Culture & Conversation

Posts from the ‘Neighbourhood’ category

Juliette

Domaine Delahaye

I met Geneviève Dupuis of Domaine Delahaye on a windy day. The night before, the family goat, Juliette, had given birth to two squalling kids. Romeo, the buck, was in a stall nearby.

Everything’s Funnier in St Henri

You’ve heard what’s been booming in lower Westmount? In fact Westmount is now referred to as Upper St-Henri ( I totally made that up). Its the hood to be in right now. I am a proud resident of this ever growing quartier, but that wasn’t the case from the get go. The week I moved here a stabbing took place at the local strip club, then a year or two later someone was murdered at my cross street, and don’t even get me started on the prostitutes running the corners. The fact that not a single car ever slowed down for me is despicable.

Dr Feelgood

I’m going to die. It’ll happen one day whether I like it or not, I won’t have a choice. Neither will you, your best friend, or your worst enemy. If we could invest in the inevitability, we’d all be rich. The problem is; dying isn’t sexy and it doesn’t sell, while fear, denial and escapism is the defining hustle of our time. Di(e)-agnosis? Death needs a makeover, a re-brand, stat!

Civilized Servant

Forest Gump’s legendary “life is like a box of chocolates” maxim can be applied to random meetings at cafés. You never never know what you’re gonna get. Paul Richard, for example. First impressions lie as he is not your typical wealthy and wise elderly man. His wealth isn’t from his scarce savings account, nor is his wisdom from the seven decades that he’s been around. But an impromptu chitchat at his frequented Second Cup café at du Parc and Milton reveals a particular earnestness underneath his jovial cover. “I like my coffee strong,” he says, sipping it black .

Montreal’s Godfather

In a recent court testimony by a former Quebec construction entrepreneur, it was revealed that the Rizzuto clan enforced a bidding scheme that inflated prices of all construction contracts and, in turn, ensured that they received 2.5% of every civic construction contract in Montreal and Laval.

Organic Cartography

Have you ever wanted to learn more about your neighbourhood, to share in the collective history and uncover the secrets that give the place you live character? If so, the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) has been working on something that is going to rock your socks. Just launched, Mapping the Mosaic is an online map through which QAHN is hoping Montrealers will share the stories that make this diverse city the dynamic place it is.

Patsy

Artist next door

The postman might not always ring twice, but if you’re lucky she’ll pick your door and knock nicely. A few things have to be just right though. You have to live in a particular Montreal village and your factrice has to be Patsy Van Roost, probably the most inventive, determined and whimsical letter carrier you’ll ever meet.

Nightmare on rue Principal

Hallowe’en is our most theatrical of holidays and Montreal’s strong Irish heritage makes ours a truly magnificent and outlandish spectacle to behold. Based on the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, the ancient Irish New Year and a unique time when the dead returned to mingle with the living, today Hallowe’en offers a wide variety of spooky activities and frightful events. Children dress up and go trick-or-treating, costumed adults frequent spooky-themed nightclubs and parties, and there is an ever-increasing diversity of Hallowe’en activities on offer. Nowadays, those celebrating the big scare can enjoy everything from special museum events and kitsch Rocky Horror cinema to creepy attractions, spooky restaurants and, of course, haunted walking tours.

Help save L’envers!

Yet another landmark on Montreal’s cultural landscape is in danger of disappearing. A week ago, L’envers—the Van Horne loft space that since 2008 has provided a…

Passion Paint

The greatest thing about the Under Pressure skate/graffiti fest is that it definitely leaves a mark every year. Dozens of artists come together to tag designated walls down Ste Catherine Est between St. Laurent and St. Denis (approximatively), arranged on scaffolding while crowds of spectators watch. The result? A ton of fresh paint left up to be admired until the next edition of Under Pressure the coming year.

Fatal

Fattal attraction in St Henri

After receiving eviction notices last February, residents of Sam Fattal’s loft buildings in St-Henri are willing to put up a fight to keep their small community of artists, musicians and itinerants together.

Dear Door

Walking up Jeanne Mance between Prince Arthur and avenue des Pins, passersby stop to read texts displayed in apartment windows. One second-floor window says, “Shin jin (true mind)” and another, “Where we live has become our hiding place.” One has to wonder about the person who lives in the apartment whose window reads, “Que ma mort doive durer si longtemps.” People smile at one another as they take pictures and say hello to the neighbours; some even peer in windows to see who might be behind them. “It’s some sort of art,” I hear somebody tell their friend.

pots and pans3

Naked city

Montreal is on the brink of many things right now, not the least of which are its summer festivals. That’s what’s on Gilbert Rozon’s mind as he worries the student “agitation” will threaten the hugely popular Juste Pour Rire. Mayor Gerald Tremblay is accusing the students of going too far and putting the Grand Prix and all subsequent festivals in peril. Kicking off the season in early June, the Formula 1 race is a monster of a money maker for the city. And as any shit disturber knows, the buck stops there. This is how the line might be drawn. Not by headstrong students, gratuitous police brutality or an intransigent government, but by a merchant’s association bemoaning lost sales.

We Are Gathered Here Today

Montreal’s underground arts community is planning a dramatic funeral Sunday, May 27th at 3pm for Montreal’s Lower Main, a National Historic Site presently being demolished. Beginning in front of Café Cleopatra, it’s being planned by artists, heritage activists and community stakeholders to lament the loss of a unique part of Montreal’s heritage and culture.