Z. Madison

For when you're relaxing at home or killing company time - Z. Madison's here for you.


I Heart Montreal

My friend TMac and I had a lovely mini-VayK in Montreal. Although our French consisted mostly of Merci and Pan de Chocolat, we got by just fine. Z's top impressions of our neighboring city to the North?

1. It must be a beautiful city, however that's hard to ascertain when it rains 68 hours out of the 72 you're there.

2. We left our poor concierge with a lasting impression. We selected our hotel solely for it's rooftop oasis pictured above and were hellbent set on reaping it's benefits. We stalked the front desk and concierge for weather reports on an ongoing basis. And when I tell you it rained, I don't mean a wee drizzle. No. We expected to see Noah's Ark sail down Rue de Sainte Catherine from the way the sky monsooned. Finally, a blue patch of sky after a late lunch yesterday made our hearts leap with joy and anticipation. We were wearily informed that the rooftop would indeed open at 4:30 and staked out a spot in the lobby decked out in fabulous resortwear awaiting the magical moment. When one lingering drizzle postponed the grand opening, we declined our dear concierge's offer to wait in our room to receive a confirmation call. No. We'd prefer to wait. Right here. In the lobby. Ah, but once that moment came, there was no other way to relish our good fortune but with a frozen cocktail, Cuban cigar and unlimited dips.

3. Border control was ridiculously easy on both sides. Our American agent literally laughed at us when, after being asked what we had to declare, came our immediate reply "A bottle each of alcohol from Duty Free." Ah, welcome home indeed, Mr. Border Guy. Keep up the good work.

4. Duty Free. If for nothing else, make the trip north for this Mecca of cheap booze.

5. My God, the food is fucking incredible. Were it not for all the walking, my ass would have expanded to truly American-Fanny-Pack-Donning-Tourist proportions.

6. Your "Underground City" sucks. It's a low budget strip mall. No need to ever consider visiting this trap, dear readers.

7. Those crazy Canadians are fucking hilarious, eh! What a cast of characters we met. Love and thanks to y'all, especially to Mr. Anonymous Walking Zagat for recco-ing Cafe Cherrie. (It's on the corner of Rue de Sainte Dennis and Rue de Cherrie if you're in Montreal, dear readers. You. Must. Eat. There. I've been lucky enough to patron some of the best restaurants in NYC over the years. Cafe Cherrie trumps every single one of them for a portion of the cost.)

8. Half the city skipped work to scream on France in their World Cup win. Silly naive Americans we are, TMac and I literally jumped out of our skin each time a roar came forth from one of the the numerous pubs Tuesday afternoon. It took us until much later that evening to realize there wasn't a terrorist attack or some other eminent disaster brewing.

9. To my lesbian friends - Montreal is your friend. There was much lesbian love on display throughout our stay. Having just been to Pride Parade, perhaps it was something I was attuned to notice, but the city seemed to be a magnet for lady lovers. That, and rowdy conventioners and bacherlor parties. Maybe it's the full nudity clause. Dunno. Regardless, the ladies didn't get a second glance from natives or tourists alike. Oui, oui!

10. I'm not one for revisiting places I've been. I'm much more a stick another tack in the world map kinda girl. But, I'd make an exception for Montreal. I'm even thinking of planning a late summer romantic weekend surprise for The Boyfriend. I'll be sure to check the weather report first, as I. Must. Get. To. The. Pool.


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