun and delicious brunch at Lawrence Restaurant.

Following brunch, we headed out for a walk through the Quarter Latin/St. Denis Street.  Once there, we started noticing all of these older individuals, suspended in chairs above the ground.  It turned out to be a performance art piece, “x-fois gens chaise” by Angie Hiesl.  At first it was puzzling, then mesmerizing, then nerve-wracking as ladders were set up, one by one, for the chair-sitters to climb back down to the ground.


One is knitting, another folds laundry and a third is eating. All of them appear to be floating above everyday concerns, their strange position adding an enchanting note to the cityscape. Old age becomes urban poetry, insisting that we stop and take a look. Affixed to the façades of buildings on St. Denis Street, they are an evocative display of passing time, blurring distinctions so that life becomes art. Some might walk by without noticing them, but others will raise their heads and stop to gaze at this surprising image of mature angels adding a touch of grace to the urban space.”  via Goethe Institut

We continued with a walk down Sainte Catherine Street and afternoon drinks in The Village, Montreal’s gay neighborhood.

photo credit Meaghan Calcari Campbell

photo credit Meaghan Calcari Campbell

photo credit Meaghan Calcari Campbell

For our last evening in Montreal, we enjoyed a decadent and leisurely, four-course meal at le Quartier general with apportez votre vin or bring your own wine.


And as I said, we weren’t leaving until we all took a spin on the Bixi’s.   This was definitely an instance of saving the best for last.  It was perfect weather for a wonderful night ride back to the apartment.  We all wished we had one more day to ride all over the city.  It was a great trip with old friends and a lovely way to kick-off the summer!

Me on a Bixi photo credit Meaghan Calcari Campbell. Meaghan on a Bixi photo credit me.  Sorry for the poor quality, Meg!

Mike’s on bikes photo credit Meaghan Calcari Campbell

*Special thanks to Meaghan for sharing her fabulous photos with us!

1 comment
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