Friday, October 12, 2007

Oh Man, Am I Late.....

I kinda forgot that people tune in every day when you have a blog. How sick were they of seeing Patti Smith's aging (not that there's anything wrong with that) mug day after day around the world?

I have been sequested in Le Ghetto Rue Boucher over the past week, realizing that it was affecting how I saw the city, or didnt see the city. I wasn't very motivated to move around the the neighborhood, even though that block was only the worst block in a neighborhood of great blocks.

Actually, over the past week, I did crawl out and discovered more great neighborhoods. The western end of Metro Laurier is a great street of shops and restaurants. You know how giddy everyone gets over three great stores in a row? A block of new shops in Northeast LA would be a National Event (Dont' get me started). Laurier is actually the street pictured in my "Day Un" entry here. That was from my last visit in July. I had been trying to figure out where that street was when I returned here, and "discovered" it again, while strolling up St. Laurent ("The Main") looking for a clothing store.

The point is that Montreal is an amazing collection of fascinating neighborhoods. Imagine Old Town Pasadena, Lake Avenue, Melrose, Sunset in Silver Lake, Montana Avenue, Uptown Whittier, Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia, throw in Old Town Claremont, and all around the corner from each other, separate and distinct, and a tiny part of one city. Then multiply that a few times. Thats Montreal.

Then there is Square St Louis, my new 'hood—Two Metro stops south and a world away from Le Ghetto Rue Boucher. 1870-era homes surround a square with a fountain in the center. (That's it in the pic up there on the left.) The fountain sits directly in front of my picture window--a perfect picture. As my landlords recommended, I've turned the couch around to face the park, and watch the daily parade.

I had been moving my things a little at a time throughout the week (more on that later) and was in the new apartment at dinner time on Tuesday, so I decided to go exploring. Just at the eastern end of the park, the square opens onto a three-block open courtyard/paseo filled with more of those quaint cafes, stores, AND a 24-hour Internet cafe. (Actually what there are none of here are donut shops, and that ain't right.)

It's Prince Arthur Avenue, another of Montreal's revitalized neighborhoods. Actually locals think of it as a tourist trap. Perfect for impressionable journalists like me moving through the Already Known World, thinking they're the first to see everything and tell the world about it.

I'll have more on that when MontrealMontreal returns.

Coming Up: "Our Correspondent Actually Moves" or "Terror on the Metro"