They are very pretty eggs though:
|This was the scene for many tables. There was no type of egg you couldn't find.|
I don't know about you, but I'd take mediocre food for this patio experience. The server, who's always there (they only need one - I mean there are 5 occupied tables in the whole place), is not the friendliest guy. This time, Nicole, M and Scott had a bet to see if we could win him over and, no joke, by the end of the meal, he came up to tell me that we were a delightful table the likes of which he rarely serves. Note: We are always delightful - manners being utterly relevant. And really, the subtext of his comment was that we were delightful for anglophones. So I don't know how much politesse we can accord to him. :-)
After that, M and Nicole went to the botanical gardens and Scott and I went walking on Laurier east, which is about 10 minutes from our place. The architecture is phenomenal, as everyone will tell you:
In case you don't already know this, the rationale for external staircases was to allow for more square footage inside some very tiny early 20th century flats. These days, some of the apartment duplexes (including the one where we're staying) have been converted to two story dwellings so the staircase has been moved, natch, to the inside. But you still see a lot of second floor doors and interesting features that weren't removed during remodel.
Got to love a modern infill:
|The courtyard beyond this front gate was a secret garden. We didn't take pics because the front door was at the far side and we didn't want to be intrusive.|
I told Scott not to photograph me (Lord, photographs of me, these days, are hard to look at), but he pretended not to and then did - which is why I'm at the very side of this beautiful view. Parc La Fontaine, named not for its fountain but for a former Chief Justice (like in the 1800s), is a total gem in the middle of everything.
I have spent a lot of time in the Plateau over the last 25 years so I can say with certainty that it really is amongst my optimal neighbourhoods. It is strangely like where I live in TO, from a convenience perspective and given its proximity to the downtown core. It's also a true residential space within an urban backdrop (if less urban that the tall/dense/pointiness of Toronto) - a quality I love about city-living. The laneways are better-groomed, and more treed than ours at home. There's less graffiti and much less tagging. The architecture is as distinctive as Toronto's though, in general, much more appealing (think NYC mixed with rural Quebec). The high-streets are replete with stores that sell the necessities and many fun spots (restaurants, bars, retail shops etc.). What it has in spades, over Toronto, is green space.
In my home-town they just love to chop down the trees. The minute greenery approaches the phone wires (and why the fuck aren't those wires buried at this point, as in the upscale areas??), say bye-bye. It makes for a rather so-so landscape, especially on the streets where the houses aren't so hot. Note: You'll still spend a million bucks on that ugly house.
In Mtl, numerous structural challenges are minimized by beautiful, urban landscaping. When you amble by, you can peer into "white-painted" houses that are inches from the sidewalks (not to mention that it's hot here in the summer so lots o' peeps keep their front doors wedged). The result is a pretty clear view straight through some gorgeous homes - tall ceilings, elegant plaster walls, updated kitchens and bright, well-maintained, tiny back gardens. Note: Just about all of the front-facing windows are covered with curtains or translucent film, so these very publicly-situated homes are still very private. But yeah, I'm one of those peeps who will peer beneath your curtains if there's a little view to be had. To my credit, I'd expect no less of you if you walked by my house (which is much more open to view, if set back much farther from the street and somewhat elevated from the road) on your vacation.
I have always wanted to live in this 'hood and, in my sweet vacation property, I'm once again having the experience. This is so much better than hotelling, my friends. Sure, hotels have their purpose but I am so done with them, in general. I love living like the locals.
Montrealers (or fellow visitors): What's your fave place in this city? Do you share my perspective on the Plateau? Let's talk!