Posted on March 20th, 2010 by .

Welcome to our new Montréal Buzz feature: MEET A MONTRÉALER. Over the next few months we’ll regularly be introducing you to some of Montréal’s hippest individuals. They’re going to be divulging their favorite hidden gems around the city. So stay tuned!

Our first featured Montréaler is Arjun Basu. Despite his befuddled expression in the above photo, this creative and clearly cuddly fellow is a social media hero!

Mr. Basu’s imaginative twittering abilities have recently led to a ‘Shorty Award’ for ‘Best Literature.’ This is essentially the Twitter equivalent of winning an Oscar for best screenplay (follow him @ArjunBasu – you won’t be disappointed).

Arjun embodies the innovative spirit of Montréalers, and we are proud to have him as our first guest!


Who are you? I am a Montréaler through and through.

What do you do? I’m a magazine editor. And a writer. And a husband. And a dad. And a bourbon drinker.

Why do you choose Montréal? You mean I had a choice? (ed. note – très drole Mr. Basu!)

Where in Montréal might someone find you? Around Mile End mostly. I walk a lot.


Café: Café Olympico (124 St-Viateur West). Don’t be afraid of the line up. It moves quickly.

Restaurant: High end: Chasse et Peche. I recommend the house cocktail: the Buttstrip. For old school Chinese, go to Yangtze, on Van Horne. Though Kam Shing, next door, has the city’s best won ton soup. I also love the lamajoune (Armenian pizza) at Arouche on Liege.

Boutique/Store: I’m not much of a shopper. But for great local design, head up and down St. Viateur and Bernard between Parc and Saint Laurent. For running shoes, I go to Mile End Kicks on Avenue du Parc. Great selection of sneakers, great prices. My favorite bookstore is Drawn & Quarterly on Bernard. Though they don’t carry my book…

Bar/Lounge: My neighborhood bar is so small you might miss it: Taverne Bagg on Fairmount just east of Saint Laurent. Stop by. I might be inside.

Neighborhood: Mile End. I love my neighborhood. The energy is fantastic. And I can get everything I need within a few blocks of my house.

Park: Mont Royal. I know. It’s too obvious. But it really is a million different parks in one. Just find a trail and get lost up there. And if you jog, there’s no better place in the world.

Place to spot an attractive local: Where won’t you? We’re pretty good looking people.


Please write a tweet to a famous Montréaler (alive or dead, real or fictional, on twitter or not)…

@WilliamShatner I know you like horses. So I would give anything to see you ride your horse up the Main, with your phaser set to stun.

If a poutine and a bagel were forced into death match, who would survive?

The bagel. Because even the best poutine eventually becomes a soggy mess. Plus, my wife’s great grandfather was one of the founders of St. Viateur bagel. I have to watch myself here.

What are three items we would find in your suitcase?

My iPod. And a book. And an extra pair of shoes, preferably suede.

Advice to a traveler in Montréal…

Bring your walking shoes. And if you wear them out, don’t worry. There are more shoe stores here than you could ever imagine. Also: be prepared to eat a lot. We’re a tasty city. Which is why you’re going to want to walk everywhere.

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