John and any other fool who wants to contiue reading my Montreal, Canada tale -
Today was one of the best days of my life. If anything was good out of losing my joy of eating, and constant nausea, it was coming here to Montreal for this respite. I had an amazing day today. I wish you and Megan would’ve been able to see and feel all I had today. Let me do my best in describing some of the fun. I’m sure some of the pictures and videos will tell the story better.
Yesterday from Mont Royal I saw the Olympic Stadium. When I straggled myself together I knew that was the my first destination of the day. I pulled out my amazing scooter and cruised my way across town. I am sure a bike would be just as wonderful, but I loved riding this across this beautiful city. When I arrived in Montreal my first thoughts were these bike lanes suck. The Québécois do not want to be like the English cities with bike lanes. Boy, I was so glad to be wrong. I have to say the Montreal is a leader in bike lanes and safety. They have more buffered bike lanes than any other city I’ve ever seen. Literally there are cement medians separating the traffic from two way bike lanes in so many places. It is so well done. Philly has a lot of catching up to do. The only downside is the potholes, but I don’t know what they can do about it with all the ice up north.
On my way to the Olympic Stadium I stumbled upon the Montreal botanical gardens. I had to stop there first. Every great city should have botanical gardens. I know we have Longwood Gardens but I believe they are not accessible to residents of the city except by a 45 minute car ride. Unfortunately it cost about 14 USD to get in the gardens, so I passed. I walked around the perimeter and saw all the free flora that I could. I got some quite nice pictures that you’ll see shortly.
The Olympic stadium 45 degree tower is a feat in modern engineering. Although the olympics happened the year I was born, in 1976, they built this amazing tower in 1987. I can only compare it to the Sydney Opera House in terms of the amazement to see in person. Life is not about how many breaths you take but how many moments take your breath away. I love this tower. I could gaze at its majesty everyday. It’s a real city symbol to be proud of.
I walked all around the grounds of the Olympic stadium. A soccer/football game was going on in the afternoon because many people were queued up to get in. There was security all over. There many police and security officers around Montreal. It makes me feel safer. It’s such a different feel here than Toronto. In a great way; this is now my east coast city to beat. I saw many strange 1960’s structure, but I wanted to talk for a minute about my human connection today. I was taking pictures of this weird 60’s structure with graffiti all over it. Two boys were playing with a soccer ball / football inside. Suddenly the ball came my way. I pretended I didn’t notice, but then I delivered it back perfectly to the boy about 50 feet away. I was still taking pictures and the ball came back to me again. This time I knew it was on purpose. I delivered back to boy again with perfection. He yelled out “MERCI!” It made me feel great. I had no hesitation and 100% accuracy and speed in my return. Makes me wonder what I could do if I didn’t have so much anxiety. Maybe I would have survived the 2nd cut of the Central High Soccer team. My life might have been way different if that happened. Oh well, I had a great running career.
I loved the architecture at the Olympic Park. I’m a layman and from what I read onsite, it was based on 1960’s standards. There were so many cool shapes. What impressed me most later became known to me as the planetarium. It was two aluminum cone like structures shaped like ... well ... like fembot boobs. Sorry, that’s what I saw... I’m a guy... I saw Austin Powers many years ago, and the fembot scene was hilarious. I never thought a building made externally of aluminum could be attractive, but it kept catching my eye. I had to touch it. It was really warm to the touch. Also, one of the best looking plants I saw today were right outside the aluminum planetarium. They were ferns or something similar with green and various shades of brown and beige. I found them so peaceful to look at. You’ll see them in the pictures. I scoped out the whole Olympic park area because it was just a marvel. They have a new area with names of all the athletes that competed in the games. What a great way to be memorialized. I hope I get my name on some structure someday honoring my contribution without having to pay financially for it. I’m so glad Patti Labelle got a street named after her in Philly on Broad Street. I would be fine with Allen Rue Way. Maybe on a bike bath. I would not want a street, I would want my name associated with something relaxing that promotes peace, adventure, and recreation. A guy can dream....
Later I visited another park called Parc du La Fontaine. I cannot think of anything amazing to share about this park except how peaceful it was. There was a beautiful building with French architecture in the middle. Also, a giant slingshot was smack dab in the middle. Lots of people were in the park. It had tons of activities like volley ball courts, tennis courts soccer pitches, ropes, and some sport I didn’t recognize with sticks. I scooted off road on the loose gravel between the trees at a slow place. It was so peaceful. I had a gentle breeze in 27C/82F weather. It was a lovely day.
I went back to my clandestine supermarket hoping to score more of the pita pizza I had the night before. They were sold out. Sadly, they did not have any new exotic ice cream flavors to share pics of with you. Instead I took a risk and got some Armenian style pizza: spinach and cheese. Supposedly I can eat boiled spinach and sometimes I do. Needless to say my stomach is killing me tonight, but after such a great day I do not care. I am loving the food I had here. I think the lactose free vanilla yogurt is my favorite unexpected surprise treat. I think everyone would love this yogurt. I’m going to share a picture of it.
Despite all this wonderful stuff, I decided to go out tonight for a walk. It was my first time out after dark. I felt totally safe outside. I was looking for the African nights live music venue. What I stumbled onto was quite amazing. It was live name that tune karaoke game show in mostly French. I loved it. I wish you would have been here to experience it. It was so moving and full of energy. They showed the lyrics to all the songs on the screen. That’s a great way to learn French, through music. I loved the energy of the show and the audience. The program is called The Fury in English. You have a guys and girls team competing against each other. The host looks a bit like Samatha Bee. The leader of the men looks like Owen Wilson as a headbanger. The leader of the women looks like a hot nerdy Kate McKinnon. If anything made me want to learn French it was that show. I had such a good time and I only understood about 2%. I kept pulling out my phone trying to translate words. Donnez-moi was a new phrase that will stick with me forever... give me give me give me. I was really impressed with the show. I am sure you would like it. It is called La Fureur. I looked it up. Apparently it was a popular television show in France that was adopted here in Quebec. I cannot believe we haven’t adopted it in the USA. It was a great live show. Although it was mostly French there were songs in English. I’m so jealous they can sing in two languages. You’ll see a lot of my clips soon. I hope you enjoy! I know know know you would have loved being here for it. I am glad I was. It was delightful surprise to stumble upon this free live outdoor show my first night out in this charming city.
So I have the spinach pain blues right now, but not really because of my amazing day. I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts. I hope you enjoy my clips and pictures even more! Thanks for putting Montreal on the map for me. I wanted to get back here for years, but Megan and I never got around to it. Here and Delhi, India. Two spots itching on my bucket list. At least I get to scratch this one. It’s a little over 8 hours drive from home. Why have I taken so long to get back here??? It’s such a gorgeous city.