July 11, 2017

There is a great deal of passion all over town, and all over the place, especially in the upper middle class where passion is at such an all-time high that it threatens to overwhelm what indifference there is left in the world. People are passionate about the food that they eat (organic). They are passionate about their beer (artisanal) - or their Kombucha (GT’s, Pur, Rise). People are passionate about their fitness routine (Lululemon, Löle, cross-fit) and people are passionate about their moustache (twirled and waxed). Some are passionate about dogs (doggy jackets in the winter) and some are passionate about cats (it begins with one, then you acquire...

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 27, 2017

Montrealers sometimes say that this is a small town - a large village, really - where everyone knows everyone and where the denizens are preoccupied by petty matters (such as, most recently, the chosen location of an upcoming rodeo). Why, just the other day, while lounging on my slanted balcony during a rare and precious burst of sunshine, I overheard my neighbour say that if you want to learn something about someone in Montreal, it will only take you about five minutes to identify someone you know personally who knows them personally - or at least someone who knows someone who knows them personally. Like a friend of a friend of a friend....

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?



June 13, 2017

The best time of year is unofficially upon us: those last three weeks of spring when the city is suddenly inundated with copious quantities of poplar seed fluff. Drifting through the air like particles of dreams, collecting in snowy little heaps at the base of trees, the fluff lends everything an ethereal and gossamer air, especially the annual sidewalk sale on Avenue Mont-Royal, of which it is the harbinger. Sausage and strappy sandals, second-hand shirts and trinkets, dog-eared paperbacks and smeared vats of lemonade await to be touched by summer-starved passers-by beneath a haze of poplar butterflies. At this time of year, all meats and tawdry thin...

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...

May 30, 2017

Never mind the Neon Bible, the neon cone has come alight! Never mind the rain and temperature: by Meu Meu time, it's summertime!

Come all ye faithful for gigantic scoops of custard! Through chilly autumns, harrowing winters and drizzly springs, the city lies in wait for summer: those three explosive months of music and dance and theater festivals, park picnics and backyard parties, fireworks and flip-flops, tawdry fairs hawking sausage, shoes and paperbacks on Avenue Mont-Royal and Boulevard St-Laurent. Summer can be demanding in Montreal because, conceivably, you *could* do it all.  

Last summer, I went on a mission: to taste each o...

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© 2017 Éli Bloom & Leslie Morgan 

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