Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Rent-a-Bike and the Ice Cream

It's been WEEKS since I last took a walk around town. I had a feeling that I was missing some exercise and some "fresh" air. (Or, however fresh the air can get in Montréal. Probably not so fresh.) I was very busy with all sorts of personal project and hobbies and socializing with friends. Well, now I have all the time in the world. Especially since I just lost my job last week. That's right. Turns out I couldn't work fast enough and wasn't a good fit. But, It's kinda hard when not only do you not get any training to the stuff you're working on, but also the subject matter expert never has any time to answer any questions you might have and your car gets wrecked by some tow truck on Christmas eve and you have to deal with the city's administration, the towing company, the garage, small claims court and all sorts of shit for months, among other things. With all these things to think about and all the stress, it doesn't matter how hard you try, you're bound to get a little distracted and lose some performance. But anyway, things could be worse.

Tonight there is an activity happening in Montreal called the Féria du vélo or the Montreal Bike Fest. Basically, the city sets up a circuit for cyclists so they can literally bike all around the city. There's one during the day and one at night. There are a bunch of activities along the circuit with street performers and volunteers and what not. It's a lot of fun. The weather was perfect today for that too, it was hot but not too much. So, that gave me an idea. I hadn't done any cardio exercise in a couple of days since I played floor hockey with a couple of friends (I scored 3 goals! WOO!), and I needed to blow off some steam from all the shit that's been going on in my life so I got inspired by the bike fest thing and decided to get a Bixi rent-a-bike, hop on the bike path just north of my apartment and pedal all the way to Saint-Laurent street. The best part is, I got to pick the illest bike in town! A Wu-Tang bike, yo!



Also, I just recently acquired a Bixi bike pass key that allows me to quickly get any bike from any renting station. For an annual fee, I get 45 minutes of usage for free every time I pick up a bike, and a much reduced  fare if I use it for longer. Since I can't store my own bike at home (it's still in my parent's shed), I can just use one of those. The best part is that they're available practically everywhere in the city center. I was supposed to use it to bike back home occasionally from work downtown, but I guess this plan's all gone to hell now.


When I finally got to Saint-Laurent, I walked into the nearest coffee shop and got myself an ice cold bottle of water to cool down. I walked up to Mont-Royal and turned  until I reached Saint-Denis and went down again. I kinda felt like having ice cream on this hot summer evening and I knew a place at square Saint-Louis that has delicious home made gelato. But, on my way there, right on the corner of Saint-Denis and Rue Roy, I saw a craft ice cream parlour called Les Givrés (The Frosted). I spotted a friend of mine from my dodgeball team on their patio so I stopped to say hello. After catching up a little, I asked him how's the ice cream and he said it was fantastic. So I went in and got my own. 


Inside, I saw that they made their own cones. They actually had a machine in the corner, and they pushed the cones into this tube on the ceiling which eventually ended up behind the counter where they could pull them out and put them on display. It reminded me of Futurama, but with cones instead of people.


They had a pretty unusual selection of flavours that sounded really freakin' amazing. A couple that got my attention were one that was camp-fire-roasted marshmallows, and another one was banana-caramel-brownie chunks. That last one sounded amazing so I ordered one scoop on a sweet waffle cone. The first taste just blew my mind! The ice cream was really, really, like really good! One scoop was definitely not enough! And the waffle cone was just amazing. I'm gonna be coming back here often I think. Actually, I'll bike there so I'll have a reason to burn all those calories and indulge myself afterwards.


But, the ice cream is not all they serve. They also have sobets, cakes, ice cream sandwiches, pies and they even make their own marshmallows! Their menu includes a taste platter to taste different flavours of ice cream and sorbets in case you can't make up your mind and want to try them all. Heck, it's an awesome dessert place.


After I ate my delicious ice cream, I kept on walking for a while until my legs hurt and Saint-Laurent street was overrun by the usual obnoxious douchebag clubbing crowd. By that time, the metro system was shut down because it was too late, so I had to bike back home. Thankfully, it's all downhill from the Plateau to my place since that borough is at the foot of the Mot-Royal mountain. So, I didn't have to pedal much. Finally, I took a nice cold shower to cool down and crashed in front of my computer with the A/C full blast and wrote this post. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I spent my evening.

P.S. I went by Old Montreal and noticed that the sticker with my drawing of Milou, AKA Dog Tintin was gone. I sincerely hope that the person who took it is who I think it is, otherwise my heart will be broken. I really worked hard and practised to get it right! :(

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