Wednesday, April 16, 2014

# 3 - Weekly Chronicle and Photo Album of our current two-year trip across the U.S. and Canada in a RV with our Ricoh/Pentax equipment. This week, my favorite City, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, with my Pentax K-series of DSLRs.

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 Hi Photographer friends,

Montreal


Email:brqyvn@gmail.com 


Hi Pentaxian friends.



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In this Essay, I am presenting Montréal, the City where I first saw the light of day. Although I now live in Southern California, it is still my favorite place in the world...but as I turn the pages of life, the City has become too cold, for my older bones, in the winter. If only I could bring Montréal to Southern California! In this first of three posts, here are the generalities of the City:


Mass transportation is accomplished with the use of a subway system (The Metro)
Photo - Public Domain

Image - Public Domain


Montréal is the second largest City in Canada and the second largest French speaking City in the world, second only to Paris. The city was named in 1534 when Jacques Cartier first landed there. The native Indians called it Hochelaga.  Cartier named the place Mount Royal, from the elevation that rose in rear of the site, a little way back from the St. Lawrence River. Later on the name was changed to "Ville-Marie" by Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve, then to "Ville-Marie de Montréal". Today the name is simply: Montréal.



The City is progressive with new Buildings overshadowing Old and Historical Edifices.

The current population of Montréal is nearly two millions and approaching four millions with the suburbs. The City is a multi-cultural melting pot where people of many ethnicities, religions and cultures live in close harmony, or as harmoniously as it can be in this day and age.

The City is progressive with new Buildings overshadowing Old and Historical Edifices. Mass transportation is accomplished with the use of a subway system (The Metro) that allows displacement of the thousands of workers, shoppers, students and tourists alike, from one end of the City to the other in less than twenty minutes. Most of the downtown buildings, including apartment complexes, are connected to the Metro via tunnels and underground walkways, allowing “Montrealers” to go out and about in the frigid Canadian winters without ever really going outside. The underground Montreal is one of the largest in the world.








 


The "Vieux Montréal" (Old Montréal) is the most visited area



To me, Montréal is one of the most vibrant and exciting City. There's always something to do in Montréal. The "Vieux Montréal" (Old Montréal) is the most visited area and where most street performers, artists and painters gather. The food is known to be excellent and from all corners of the World. The City is one of the safest major City in North America. We had no fear of walking around late at night as we walked all the way to the top of Mount Royal to see the City lights. The area was alive with tourists and couples looking over the City. It’s actually quite a romantic place.



We had no fear of walking around late at night as we walked all the way to the top of Mount Royal to see the City lights.

Since the summer is relatively short in Montréal, every summer day is cherished and festivals abound in the fair weather Months. The Montréal Jazz Festival is the largest in the world. There are festivals all summer long, from “Art” to “JazZ” and everything in between. There must be a reason why the City is renowned as a City of Festivals.


If you're into food, Montréal is the place for you. Montréal's gastronomic reputation is renowned world wide. It is also well-deserved. The culinary specialties of Countries around the world are represented. No matter what taste or budget, a great meal can always be had! You'll find several good French restaurants in the "Vieux Montréal"  (Old Montreal). In the downtown area, Crescent Street is famous for its lovely terraces and restaurants.

You'll find several good restaurants in the "Vieux Montréal"

Boulevard Saint-Laurent is noted for trendy restaurants and home of the famous Schwartz’s smoked meat. Schwartz has been in operation in Montréal for eighty years. Here's a small list of people that have dined at Schwartz; Celine Dion, Angelina Jolie, Tim Allen, The Rolling Stones, etc, and the list could fill this page. Proponents of Montreal's smoked meat claim that it cannot be obtained in its tastiest, or most authentic form, outside of Montréal. Schwartz's is a very small restaurant, and there are lines of hungry people from opening to close. It's not a fancy place and if there are only one two of you, you will be sitting at a table along with other smoke meat lovers. It is truely a Montréal experience.


Schwartz's is a very small restaurant.
There are lines of hungry people from opening to close

Proponents of Montreal's smoked meat claim that it cannot be obtained in its tastiest, or most authentic form, outside of Montréal. 
Rue Saint-Denis, as well as many popular establishments located on Rue Prince-Arthur and Avenue Duluth serve somptuous meals and you can purchase wine at the local SAQ (Société des alcools du Québec - Quebec controlled alcool stores) and bring your own wine. It is much cheaper that way and all restaurants in that corner of the City will gladly serve your wine.

While in Montréal, you have to taste a big bowl of Poutine. Poutine is a dish consisting of French fries topped with fresh cheese curds, covered with brown gravy or sauce and sometimes additional ingredients. Poutine is a diner staple which originated in Quebec and can now be found across Canada. It is sold by national fast food chains, in small "greasy spoon" type diners (commonly known as "cantines" or "casse-croûtes" in Quebec) and pubs, as well as by roadside chip wagons. Along with fries and pizza, Poutine is a very common dish sold and eaten in high school cafeterias in various parts of Canada.



While in Montréal, you have to taste a big bowl of Poutine
Poutine is a diner staple which originated in Quebec and can now be found across Canada. 
There is no doubt that Montreal is a vibrant, unique and intriguing travel destination. The many cultural activities, lively festivals, and countless bars and nightclubs of all kinds, make this a fascinating city with something for everyone.

Countless bars and nightclubs of all kinds

Yvon Bourque

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