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Montréal: My Vote for #1 Destination for East Coast Americans

Montréal: My Vote for #1 Destination for East Coast Americans

Dec 4th, 1999, 12:37 PM
  #1  
Daniel Williams
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Montréal: My Vote for #1 Destination for East Coast Americans

I lived in Montreal for 5 years; I fell in
love with the city when I arrived and was
still in love 5 years later (left in Aug.
1999 for a job). The joie de vivre is the city is absolutely contagious...I loved the food, the open-minded people, the cafés, the safety, the nightlife, the opportunity to use my French. In my mind, it's the most pleasant city to live in on the East Coast (for those who don't mind the cold). What amazes me is how few people have discovered this gem of a city.

If anybody needs any advice on this city I would be more than happy to help: restaurants, nightlife (for all persuasions: Irish pubs to martini bars to Gay Village to microbreweries to Latin dancing to traditional Québécois de souche, etc...), scenery, museums, etc....
 
Dec 4th, 1999, 12:42 PM
  #2  
Donna
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I could not agree more. My husband and I visit as often as possible (soon, our third New Year's Eve there) in all seasons. It's one of the few places we go where we walk about and are thrilled just to be there! We adore French food and think it's better in Montreal than anywhere, including Paris. With the exchange rate and generous tax refunds for visitors, Canada is a fabulous destination these days. So much to see and do, fabulous dining and nightlife, amazing shopping, and a bargain!
 
Dec 4th, 1999, 12:55 PM
  #3  
Daniel Williams
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Speaking of excellent French restaurants, a friend of mine (Montrealer) went to Toqué, run by chef Normand Laprise on rue St. Denis. (Expensive: over CAN$200 for two of them: luckily she got treated by American stockbroker friend.) I asked her if it deserved all five stars that the critics give it: she said it was gastronomical heaven, the venison she ordered was cooked to perfection and simply melted in her mouth. The service was impeccable.



 
Dec 5th, 1999, 01:29 PM
  #4  
Renata
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Hi, Daniel!

I´m a brazilian woman and I love Montreal, too. My english is not so good, but I´ll try. I need some help about Montreal. I want to know what are the good things to do when the person is in Montreal? I am asking you because I have found only the "must see" sights in guides and internet. If you could help me... In any way, thanks a lot!

Renata
 
Dec 5th, 1999, 01:49 PM
  #5  
Donna
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Renata: That all depends upon when you go (the weather)and what you, personally, enjoy seeing and doing. We visit frequently, and printed tour guides are most helpful. The Fodor's Citypack Montreal is excellent and includes a fabulous full size map that even has the bus routes on it. Another wonderful guide is the Ulysses Montreal which is very comprehensive. I also like the Access Guide, but until it's updated (it's several years old now), it's more useful for seeing and doing than hotels and restaurants (many of which have changed hands). There are fabulous festivals in Montreal throughout the year (see http://www.tourism-montreal.org/). At this website, you can also request tourist literature. Our favorite time to visit is in late June, early July, when the weather is splendid and the International Fireworks Competition and International Jazz Festival are in progress. Good luck!
 
Dec 6th, 1999, 09:18 AM
  #6  
Daniel Williams
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Montréal is a multi-faceted city. Many ethnic and linguistic groups (Italian, Latino, Portuguese, Greek, Haitian are particularly large groups) thrive in the city; the two principal languages spoken are English and French.

I especially love the boutiques of rue St. Denis and l'ave. Mont-Royal (from de Lorimier all the way to ave. du Parc). I recommend people walk these streets and soak in the ambience to get a feel for the city. The architecture in the Plateau Mont Royal district is just a marvel; pick a side street and you'll find funky apartments; conformity is definitely not the rule.

I personally prefer Montreal in mid-April on the first sunny, warm day of the year. The city comes alive and the parade of spring fashions and joie de vivre is just fabulous to watch and experience!

Alternative Montréal is best discovered at www. montrealmirror.com or www.hour.qc.ca in English or www.icimontreal.com en français. There's the web site www.fugues.com for the Gay & Lesbian community (quite large and powerful in the city). You'll find more weekly news on these sites.

To learn how to speak French like a Québécois person, there are FEW books that are very good. I enjoy J'parle plus mieux français que toé et je t'emmerde but this book requires a strong background in French. In English, there's one that's good (don't remember the name)...I'd go to Chapter's bookstore on rue Ste. Catherine if you're interested. There's also a good CBC-1 radio show called "C'est la vie" that has a word of the week that talks about French spoken in Canada (in English). It's on the web under www.cbc.ca as well under radio shows.

Native English-speaking Montrealers/Quebeckers speak an English that is nuanced by the province they live in, i.e., saying "depanneur" rather than "convenience store"; French words pepper anglophone Montrealer's language (no pun intended).


As to what real Montrealers do...it depends on the Montrealer! Some like going to cafés and brasseries, some like fashion; there's the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal run by Charles Dutoit, les Grands Ballets Canadiens, l'Opéra de Montréal. Many like hockey, but not all. Broom ball games on McGill campus are common. The Expo games (baseball) often don't have enough attendance.

The only true way to get an idea of the city though, is to go. Even after 5 years living there, there were still new things that I discovered every single day.
 
Dec 12th, 1999, 08:55 PM
  #7  
Renata
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Donna e Daniel,

Thanks a lot! You are very kind people. Sorry for didn´t answer before, but I´m working very hard.
One day, if you decide to come to Brazil, please, write me.

Renata
 

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