Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Montreal is great.

We returned late last night from our much too short trip to Montreal. It was my first visit and I know it will not be my last. It is a completely charming city and my dear friend Daniel is moving there in just a few weeks, so I will be inventing reasons to head up that way again.

I did not take a single photograph...so there's nothing to show but words. We stayed in the Hotel de Paris, which was fine once we switched rooms. Then we wandered the city ducking in and out of all the fabulous magazine and music and book shops. One shop, in the old city, was an unexpected experience. The shop was small and austere with white gloves gracefully draped over small displays of books....extravagant books. We browsed (with only our eyes) noticing the price tags (when the first thing you notice in a book shop is the price tags, you quickly realize the difference between books that are meant to be read or looked at versus books that are only for display) which ranged from $100 to $100,000. Yes, the James Audubon collection was huge and bound in crocodile (ironic) and was $110,000. So, we were a bit intimidated to touch anything for fear of dropping something or turning a page improperly and having to sell ourselves as slave labor in order to reimburse the book that is so expensive you cannot even open it. But, we were there and decided the gloves were an invitation to actually open the books. After a bit of browsing we finally decided on the one we would open. It was on the bottom shelf with a map of of Chicago on it. I like maps...especially old maps...so I decided I would put on the glove and open it. What did I find inside? Blank pages.

We discovered some new favorites in the world of design magazines, one called Mark and another called Experimenta (which is published in Spain but I cannot find a web presence for). We had sushi on Rue Saint Catherine, then stumbled upon the most perfect little bar/micro brewery called Le Cheval Blanc at 809 Ontario Street...I don't think I've had a better raspberry framboise. We had Vietnamese in the China Town area while the rain poured...then passed. We played a game of pool at a little bar the guy in the record store told us about. It's called Rockette and it over looks Rue Saint Denis. They have a show space on the top floor and it seemed like a pretty good show schedule. On our walk home that night we window shopped and found some shoes we wanted to look at again so the next morning we went back to a little shop called Rein a Cacher. We walked in and were greeted by Danny, who owns the shop. Little did we know the shop's focus is ethically made and eco-friendly fashion that doesn't suck! Danny is well versed in the world of fair trade fashion. It turns out the shoes we liked were made in Brazil with a focus on sustainable materials and ethical labor practices. It's a company called Veja and their shoes are awesome in every way...and now have a home on Jeremy's feet.

It was a nice trip. I wish we could have stayed longer, but there is much work to be done. Parker is gone for three and a half weeks and I have a lot to accomplish in that time. I'm hoping to have the Messenger's and the new kid's bags ready in time for school shopping. But now, I must have some dinner then continue to catch up on orders.

3 comments:

  1. I love MTL! My husband is from Quebec city and lived in mtl for a bit. We are in Toronto so if you are ever going more west I would love to meet up! The shopping both there and here is great!

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  2. BTW... Happy belated ( your birthday in on my anniversary

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  3. yay, I'm happy you like Montreal. Right now I'm in a bit of funk with the city because it is so cold and there is just way too much snow....but that is life in the great white north. please please please, if you come back....check out Rue St Laurent and Rue Mont Royal. So much fun shopping and interesting things.

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