Wednesday, 6 June 2012

To hell with this weather

I was having a bout with melancholy today and I desperately needed to get out of my flat and go get my mind off of what was keeping me down. Except mother nature decided to be a bitch this evening and made it rain just as I was going to go out while it was still bright and early. So I stayed home for a while trying to keep busy watching the Vermont news about how this pickup truck hit a tree near Saint Albans, about a local art exhibit in Burlington about bears and how Champy the Lake Champlain monster was spotted by an 8 year old. Hours later it finally stopped raining as I was about to become brain dead from boredom. It was already 8:30pm and the sky was still covered in thick clouds. So I decided to take a chance and head downtown to do my usual plateau circuit.

I grab my coat and umbrella, exit through the front door and turn the corner to the metro station. I waited on the platform for about half an hour when suddenly, the sound of disappointment is heard. "dum Dum dUm DUM! The service is interrupted due to an activated emergency brake." And of course it had to be on my line, in my direction. I'm pissed off angry and I'm feeling down. I'll be damned if a freakin' metro interruption is going to prevent me from taking a flippin' walk downtown. I walk out the station, go get my car keys at home, jump in my car and head downtown, hitting every single red light on my way. I finally get to Saint-Laurent around 9:45pm where I find a free parking spot right on René Lévesque in front of the Hydro Québec building. At least I get a break with the free parking.

Standing next to the bust of the man whom the street was named after, I was craving a delicious spicy Chai latte. The closest coffee shop is a Starbucks across the street from the Palais des Congrès on Saint-Antoine. I walk through the door feeling embarrassed because the place was empty, it was 5 minutes before closing time and the two barristas there were cleaning up, obviously looking forward to finish their shift and get the hell out of there. I walk up to the counter feeling like a jerk and ask for a chai latte. Thankfully the dude who served me was really nice and we had a little chat about the weather and how walking feels good, especially when you're having the blues. He hands me my frothy milky tea, we wish each other a pleasant evening and I'm on my way to start my walk.

As usual, I walk across Chinatown, up Saint-Laurent, past the ol' red light district and the hookers (it was kind of late), past the metal heads bar and the surplus stores, past the douchebags north of Sherbrooke and basically all the way up to Mont-Royal avenue. Then eastward to Saint-Denis in anticipation to go back down to Sainte-Catherine and back to my car. The whole time, there was rain in many of its forms: an annoying mist, actual droplets, downpour, etc. And the temperature seemed to change from being cold to being hot and humid. It's usually the other way around. What the frig mother nature?

At the corner of Mont-Royal and Saint-Denis is a bar called Au Quai des Brumes (The Foggy Dock). It's a bar with a stage where local indie bands and singers come to play some music. The kind of music you'll most often hear is folk, blues, rock and some country. Tonight it sounded like a folk rock band was playing. I've never actually entered the place because I've never been a big fan of local indie bands since most of them sing in French. Though I am a Frenchie myself, I don't like French songs. Actually, except for a few artists I never really liked French music. Still, I should totally go in at least once. You know why? My landlord actually works there as a barmaid. It's true! My landlord is cool like that. She's really nice and pretty trippy. Maybe next month I'll go there, order a drink and I'll pay her the rent with a very big tip.

Heading down south I came across this restaurant that I keep forgetting about. It's called Le Hachoir (The Meat Grinder) Their specialty is burgers and tartars. They have beef, bison, salmon and tuna tartar. But, they have other stuff as well if you're not in the mood for feeling like an animal eating raw flesh or if you're scared of contracting the Ebola virus. Personally, I would love to try the bison tartar. Right after I sell off a kidney to afford eating there. One day when I have money or when someone owes me a free meal, I'll go there and have myself raw bison meat. Yum!

I walked on and not too far from Le Hachoir I heard the smooth sound of a bass, a saxophone and a piano with a sassy drum beat. There was some very cool jazz music playing and it was coming from what seemed like a dark club down some stairs in a basement. Did I just find a secret jazz bar? How come I never noticed this place before? I LOVE jazz bars. Nothing makes me feel classier than being all dressed up in my best dress shirt and pants and polished leather shoes, sipping on a fine scotch while listening to some sassy jazz in a dark secret jazz lounge. It would make me feel all exclusive and VIP and shit. I'm definitely going to have to come back here this summer to chill and hang out with the cool cats in this joint. Here's what the place looked like. BONUS: I managed to sneak a video peek with my camera to give you an idea of what I heard.

It was getting late so I sped up the pace to get back to my car. It's already midnight. I have to work the next day and I still have to write this article to let everyone know what I've seen. So I walked to Sainte-Catherine, turned west towards where my car was parked and found this graffiti in a dirty alley. Honestly, it's kind of kitsch and corny. And I can only assume that the Montreal public transportation agency probably paid someone to draw that as it prominently features the bus, the Opus card electronic bus pass and the logo of the STM (Société de Transport de Montréal) public transportation company along with a couple of other mascots representing Montreal's entertainment industry.

When I got back to my car I felt a lot better. Walking really helped get my blood circulating after sitting on my nerdy ass all day staring at a computer monitor hacking away some important code and fixing bugs. Now, dear friends, it's almost 3AM and I can feel the sandman shoveling magic sand in the dark pockets under my eyes so I'm going to go to sleep.

Bonne nuit!

1 comment:

  1. All I saw was the raw bison meat...want.

    I'll try to find an excuse to come to Montreal sometime.