Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What I Saw: Montreal

We have the great fortune of being a reasonable drive away from Montreal so this was the easy choice for our trip over the Thanksgiving weekend. We stayed in The Plateau area of Montreal in an adorable apartment thanks to trusty Airbnb. I used Airbnb when I came to Brooklyn to look for an apartment and had such a positive experience. Naturally we used it when looking for a place to stay in Montreal. When you are traveling it's really nice to have a place that feels homey and allows you to live like a local. This neighborhood was beautiful and the apartment was very close to the bus and Metro system. It reminded me a lot of Brooklyn.

Our apartment for the long weekend.

So what did we do? We did a lot of walking and A LOT of eating. The food scene here is truly an amalgamation of the new and the old and it's executed perfectly. There is a young community of chefs who own and operate some of the best restaurants in the city. We had our Thanksgiving dinner at Lawrence, another amazing dinner at Liverpool House (sister restaurant to Joe Beef) and a perfect brunch at Jaime Oliver's new North American venture Maison Publique. We hiked to the top of Mont Royal and saw Montreal from the best view in the city. We braved the cold and walked through Old Montreal. We sat in Notre Dame Cathedral for an historic light show (yes, that is a real thing and yes, it was as hilarious and awesomely cheesy as it sounds). We climbed the steps to the top of Saint Joseph's Oratory for another beautiful view of Montreal. We found ourselves at a burlesque show and stood amongst the rockabilly crowd of Montreal while watching an impressive hula hooping burlesque performer (she stripped while hula hooping!). We ate three different kinds of poutine. We went to the Jean-Talon Marche and ate some more. We saw some beautiful and impressive street art. We ate Montreal style bagels and ended up buying a dozen to bring back to Brooklyn. They are that good.

Jon's traveling buddy Karl with all of Montreal in the background. 

The city is very bike friendly with designated bike lanes everywhere. Montreal has a Bixi bike rental system but it appeared to be the off season as every station was bereft of bikes. We want to come back in the spring and are considering bringing our own bikes with us. The people of Montreal are incredibly friendly and we had a number of great conversations with the locals. It was great being in a different country and pretty astounding to be in the midst of what is a truly bilingual city. I don't think we could have asked for a better trip away.


  1. Replies
    1. I did too. The entire city is really beautiful and it feels like art or at least a pleasing aesthetic is something they considered. For example, every single subway station/platform is a different design. Every single one!