Friday, April 11, 2008
A House Guest
Yes, It's been a while. I know you are, but what am I....?
Okay, so imagine you have a house guest. Your house is fairly large, and he has never visited before. So, every day he comes to you, breathless, with a new discovery.
"Dude, if you walk down that hallway, there is another bedroom!"
"Hey, is that a kitchen??!"
"Bro, there is a whole street outside with people walking around, and stuff like that...!"
You get the idea. It's a bit how I felt recently, after visiting with my new friend Phillipe-Andre Piette, he of Le Journal Montreal. He contacted me after my last posting, which I'm beginning to think resonated with a lot of people. (A lot of nut people as well. You'll notice I had closed the comments section here. I had to, after the gates of WackadoodleTown were breached and every nut person with a salacious suggestion or conspiracy theory or spam sandwich decided this was their chance to finally reach out to me. But the comments are open again. This blog's gonna be here for a while, anyway.)
Anyway, I was seeing new bedrooms everywhere.
Phil and I met in the Square here, and then off we went to his chic urban home, smack in the middle of the Hochelaga ghetto, high above a Dollarama, near Maissonneuve. His comfortable second floor loft, which he shares with his girlfriend, was all exposed brick walls and stereo equipment—works for me.
More and more I learned—and am learning—that it's a pretty small percentage of Montrealers who live like I have been, and very few who pay anywhere near what I am paying for a home here. It's a bit like moving to LA, and the first place you find is in the Hollywood Hills, and you're startled when no one you meet lives anywhere near you. ("Dude, there is a WHOLE CITY outside!")
Thus my eyes were opened (again) as Phil and I drove through the city, east to west, and he pointed out the sights and neighborhoods at least in a small radius out to Olympic Stadium (I know, I know, that is barely east.)
Up we drove then to the winding curves of Westmount, to the view from the summit, down across The Boulevard, and eventually down into Outremont and Rue Bernard to L'Assomoir Bernard, the hip resto bar where Phillipe used to spit fire for the bar customers. (Did I get that geography right?)
We shared tapas at the bar, ate dinner, watched his former compadres juggle drinks with a flourish, (you know the drill) and watched the pretty girls. (Oh wait, that was me.)
Leaving the bar, I noted the Metro stop and thought, "Another neighborhood I have to discover." Ah, that will happen in September.
A few days later, I headed off in the direction away from the Sherbrooke Metro to stroll St. Denis across Sherbrooke and Rene Levesque down to Vieux Montreal.
"Dude, there are people going in and out of stores there, and everything!"
Call me Magellan.