Caitlin’s Visit

Caitlin playing with the grass in Parc-La Fontaine.

Caitlin playing with the grass in Parc-La Fontaine.

My dear friend Caitlin came to visit for a few days. It was so much fun playing hostess; doing all the stereotypical Montrealer things together. We ate poutine, had fresh bagels from St-Viateur, went to Tam Tams on Sunday, had coffee at Le Cagibi, went to the jazz festival, Old Montreal, and the contemporary art gallery! Poutine was the first thing we did of course. After we had dropped off Caitlin’s luggage at my house, we went to the Frite Alors on Rue St-Denis  where I ordered us a large Madagascar poutine, topped with green peppercorns. It was divine!

That evening, Caitlin, my housemate Andrew, and I went to Dieu du Ciel for some artisan beer. Caitlin and I had hibiscus rosé which was  alright. The table next to us was filled by some rowdy 50 year olds who kept going on about my beret. By the end of evening they had decided to all get one. When we left, I spontaneously decided that we would go to the St-Viateur for late-night bagels. Fortunately, the one nearest to St-Laurent was open, so we went there and each got a lovely steamy bagel fresh out of the oven. We walked home in the rain, happily munching away on our bagels and taking silly photographs. It was fun!

The following night we went to Korova. I had gone there dancing two years ago with Nicole and didn’t like it. However, Lianna convinced me to try it again, as it was small, cheap, and hipster. So, we went there for a second try- and I hated it! The DJ played nothing but mainstream rap which I find difficult to dance to due to its slow, repetitive beat. All the guys there seemed to just be there to get laid, which was most annoying, as we were just there to dance. It was far from the care-free, laid back, art school dance venues I had come to love so much in Toronto, like the Boat, 751, and the long gone Queens Head. How I long for my old haunts and DJs with taste such as DJ Hi Mom!

On Saturday, we checked out the jazz festival and went to the museum of contemporary art. The same exhibits as from Tristan’s visit were up, which I had wanted to show Caitlin. It was nice to look at the images by Robert Polidori with Caitlin, as she was a photography student and could explain how each photo was done and would point out fascinating details that I had missed. Caitlin also liked Spring Hurlburt’s installation, which I stealthily took a photo of with my iPhone when no one was in the room. I am so bad!

On Sunday morning, we went to Parc-La Fontaine to lay in the grass while enjoying the sun (see above). We then went to Mount Royal for Tam Tams. Caitlin found the crowds of people, drummers, and warriors all very interesting. We decided to walk around, and ended up following a path through the woods of Mount Royal. We were surrounded by trees and a landscape similar to the Niagara Escarpment where I grew up. While Caitlin was taking photos of the wildflowers, mushrooms, and landscape, I sat on the rocks by a creek and called my grandparents. I bet I couldn’t do that in the Niagara Escarpment (well, unless cell phone reception has improved there over the last 5 years… which it may have). I found it amusing how I could be in the midst of a forest, yet still be in the centre of a big city like Montreal… and make a phone call! The concept and reality is fantastic.

That evening, we went to Piknic Electronik, which is an outdoor dance party by the water, with a different DJ every Sunday all summer. Its free if you go after 8pm, so we got a good one and half hours of dancing in. I quite enjoy the atmosphere of Piknic Electronik. There are family’s with their young children, teenagers and young adults, and even people old enough to be my grandparents dancing away under a big, silver space-age sculpture which the dance floor lies under. When the set ended, Caitlin and I went to sit by the water. It was beautiful to look across the rippling waters to the city landscape alit at night. It was a very peaceful end to a lovely weekend.

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