09 Dec Montréal, vous êtes Magnifique
PLANES FLY UNDERNEATH as I look back home, I think about my place on earth, what it means to be alone. Isn’t it amazing how quickly life can change — a second’s all it takes to shuffle, rearrange — our thoughts, our location, our energy may lift, like the plane I’m souring on, it truly is a gift.
In the blink of an eye I’m high in the sky, looking over the mist which hangs above the sea. Looking back at the shore, at the dwindling city lights, the life which comes and goes, sailing through the ether allows my mind to roam.
To see the world from up above, closer to the sun, it melts away the thoughts and fear, what was left undone. Dusk in the sky…Landing. A new city. Unlike what I know.
Down below. Doing what we do. It’s nine in the morning. I’m sitting at my hostel in Montreal, Canada. I met two of my best friends in Montreal to explore this diverse city of the great white north. For my first night we went to Les Deux Gamins, a small French restaurant that was stellar.
What makes an enjoyable restaurant experience? The tables were small and close to one another like a bistro on the streets of Paris. We arrived and there were a few tables full, not too crowded, but at the capacity you’d expect from a cool neighborhood spot.
The server brought out a couple of bottles of wine for us to try. I loved the details of the interior, not trying too hard but classy, with black and white tile floors and a red open kitchen.
Mirrors covered the walls and the light was yellow and low, no tablecloths, a black iron spiral staircase — the front opened like a garage door — parfait.
We had our French friend Ludo from the hostel with us, so that may have given us some cred. I was giving my French a go and the server humored me. He told us he’s getting his Phd in physics and works at the restaurant on Sundays. Legend.
He was having fun, and we were having fun, living in the world down below. What else can you ask for on your first night in a new city?
Montreal. I’ve barely gotten to know you, but you are absolutely beautiful. Your people are laid back and delightful and your buildings are lovely and colorful. There’s some snow on the ground and the air is brisk, perfect for drifting from one side of the city to the other by foot.
A simple, tasty bagel for breakfast, a few miles in the sun and cold, and then smoked meat at MAIN DELI for lunch. This is where I experienced my first poutine — fries with gravy and cheese — it’s what you need to accompany a dark beer.
In the afternoon, we wandered through Plateau Mont-Royal, marveling at the eclectic, colorful neighborhoods around Square Saint-Louis Montréal. An older gentleman strutted through the street with a walking stick, letting his cute and curious pup lead the way.
He sang a a beautiful tune in French quite loudly for all to enjoy.
magnifique! I called out. Merci! He replied with a big smile. Did I mention everything is French? That just made me smile all day.