Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Shopping Fantasy 2: Montreal Moment

What is it about shopping and travel that go so perfectly together? Or, to put it another way, is there anything more exciting than a new batch of potentially flawless boutiques on a new street in a beautiful / charming / seedy / richy (more adjectives ad nauseum) new town? Flank the shopping with brunch, a pastry break, drinks on the rooftop, hot hotel sex and room service and you’ve got a seriously good thing going on!

While inhabiting my brain is occasionally torturous, it’s never dull. Shopping and travel fantasies abound, such as this one:

It’s late June. I ride the 10 a.m. VIA1 from Union Station to downtown Montreal . On arrival, I take a taxi to the Gault where I check in and have a quick lunch in the lobby: smoked salmon on a real bagel, a glass of primativo followed by a fantastic dry cappuccino and almond biscotti. I change into my shopping clothes: shoes for walking up the mountain and a sweet, but edgy, summer dress.

Note to Reader: Practicality notwithstanding, don’t try to walk the streets of Mtl looking dull. The women you’ll encounter are amongst the chicest in North America and they are sexy to a one.

I hike up St. Laurent to the Plateau and Mile End, on my route checking out fave destinations like Lola & Emily, M0851, Ima and Preloved. Eventually, I have a sit down on a bench in Parc Jeanne Mance, watching the gorgeous boys play Frisbee on a field. This city is so lively; freedom is everywhere.

My husband arrives – you knew he’d make an appearance eventually – and we have a protracted conversation about politics and philosophy, music and books and other fascinating things we all too rarely have time to consider fully. Other Note to reader: Shopping chat is not on the agenda. We’re here to do it, not talk about it. The sun begins to set behind the mountain. The breeze kicks up a gentle chill.

At 8, we walk to Laloux for a riveting dinner (tasting menu), lots of booze and dessert. Scott carries my shopping bags as we amble back, tipsily, to our very modern room. Once ensconced, we listen to great tunes on the wrap-around balcony and take in the sounds of the all-night neighbourhood. I lay out my purchases on the king-sized bed: luscious holiday finds.

Ed. Note: Funny how I end up fantasizing about how I’ll put them all together, once I get back home...


  1. You paint a really nice picture, K.

  2. Most of those places sound new to me--it's been two decades since I lived in Montreal! My ex beau's family had an apt. across from the Ritz (shameless name dropping) and we would use it as a base from which to go to the Prince Arthur section (great Greek food, non?), the wonderful bagel joints, and L'Express, naturellement.

  3. Wow you have shopping clothes?? I need to start thinking about that, since i always seem to wear the most uncomfortable things to go shopping!

    (Sorry for the lack of blogging final papers are a strain!)

  4. Why thank you, Enc. It worked so well for me that I have something cool to post later on today...

    Miss C: I secretly knew you were a tony girl. How awesome it must have been - I've frequently said to Scott that I'd love to see what those apartments look like. Love Prince Arthur, of course. Will you go to Mtl with your family this summer - read tonight's post for interesting info on how you might get there at a good price...

    Riz: Crazily, I feel like I have to be well-dressed for shopping or I'm not being respectful to the clothing I might buy. It's insane, I realize. I cannot wait for you to return to your blogging schedule. But good luck with the papers (not like you need it) and save up those good ideas for us! K

  5. Wow, I know nothing about Montreal but I almost feel like I just had a fabulous day there!

  6. I wish I could twitch my nose, Miss W, and send you there because I know you would LOVE it. K