Just a quick post. I'm here in Montreal, very busy, getting around. Went up to the Tremblay Laurentian ski-hill yesterday, which is a far cry from the hills we have in Alberta but very beautiful, it being autumn here in Quebec. From memory, I've only seen forests that are mixed deciduous and coniferous in the colours of fall ... it's was different to see hills of large fluffy deciduous only in multiple shades of yellow, orange, red and green. Startling and worth the journey.
The Cathedral deserves a post at some point. Saw my first Picasso in reality which, I'll admit, provided a better perspective than I've had ... but I still can't say it compares with the Bruegel or Hogarth I also saw. I'll put together a post on the works that I saw as well.
Montreal is much more beautiful than Toronto. My smattering of French is helpful, but in large part the city speaks English and the people are in no way smug or resistant to outsiders. All that nonsense of the French being stuffy seems to have evaporated, although I remember encountering it in 1987.
On the whole, I would have died to live here when I was younger, but Montreal's Centreville is not somewhere a person would want to get old in. And all suburbs are the same, really, so the life here in suburb Montreal is little different that what Calgary or Vancouver offers. There is more culture here ... but it's no longer the culture I'm interested in. My 25-y.o. counterpart would have felt differently, but I'm not 25 any more. I find much of the city to be very pretentious, there is a pervasive hipster vibe here that is like poison and in many ways, the divisions in the city are disappointing and ... eerily disconcerting. I'll write about that as well.
I'm off to take a journey around the city by boat. It's one of those awful things that tourists do, and I won't like the other passengers ... but as a geographer, I can't deny myself the privilege of viewing the cartographic layout of the city's environs. If I have to put up with a few rubes to do that, I will.
Oh yes, I'm definitely a snob.
Hope everyone is well. I'll write again as soon as I can.