What City is most like Paris?

Jun 8th, 2004, 12:33 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Focussing on your interests, and assuming that you know that Paris is Paris, both Montreal and Quebec will have things that suit your needs. If it is big-city posh you need, then Montreal, but bware, it could be a slightly francophone version of NYC. Its fun, bright, historical, but most people are bilingual.

If you want romantic, less-English, French countryside, then QC. Personnally, this is my preference. But it bears more resemblance to Dijon or Lyon than Paris.
Carolred is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 08:32 AM
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Do people go to France saying, "I wonder which city is most like Montreal?"
MikeT is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 07:57 PM
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If you're looking for Paris, why not GO THERE?
(That's a serious question, by the way.)

Quebec City has more tourist "charm", so that may be what you're looking for. Montreal has never come across to me as anything other than dreary.

But either way, you'll be in Quebec, not France. And neither city is Paris!
JetLag is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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Montreal "dreary" ?

I have never before heard that vibrant, exciting city described as dreary..........

Jerry [in Toronto]
gannetmusic is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 07:46 PM
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Hi Jerry In Toronto,

I didn't say Montreal IS dreary, I said it has always come across that way to ME. Subjective impression versus objective statement of fact. I'm sure you know the difference.

We all have our preferences and tastes when it comes to cities, which is why we have things like this message board, to hear how others experience things. I don't "get" Montreal, others do. So what?
JetLag is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 08:07 PM
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P.S. to Jerry: Upon re-reading what I just posted, I'm surprised how "snappish" it seems. Not my intent. Should've hit "preview" first and tried some judicious editing. Sorry. But you do get the gist of what I was saying, yes?
JetLag is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 08:34 PM
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I'm glad some people don't like Montreal particularly personally. I usually think they're missing out on something or maybe they hung out on drearier parts of Montreal on a smoggy summer's day or on a cold, damp,slush-in-your-boots wintry day. A chacun son gout, Montreal has plenty visitors as it is.

As for Carolred, I find the Montreal being a slightly francophone NYC comparison interesting, but I see vast differences between the two cities personally. While there are similarities in that both have charming sidewalk restos, densely peopled areas, graceful urban residential districts, good public transit (on a N. American scale at least) & generally a more liberal mindset than the majority of the rest of their respecive countries (oh did I mention pleasant parks), I find key differences.

There are parts of Montreal where one can feel in the country. I can't say I've felt that in NY. Certainly NYC is much more extensive. Also expensive, which I think makes for a differently mindsetted population. And Montreal IS more than *slightly* francophone, almost 70% in the greater MUC... most anglophones and allophones are bilingual which gives the city a different sound and outlook. And not to mention that the cities have quite different histories and architectural styles (Greenwich Village and Chelsea have a feel like nowhere in MTL and le Plateau Mont-Royal reminds me of nowhere in NYC). Plus the American cultural setting versus the Quebecois/Canadian cultural setting creates a different world outlook among the respective populaces: maybe I find cultural differences more interesting than others anyhow.

Anyhow, there were a few comments I couldn't stop myself from commenting on. Happy travels.
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 11:50 AM
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I have been to both Quebec City and Paris. I don't think the two compare. Each has its own character. But Paris to me is unique among all the cities of the world, as are Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Vienna, London and on into the evening listing them. I have no one favorite city. In fact, after a few days of visiting any of them, I am ready to go elsewhere.

In Canada, I like several cities including Calgary and Victoria.
bob_brown is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 11:53 AM
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Hi Daniel,

It's amusing to me, whenever I hear "oh well you must have had a bad experience or be missing out on something". It's a predictable response. Why it's unfathomable to some that others may simply not enjoy Montreal is quite beyond me, though I have my theories...

For me, Montreal is a "specific-use" town. Their unparalleled jazz festival and industry-vetted comedy festival are specific reasons for me to visit, without regrets. There are some private galleries which also give me reasons to return. (By the way, my experience with gallery managers and owners in Montreal has been nothing but positive. Those who give them as a group a negative reputation are full of merde, IMO).

But without a specific need or obligation? Nope, I'll go elsewhere. And others will choose Montreal. Nothing to do with slush (or lack thereof) in one's boots.
JetLag is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 01:44 PM
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I'm glad you enjoyed the Jazz Festival and the Festival Juste Pour Rire. I find these specific events personally a little overcrowded (maybe dreary? *wink*) for my tastes in my experience.

It's not unfathomable to me that your experience might have led you to find Montreal dreary. There are days where I feel the same way. The self-absorbed people at my YMCA, when people get pushy on the metro, the trash in Cote-des-Neiges & Downtown, not to mention the weather-induced lows that I mentioned before sometimes leave me thinking *ugggh* also.

What I DO find amusing is how you find my response predictable rather than wondering if indeed you're not missing out on something. There's so many different facets of this city that even Montrealers are continuously suggesting new things to do to their fellow citizens. There's just too much going on, too many subgroups and interesting quartiers for anybody to entirely grasp it all. I discover something new to appreciate about the city every week. It's not all "urban"-like things either... nothing more bucolic than a day on la Cimitiere Mont-Royal or a stroll through some of the side paths of le Parc Mont-Royal. Walked along Chemin Bord du Lac, been to Pointe Claire Village or the side streets of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue? Almost old Lower Canada Village like feel... I'm usually charmed. Gone to the Lookout in Westmount and experienced the side streets of this area? All this, I discovered in the past year after 6 years of living in the city. I can't imagine one would find the terrasses of Saint-Denis on that first day of spring dreary either or the side streets of the Plateau Mont-Royal/ Mile-End/ Jean-Talon area on a beautiful spring day. But maybe I'm wrong and you'd find the whole kit-and-kaboodle dreary. To which I'd say "a chacun son gout".

I send you my genuine best wishes and wish you happy travels, DAN
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Hi Daniel,

Your comments are interesting to me because they touch on one of my favourite travel subjects, which is the subjective nature of experience, and the (very human) tendency to translate the personal into the universal.

However, I realize that people come here to plan vacations, not discuss "stuff", so I will leave this as it lays and thank you, sincerely, for your kind wishes. Right back at ya, mon ami.

And now, if you will excuse me, I have a suitcase that needs packing...
JetLag is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 06:18 PM
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I worked in Ottawa in 1989, and I was always going to Montreal and Quebec City in search of the "French experience" (which one can experience, to a certain extent, in Hull as well). I still think after many more trips to Montreal than Q. City, that Q. City has the more authentic "French experience." In Montreal you do encounter many more anglophones than in Q. City-it seems to me that virtually no one speaks more than a bit of English in Q. City. I'd say Q. City is more provincial in character, and thus more friendly, than the more cosmopolitan Montreal.
Aug 13th, 2004, 08:48 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Come to Toronto and experience the world's culture in one city.
HogtownJim is offline  

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