Friday, April 19, 2019

4 Days in Montréal, Québec

In February, I had a weeklong break from school and I decided to spend it with my best friends from middle school.  I met up with Lindsay and we caught a 6 hour bus ride to Montreal.

For warning...I decided to 'condense' this trip into one blogspot you're in for a long one!

Also yes, it did take me this long to finally post about it.



What's an experience in Montreal if not to indulge in a well made bagel?  Fabrique de Bagel is situated in the 'underground mall', which turned out to not be as underground as it sounds.  It was tricky trying to figure out where the entrance was, but if you see a big globe on a building that says Chambre de Commerce de Montreal metropolitain just push open the doors and you're there.

I opted for the Bagel au Salmon Fume avec le fromage brie as I am a big fan of both.  It had a ton of flavour and I especially loved the caramelized onions.


I don't know how often Montreal has gallery showings.  But, on our first day, every art gallery was open for showing.  Lindsay and I had an amazing time hoping around.  As the day progressed, we felt more comfortable speaking French with the people who work there.


Perhaps as touristy as they get, we saw a big bold sign for 50 cent maple biscuits.  Sounding too good to resist, we made our way to the inside of a brightly lit and bustling café.  We purchased not only several varieties of delicious maple biscuits, but split a maple taffy for two.  This is the place for all things maple syrup.  From pure syrup to maple infused teas, it's a great place to buy a gift albeit the higher prices.


Thanks to Lindsay's fabulous recommendation, we had a wonderful dinner experience at Hanzo Izakaya.  It is an elegant Japanese restaurant inspired by the Crazy 88 scene in the movie Kill Bill.  So before we made our way there, we got comfy on a couch and watched volume 1 of Kill Bill.

Out of every dish was had, I would definitely recommend the Pretty Ricki as a cocktail, the Edamame, the salmon dish (although I can't seem to find it on their menu anymore).



After spending most of the day just logging around in Sena's dorm and finishing up some assignments, the three of us headed out for dinner at Cinko.  It's another very hip restaurant with an incredibly decorated interior.  The food however, was subpar.  I got the Tacos Fish & Chips with a side of chili, which was unfortunately underwhelming and left me wanting actually good fish tacos from Seven Lives in Kensington, which is in Downtown Toronto.  Perhaps a second experience will change my mind.  For now, I'll stick to recommending Hanzo.


After dinner, Lindsay and I found ourselves at a retro arcade place.  We played the famous Donkey Kong and PacMan along with a whole variety of games.  The entrance fee was $7 and they only take cash.  But once you're inside, they've got a free popcorn machine so bring a water bottle unless you want to buy water from the bar.  It was a very cool experience, but at the same time it was really busy and a lot of the bigger groups were occupying the chairs and better games.



Wow.  What a wonderful time it was to sit down, eat some food, and listen to amazing musicians all night long.  I 100% recommend coming here!  I love listening to live music. 

I also couldn't let Balenciaga get away with this horrible display that looks like a rundown thrift shop's doing.  I've never been a fan of this brand and if this display doesn't convey with enough reason my disappointment with this fashion house, then go ahead and continue to admire their sock shoes or whatever monstrosity they put out.



Le dimanche dans l'arrière canadien (1859) par Thomas Fæd
Une mère et ses enfants à l'église (1886) par Thérèse Schwartze (The first female artist to be accepted into l'académisme français)
Femme dans la rue (1950) par Karl Appel

Come Monday morning, Lindsay and I visited the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, which is free admission for students.  I really loved Appel's Femme dans la rue painting.  His work is an exploration of the naivety  and spontaneity of children.  

This is an extract from the description:

Appel ne se laisse pas décourager par les critiques: "En voyant mes peintures, il arrive souvent qu'on me dise, "Écoute mon vieux, ma fille de trois ans peut en faire du pareil." Ce à quoi je réponds" Oui, mias à la différence près que c'est moi qui le fais pas elle."


The museum was supposed to be our last stop before we caught our train back to Toronto.  However, we saw a sign that led us to this Barbie expo, which was grounds for a detour before the train.  And I do not regret it one bit because look at how amazing this collection is!  It totally made up for the fact that Lindsay and I had to ran to the train and get on board 5 minutes before departure.  oops.

Thanks for sticking to the very end!