Montreal in the New York Times!

May 24th, 2003, 04:02 PM
  #1  
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Montreal in the New York Times!

There is a great, informative article in the Travel section of Sundays New York Times with everything you ever wanted to know about Montreal.
Some good restaurant picks and newer hotels.
Check it out!
Kate2 is offline  
May 24th, 2003, 05:55 PM
  #2  
BAK
 
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From the article, as posted at www.nytimes.com

"....Montreal has been spared the affliction of SARS suffered by Toronto, 200 miles away, and has no reported cases. ...<

The reporter is Clifford Krauss, he is a really bad reporter, and the distance from Montreal to Toronto is about 360 miles. Ypou can look it up in an atlas, which is more than Krauss bothered to do. About 600 kilometers, too. If Krauss can't get this right, why would you trust him about anything else?

He loves to write about SARS, but he gets things wrong and he picks obscure people to quote. Toronto has no SARS problem that would affect, or infect, any tourist. None have been infected, and none will be, but Krauss wants to kill the tourist business in Toronto, probably because it gets his stories closer to the front page.

I wonder what else he got wrong in his Montreal article.

BAK
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May 24th, 2003, 07:08 PM
  #3  
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Because I am deeply annoyed with Krauss' reporting in the NYTimes about SARS in Canada, I look at his words with a jaundiced eye, so to speak. Thus, some comments, with Mr. Krauss's words about Montreal from the NYTimes web site in quotation marks, and my words following.

"diners temper the humidity with chilled vichyssoise" as contrasted, I suppose, with nice hot vichyssoise.

"And one cultural festival after another makes Montreal night life sizzle with live music, dancing and avant-garde cinema." I might have mentioned comedy, too, but he gets to that eventually.

"and the fashionable shops on the Rue Ste.-Catherine are flourishing." Well maybe, those fashionable shops that you can find there, but most of the really fashionable shops are elsewhere.

"Le Grand Prix du Canada, June 13 to 15, www.grandprix.ca, (514) 350-0000, gets summer off to an exciting start with world-class Formula One racing." As contrasted, I suppose, with some Formula One racing elsewhere that is not world class.

"packed every year with over 300,000 racing fans." Sez he, but Canadian Press says, based on last year's race, says that only about 111,000 people attended the race, and the 300,000 figure is over three days, including many people who go to two or even all three days of qualifying and racing. Just because you go to the track three times doesn't make you three racing fans. Here's some CP writing: MONTREAL (CP) -- With 7,000 new seats added to Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, attendance records were shattered as 304,000 spectators turned out for the three days of Canadian Grand Prix racing.
Race organizers said records were set each day as 91,000 watched free practice on Friday, 102,000 saw qualifying on Saturday and 111,000 watched the race on Sunday.

"The Montreal International Jazz Festival, June 26 to July 6, www.montrealjazzfest.com, (514) 871-1881, is Montreal's answer to Mardi Gras and the highlight of the summer. " Well, the streets are not full of drunks, people don't carry booze along the streets and pee in the flowerpots, (well, not very many of them) and the women don't keep lifting their shirts over their heads in Montreal.

"Tickets and packages, $53 for general admission to $292 for the gold grandstand, at 1.42 Canadian dollars to the United States dollar." So, is this clear writing? Do you think the prices quoted in the US newspaper are in US dollars, converted at the rate quoted, which happens to be off quite a bit from today's real rate, or is it the pre-conversion, Canadian dollars, price, so NYTimes readers can practice their math?

"Summertime is walking time in Montreal. The pace of life, slower than in other big Canadian cities," Slower compared to what cities? You think Edmonton moves faster than Montreal? Vancouver, which in fact is laid back? Montreal's slower than Calgary? Truth is, Montreal hums, all the time, is a major business city, but it has fun, too.

"Before visiting the park, the best place to find picnic fare - excellent and reasonably priced Québécois cheese, cider and crusty bread - is the Atwater Market, 138 Atwater, which is also a great place to take in the French core of daily life." Yeah, well, if you want to go that far, which requires a cab ride or a bus trip, or a subway ride. Krauss writes that Mount Royal is within walking distance. Not if you go by Atwater Market first. Tourists are advised by me to go to Central Station and get great food that is already prepared for you. Honest. There's woinderful takeout food at the station. Or go get bagels, buns, bread, cheese, fruit and coldcuts from the market at Guy and Ste. Catherine, which is on the way to the mountain.

By the way, if you like antiques, go to the Atwater Market, and visit the nearby shops.

"grand bank buildings festooned with copper gargoyles and stone dragons." I was looking at gargoyles today and they were not copper, they were stone, but I was in Toronto and maybe the gargoyles in Montreal are different.

"The other highlight of the Old City is the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History " I suggest that perhaps "an" in front of "highlight" might be appropriate, considering that there are many, many highlights in this part of town. But maybe he's just a bad writer.

"Downtown and convenient for shopping, the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel, 900 René Lévesque Boulevard West, (514) 861-3511, fax (514) 954-2256, www.fairmont.com, has been newly renovated." Well, I'm glad he's not reporting that it was renovated long ago.

"Its 1,039 rooms have lovely views of the Mary Queen of the World Basilica and a promenade leading to downtown." First of all, if he'd even looked at the outside of this gigantic hotel he's have noted that it has windows on all sides, and you can't see the Queen Mary from any side but one. And it ain't a promenade, whatever that is, it's a tunnel, not counting that the hotel is in downtown, and doesn't need anything to "lead" to it.

He's got a list of other hotels and restaurants in the story, but I find myself thinking of Jayson Blair, the disgraced Times reporter who did not go to the places he wrote about, and I wonder if Krauss ever got to the restaurants and into the hotels he mentions.

Not withstanding all this, Montreal is a great place to visit. Sorry to be cranky, but Krauss's unfair and misleading writing has hurt many people in the hospitality industry in Toronto.

BAK
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May 25th, 2003, 01:57 AM
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Thanks Kate for the info. I always like to know when there are write-ups in the newspapers and magazines on places in Canada. Also, thanks for telling us all in a timely manner. Now I can go get the Sunday Times today, on Sunday!
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May 25th, 2003, 07:46 AM
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BAK - well done - Krauss drives me nuts too. Is it still the NYT's policy to have the "Canada" reporter reside outside of Canada (although to be fair that relates to our apparently backward policy towards taxing foreign journalists)?
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