My love letter to YUL = D

Trip Start Oct 18, 2007
Trip End Aug 2008

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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Thursday, July 5, 2007

No, I haven't left Montreal yet!  I've realized that creating this blog AND sending it out five months before my actual departure may have been a tad premature as people have been asking me 'where am I'!  The answer to that question is: MONTREAL until October 18th!!!

But I just wanted to share my love for this city.  I'd recently seen this movie called "Paris, Je t'aime" and thought to myself that if I were a filmmaker, I'd create an ode to Montreal as well.  (by the by, I highly recommend watching this movie.  It consists of 18 short movies from various directors and a whole bunch of stars showing their take on this multicultural metropolis).  I'm very much enjoying summer in Montreal.  Think of it... people travel to this place to go on vacation!  And what a city this is.  With all the festivals, free shows and events happening, it can get a little out of hand!  There just aren't enough hours in the day to absorb all this creative energy and festivities.  Let's see, where to start? 

The annual Free Museum Day (this year, it fell on Sunday, May 27th) can be a little overwhelming due to the hordes of fellow cheap bastards who don't want to pay the regular entrance fee, but if you limit your scope to a maximum of one to two museums, it can still be a productive day.  This year, I went with T to the Fine Arts Museum to see the "Once upon a Time Walt Disney".  I think the imagery that caught my attention the most was actually a 6-minute animated collaboration between Dali and Disney called "Destino".  It was planned and designed in the '40s but only recently completed and released.

Another crazy weekend in Montreal is F1 (June7-10).  It's always fun to watch people on Crescent, Peel, St. Catherine, etc. and guess who's from out of town.  This event overlapped Fringe Fest (June 7-17th).  If you're not sure what this is, check out  This festival brings consists of so much more than one-person acts, miming clowns, live cooking shows, flamenco hip hop, a pair of japanese girls dressed in costumes with baubles on them... This event was also superimposed on another fave event in Montreal - the St. Laurent Street Fair.  A true Montrealer will know that this happens twice during the summer; the first in June (this year, 14th-17th) to start summer off with a bang, and the second sometime in August to say goodby to the summer and hello to fall.  To check the exact dates, refer to this site -

Why are fireworks so mesmerizing?  No matter how many times I go, the childlike awe inspired by explosions of colour and sound never goes away.  I've caught one so far, and it was from an awesome vantage point and the best seats in the house... an added bonus?  No crowds.  Thanks T for sharing this with me! 

This year's Jazz Fest from 28 June - 8 July ( experienced unruly weather.  It's been intermittenly rainy and cold, then hot and sunny.  To be on the safe side, I've been carrying an umbrella, my shades and dressing in layers.  Nonetheless, like troopers that we are, Montrealers and guests alike have battled the weird weather to catch some really awesome shows.  We're truly spoiled in this city.  I've discovered some amazing artists from this festival.  With my partners in crime, (usually Shannon!), we'd visit one stage and stick around for about 30 minutes before hopping to another performance to maximize our performances per hour ratio.  The artists that have really blown me away so far: Ndidi Onukwulu (impressive blues singer from Toronto), People Project (funkjazzysoulful collaboration between musicians from Mexico and Ottawa!), SoulJazz Orchestra (partially made up of members from People Project), Shakura S'Aida, Emilie Claire Barlow (sweet samba/jazz songstress) and local gang of musicians called the Sweatshop Tango Ensemble.  I wanted to see Lorraine Klassen and Kellylee Evans perform but didn't get the chance.  There are quite a few other artists I plan on seeing before this weekend is up.

You know what's the best way to keep your inner child alive?  Get your face painted and walk around the city with it on!  The smiles and double-takes you get from strangers is hilarious.  

I recently got my new camera (Canon A710 IS), which I'll be taking along with me during my year-long adventure and have been keeping myself busy, experimenting with the various settings.  Let me know what you think of the pictures!  I'm still contemplating whether or not to get myself a 30G IPOD to store my pictures.  I'm thinking of just storing them online then as I go along, burning a CD of pictures and mailing that home at regular intervals...  May come out less than buying the gadget and less hassle, too.

So half the summer is over...  Though I've lived here all my life, there's always something new to discover.  At the same time, I'm feeling impatient to embark on my adventures to see new places and meet new people.  One of my goals will be to dance salsa and/or tango in as many exotic locales as possible.  Those will probably be some interesting entries!

Hope you enjoyed this one... take care!
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