August 29, 2017

A bona fide tornado touched down in Montreal last week, bringing stuff up with it - the tree in this picture, for example, and many others - and causing destruction. It got me thinking about something I remember reading in an interview with Margaret Atwood. She said a theme in Canadian writing is survival, which I assumed must be because of our scary weather. Although now people say Canada is supposed to be a “good place to be”  for climate change. Never mind how fu####d that kind of thinking is, I wonder about the accuracy. Is it really better to be in a place where you could potentially face prolonged ice storms, flooding, rotting crops, arctic war…...

August 15, 2017

This is something you’ll never hear anywhere else from anyone else; perhaps most of you don't know it’s happening at all. Montreal is trying to kill off the cappuccino, replacing it with another similarly milk-infused coffee drink, the “fauxppuccino.” In the grand scheme of things I can’t imagine this really matters, but why is it happening at all? Why do new school coffee shops in Montreal refuse (or not know how) to make foamy cappuccinos? 

I had my first fauxppuccino about two years ago. I was in desperate need of coffee, but was either in a bit of a rush or not feeling social enough that day to weather the long line at
Social Club cafe on St. Via...

August 1, 2017

Remember when Tupac rapped, instead of a war on poverty, they have a war on drugs so the police can bother me? 

Well last night I watched a drug bust. A friend and I were eating at a restaurant in Jean Talon market, outside on the patio with several dozen others enjoying ourselves and what not. Looking up the stairwell, we noticed navy blue legs (the cops have stopped wearing their camo suits folks), shiny black shoes and one tanned hand clutching a green plant. We watched their six limbs, three sets of legs frozen in some kind of anticipation-lock-down; then the three bodies trotted down the steps. It was a bit like a movie next, two...

July 18, 2017

Montreal goes blue in the summer. It goes green too; a welcome reprieve after the complete white blanketing, or the grey grey.  But during the week of cirque festival this year (completement cirque, I think it’s called) there was blue: blue people prowling up and down all of St. Denis. I heard one woman exclaim with such sweet satisfaction when she saw them, “Thank you Montreal. Thank you.” She’s obviously not from here, her accent could be American or Torontonian. I’m pretty sure she was from the U.S.A.

You see, some people think this is a magic city. The city where buses that look like they've been tie-dyed transport us from one place to anoth...

July 4, 2017

I see you. Hiding in alleys, behind walls, in between structures. In this fast city you give pause.  Montreal is slower than many other cities but like any city in that regard there will always be people like you, people living on the streets.  Do you just dissolve in front of our eyes, become part of the landscape, blending in? Do we notice?

I do. 

Mont Royal, in the Mile End and downtown, on St. Urbain Street at Saint Antoine and Pins. Finding places to sleep, to live. It’s sad that it seems to be enough to call you homeless - as though your individual lives don’t matter once you fit into that category. Like you’re invisible. But cl...

June 19, 2017

Bodies. Flesh burning on Mont Royal street, Mont Royal Park and Parc la Fontaine. It’s a special summer-time Montreal dish, served up all over the Plateau: sun-roasted ass cheeks. Is this a sixties renaissance? Free love,  no war?

Ursula le Guin writes in her novel, The Dispossessed, of two worlds: one is anarchist, the other hierarchical and capitalist. In one of these worlds, women are hairless and naked, highly sexualized and subservient.  That's capitalism, baby. In Orwell's 1984, a novel unashamedly based on communism, women are sexless, un-feminized. So, herein lies the irony: has women’s nakedness made us more free?

 

M...

June 6, 2017

An unmistakable, unusual creature stands there, in the middle of the man- made pond, bobbing over his spindly legs: clandestine. Only because he’s not doing what creatures like him do. Like the myth of the ship that first landed in America, supposedly unseen despite it’s colossal size, as the story goes, by those living around and observing the shores. Simply because they had never seen anything like it before. This Blue Heron is just like that ship - he’s not supposed to be here, so he isn’t. Joggers circling him on the path don’t notice; bikers riding past don’t notice. People walking by, lost in their heads, don’t see. But I understand this phenome...

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