Montreal Monkey

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July's monkey is "Describe your first impression of Montreal."

I'm not sure that I have a first impression of our fair city. I was born at the Royal Victoria hospital, and lived on the South Shore until we moved to the Eastern Townships when I was about 7 years old.

One thing I remember is being astounded at how many of my classmates in high school had never been to Montreal. Our school was in Cowansville, less than an hour outside Montreal.

A lasting impression for me is the city skyline - every time. When I drive home and cross the Champlain bridge my heart skips a beat - every time. We may not have the most impressive downtown core, but there's something about those majestic buildings standing against the forested mountain, with St. Joe's dome and the worst-lit cross on the planet, that speaks to me.

I guess a first impression must exist, but just as it's hard to remember my first impressions of my oldest friends, it's hard to remember how Montreal first struck me. What I enjoy now is watching my kids discover the city - this summer, we've gotten to know places like Westmount Park, not to mention the metro, part of Colin's obsession with all things cartographical.

I love Montreal - I love that we're an island, I love that we're bilingual and multicultural, I love that we can drive in the snow, I love that we have the Jazz fest and the comedy fest and fireworks and F1 and a guy on stilts playing the sax downtown. I love that we all, regardless of race, creed or whatever, hate potholes, yet they continue to infest the city. I love that we consider ourselves inherently superior to upstart metropolises like Toronto. I love that we don't go to work wearing power suits and running shoes - I met a tourist once who told me that we "all dress like it's New Year's Eve every day."

So, perhaps not a first impression, as such... sorry!

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4 Comments

I love the MTL, too. I can see myself living elsewhere for a year or so but would have a hard time imagining myself in another city on a permenent basis.

Just to promote MTL/self-promote a little further:

My pics of Atwater
http://www.0--0.org/~francois/market/index.html
My pics of MTL winter
http://www.0--0.org/~francois/winter/index.html

PS: Colin's mental map of the city is incredible. That map-book of MTL will need replacing before you know it!

Oh, and I thought of another one - I love that Montreal anglos don't know the English word for "depanneur."

Nice "hommage à la ville" !

Hey, don't apologize, that was great! I have the same feeling whenever I see the skyline, which is fairly often these days (since we moved to the south shore).

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This page contains a single entry by Maggie published on July 27, 2004 12:17 PM.

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