Friday, 15 February 2013

Valentine's day and the jazz singer

It feels like I haven't been going out much at all in the past few weeks. Much less even write about it. Today, I decided to make up for it and go for a long distance. I thought I'd do the same as I did on Saint-Laurent all the way up to Mile-End and walk up Saint-Denis this time as far as I could. So I took the metro and got off at the Berri-Uqam station.

Saint-Denis is a really nice street. Unfortunately, I found that once I got past Laurier there wasn't much left.  Even past Mont-Royal it got pretty dead. There are however a few good restaurants, some art shops and designer clothing stores among other things, but it's not quite as dense as what you get between Mont-Royal and René-Lévesque. Speaking of which, tonight was Valentine's day and it was easy to spot all the loving couples walking up and down the street. The restaurants were all prepared to welcome them with pink and red heart shaped decorations and little cupids everywhere. Occasionally, some girls had a rose in their hand from the gentleman accompanying them. So cute. I was happy for them. What else can I do? Sulk and be all sad about being by myself on Valentine's day? Pfff! Fuck that. At least I don't have to fear any disappointment. For once, I've been starting to feel happy about myself and my life. I haven't felt like that in a long time. And who needs a girlfriend anyway? Bitches be crazy!  Am I right guys?

Anyway, like I was saying, I walked up Saint-Denis. Past Mont-Royal the street is a little darker. There are more apartments than businesses and therefor less bright lights to shine on store fronts. Frankly, I took almost no pictures. I didn't really see anything worth taking a picture of except for a couple of places. First, there's the Pizzaiolle at the corner of Gilford street. The restaurant is set in a really nice chrome wagon-style diner.

One of a kind in Montreal.

I think it's a real shame that such an overpriced pizza restaurant bought the place. Call me a purist, but I feel this completely breaks the tradition of the diner. Still, I feel like I should go eat there just once to see what it looks like inside, because the place is beautiful on the outside. I'm even surprised it still looks this good with the weather we have here.

Close to that place, just a couple of blocks north, there's one of my favourite breakfast spots. You want to go out for a brunch on the weekend and get a delicious full breakfast? Forget Chez Cora, La Petite Marche is where it's at. For around $15 you get a big ass breakfast with a small glass of OJ and unlimited coffee. Their food is delicious and I have never been disappointed. The staff is also very friendly and there's always room to sit. I highly recommend it.

Other than that, I really didn't see anything interesting. It was boring even. But, I kept on going. I wanted to go as far as I had been on Saint-Laurent. And I did. Even more so. I actually walked all the way to Rosemont boulevard! That's a long way from Sainte-Catherine. From that point, if I wanted to walk over to Saint-Laurent, I had to go on an overpass to cross over some railroads. It was interesting. And kind of scary because I there was not another soul on that overpass and it was pretty long as it spans over several blocks. I did however get a nice view of the Mont-Royal mountain from there and the iconic Saint-Laurent warehouse with the water tower on its roof. Yep, I was crossing over to Mile-End.

Eventually, I reached Saint-Laurent and the overpass kept on going, but there were stairs to go down to the street. When I got down I saw some really cool graffiti under the overpass. I love street art and I was happy to have made this little discovery.

Heh, we need more of those to hold up the bridges around Montreal.

Speaking of street art, on my way back down Saint-Laurent, I spotted a designer furniture store that had what looks like an original graffiti from a famous female artist called Miss Van. That is pretty fucking awesome. Sorry the picture was so bad, there was a lamp right in front of it in the window, but we can make it out. Also, I forgot to check the store and take a picture. Damn! But you can actually see it in her collection of street paintings here. This looks genuine. I'd have to go back in the store and check it out.

Coming back on Saint-Laurent, I was actually further than where I had been a couple of weeks ago. I noticed some new streets going west that looked mighty interesting. I think I know where I will be exploring next. The Mile-End looks like a really nice area with tons to offer, but I never really hear anyone talk about it much. It's alwasy "the Plateau this, the Plateau that". Well I'm checkin' out Mile-End from now on.

When I finally got to Mont-Royal, on my way down the street I spotted this van. A GMC Vandura, Gypsy edition. We don't find many of these old vans anymore these days. I remember they used to be popular back in the 80's what with The A Team and all. They're pretty awesome vans and I bet they're perfect for road trips.

Making my way back down I was also back to running into all the couple coming out of restaurants and heading back home. Though it wasn't so bad. But, I kid you not, the entire area smelled of wine! There were some lonesome people walking by themselves, heading home, like me. When I was walking by some of the girls, they had this look in their eyes. A look that said "I wonder if he's gonna be the next one!" Truth is, I probably had that same look too. I mean, it's Valentine's day. People hope for a miracle to happen and to meet "the one" on that night by chance. Or maybe it's just me and I'm just imagining things. Anyway, there's no point in hoping for anything to happen or else you end up disappointed at the end of the day.

At some point I started hearing some music. I passed in front of a restaurant that was all decorated for Valentine's day, of course, with red table cloths, heart shapes dangling from the ceiling and couple sitting at small tables all looking at the jazz band that was playing in the corner, next to the window. It was good music. Very calm and soothing. There was a girl singing too and she had a very nice voice. I stood there for a minute to listen to the music and as I did, I guess some people noticed me and the singer turned around and looked at me. I just smiled at her like an idiot. But, she smiled back. She was very pretty. She turned to face her mic and the crowd and I could see her audience laughing inside. Then she turned again and smiled again. I think I might've broken her concentration. Everyone was looking at me inside and laughing. I was so embarrassed that I left. But, I laughed. I also thought what would've happened if at that point I just went inside and sat at the bar to have a drink and listen to the music. Maybe she would've come and said hello in between songs. Or maybe not. I'm dreaming. Who am I kidding. Everyone noticed me anyway and I would've probably made a fool of myself. Still, she noticed me. And her beautiful smile gave me hope. Hope that maybe I won't be walking "solo" for a very long time.

On second thought, maybe I should've gone in for that drink...

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