"My tongue will tell the anger of my heart,
Or else my heart concealing it will break." - The Bard....
“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of a Republic.”
"Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in these." Ovid...
...and so we carry on flogging words about. Do leave a comment, join as follower, click on pictures to enlarge. Practice kindness.
Friday, July 23, 2010
What on earth is that?
I spent the better part of yesterday wandering the streets of Vieux Montreal. Old Montreal isn't a patch on Quebec City, by the way, for historical preservation and historical interest. You have to work too hard to find the good stuff here. And the small museums are pricey. The place that impressed me the most was the Hostellerie du Pierre Calvet, a private and quite pricey but WOW really fabulous place, hostellerie. I was intrigued by the entrance, so wandered in and spoke to the friendly concierge madame. I thought it was a museum. She insisted on calling the owner to show me his sculpture collection housed in the oldest (1725) part of the house (on the corner) and voila! what fun! Click on the link and check out the bedrooms, the history of the place, and all the other rooms. Gorgeous. Do not confuse hostellerie with hostel– a hostellerie is an hotel that serves le diner as well, according to the owner, M. Trottier, a fine sculptor and exceedingly friendly man. This place belonged to his family way back. And such a nice guy! We had fun. I spent more time chatting with him and having him show me his sculptures than anywhere else on my little tour. That's his Jules Verne type contraption up top (I called it une folie, he liked that). Those are coffee beans inside. All sorts of welded on geegaws and whimsy! Clearly a man who knows how to have fun.
A kind woman in the rear of the Notre Dame de Secours offered to take my picture as I was apparently overcome with a sudden attack of narcolepsy; someone please send this photo to Sister Emerentia, if she's still kicking (kids in the ass). A beautiful church, the earliest one here and the 'sailors' church, hence the boat hanging over altar (saw a lot of this kind of thing in coastal France; love the idea. Lift those boats to heaven. boys! Keep em floating!)
The 'help' in cafes and restaus was very kind, polite and knowledgeable. Avoid the Jacques Cartier esplanade. Nothin but commercial stuff. Even the maple syrup there was faux. Better maple products outdoors on a table in front of the Marche Bonsecours (again more tourist nonessentials, and a little art, for sale, but not at the maple syrup table outside, that was good!). Good restaurants I spotted away from Jacques Cartier included: Chez Epicier, Garconniere (champagne and oysters, I know just who'd like that place), Ibiscus (has jazz in summer), and of course the Hostellerie. Nice dinner menu.
If you head down to the waterfront a block down from Rue St. Paul to Rue de la Commune you find Moozoo, which will whip you up a refreshing real fruit drink, no premixes, no crap, to sip as you wander through the park, maybe to the IMAX or the old clock tower. (Too hot for me yesterday, but the fruit drink was yummy.)
I was glad to hop the 129 bus up Cote St Catherine to the Pain Dore and home. A little disappointed in Montreal, which seems to be, the entire place nearly, under major construction, including the arts district west of old town. The colorful government assembly building made an impression though. I think I'll just hang out here in Outremont where it's shady and cool and quiet and the cafe au lait is perty gud.
palais de justice
French noble's house and garden jacques cartier, ugh