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IT’S MAIN MADNESS ON SAINT-LAURENT

There are some events in Montreal, like for example the F-1, that locals often avoid. But when it comes to this week-end’s “Main Madness”, when all of St-Laurent is closed off to traffic, even the most cynical of Montrealers can usually find something to do… In my opinion this is because Main Madness, also known as the Street Sale, can be an entirely different experience depending on where you are on St-Laurent. If you want champagne and snootily gorgeous waitresses, head to the area just above Sherbrooke for the terrasses that extend out from spots like Buona Notte and the nearby oyster bars set up on the street. If you want DJs and a slight wilder scene, head to the area outside bars like Korova and spots like Laika .

MEET A MONTREALER: SUGAR SAMMY

Meet Sugar Sammy.  He’s that Montrealer of Indian background who makes a living telling jokes in English, French, Hindu and Punjabi (unfortunately, I can only attest of his funniness in the first two languages).  Although he’s always on tour somewhere in Canada, the United States or soon in France, Sugar still deeply loves his hometown – Montreal – where he still lives with his parents (!) in the colourful Côte-Des-Neiges neighbourhood.  We met him in Jeanne-Mance park to hear about his favourites city spots… and incidentally get a flirting lesson Sugar Sammy Style.  You’ll soon understand that this ladies man doesn’t take himself too seriously.

MONTRÉAL IN A BOTTLE: MTL PREMIUM LAGER

Can you infuse a drink with Montreal’s DNA? Pol Brisset is a 35 years old passionnate – and experienced – brewer who believes so. He created the MTL Premium Lager to export his vision of the city’s creativity, refinement and Joie de vivre. I met him to hear the story behind the design of this tasty brew, to admire its see-through-font-loving bottle… and to enjoy a little liquid lunch!

CANDI BAR: MONTREAL’S NEW GROWN-UP TREAT

Ladies and gents, say hello to Candi Bar, the latest brainchild of Paulo Branco, owner of the already legendary Montreal bars: Gogo Lounge and Chez Serge Bar.  Made out of 80,000 pink and purple Mega Bloks (Canada’s legos), Candi Bar is hands down the ultimate nightlife destination (nightlife fans should check out this sweet deal on show tickets from La Vitrine) for any gal who appreciates original drinks and playful design. And you know if all the girls are going, logically, that means it will also be celebrated by the boys. Let’s see how long it takes them to start sipping on slushy pink cocktails!

MEET A MONTREALER: JULIEN SMITH

Meet Julien Smith. He’s that hip NYT bestselling author who wrote the book “Trust Agents” with Chris Brogan.  Long before that, he was that avant-garde podcasting kid who knew (and still knows) much more about the web than both you and I. According to the Montreal boutiques where he shops (see video for Julien’s fashion confessions), I decided to make the assumption that Julien is now rich. But don’t be fooled. The Twitter fame and designer plaid don’t mean that Julien is migrating to glamorous LA. In fact, Julien loves Montreal so much, it only made sense I ask him about his favorite spots in the city. You’ll find all his answers in the video, with links and addresses below.

MONTREAL ON THE CHEAP

Montreal is the perfect destination for anyone living in North America looking for a significant change of scenery without having to travel to the end of the world.  It is only an hour flight from New York or Toronto, yet feels a lot more like a trip to Europe. On top of saving on plane ticket fees and jetlag ramifications, you’ll be happy to hear that Montreal is also a very affordable city. With its vibrant cultural scene and bountiful summer festivals, Montreal has all it takes to offer you a memorable time without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas for a sensational Montreal trip on the cheap!

GETTING BUSY ON MONTRÉAL’S BLEURY STREET

With better known Montréal destinations like St-Laurent and St-Denis, rue de Bleury ( locals drop the rue de, when they talk of the street), might seem like an odd place to start a series of street profiles. But for those in the know, Bleury is a perfect little stretch of Montréal nightlife…

ABSINTHE: ADDING POETRY TO YOUR MONTRÉAL GETAWAY

“Absinthe has a wonderful color, green. A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world. What difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset?” ~Oscar Wilde Tuesday April 13, 5pm. Leaving work and heading to Sarah B, the celebrated bar of Hotel InterContinental, for some green fairy romance.

POIRIER BRINGS THE WORLD TO MONTRÉAL NIGHTS

Though he and his new album, Running High, travel the world’s dance floors, Montreal producer Poirier is happy with his home base… Poirier (who recently dropped Ghislain from his stage name) has become one of Montreal’s most in-demand and interesting producers/DJs. And though he’s constantly touring and has played shows on almost every continent in the world, he’s still got plenty of love for the Mile End neighbourhood he calls home.

MEET A MONTREALER : PAULO BRANCO

Last week, my colleague Daniel Baylis introduced you to MEET A MONTREALER, an exciting new feature of this blog that allows you to meet some of Montreal’s coolest individuals. Today, I bring you party host extraordinaire: the one and only, Paulo Branco.