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CELEBRITY-SPOTTING IN MONTREAL

The who, where, and why you might care. A few days ago after a few late night cocktails at Barroco Restaurant (312 rue St-Paul ouest) in the Old Montreal, gal pal Mary* and I moseyed over to Le Papillon Rose (1071 côte du Beaver Hall) to fete our buddy Josh’s birthday (forever 39, right darling?) Josh – despite being PR man for Hype energy drinks – is a decidedly laidback dude. Mary, then, was a perfect study in contrast when actor Owen Wilson walked through the doorway and she shrieked, “Owen Wilson!” (In her defense, it was a very ladylike shriek; I don’t think everybody noticed.)

AN INTERVIEW WITH M FOR MONTREAL’S MIKEY BERNARD

M for Montreal is now in its fifth year of bringing journalists and music industry insiders from around the world to Montreal in order to expose them to the silly amounts of great music this city has to offer. While it has become an international launching pad for many local (and close to local) acts, the benefit for the rest of us is simple: from November 17-20 we get to see some great shows… When trying to figure out how best to explain this event to you, we figured we might as well just go straight to the source. So we touched base with “M for Mikey” Rishwain Bernard, the fest’s program director and man-about-several towns who seems to attend almost every great party happening anywhere in North America…

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER WAS HERE

Yes, I’m sorry to report that Couture King Jean Paul Gaultier has left the building – that is, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. But don’t fret, fellow fashion fanatics. He’ll be back sooner than you think to launch his retrospective The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, which makes its international debut right here in Montreal before continuing on to Dallas and San Francisco. Mark your calendars now, people: June 17 to October 2, 2011.

FORGET AMERICAN THANKSGIVING, ESCAPE TO MONTREAL FOR THE WEEKEND

Dear American friends, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. For many of you, this time of year represents festive meals and the opportunity to reflect on the blessings in one’s life. Yet for other folks, Thanksgiving is a tired and stress-inducing holiday where you’re forced to wear that god-awful chartreuse sweater that your half-blind aunt knit you while salivating over Don Johnson during a Miami Vice marathon. And let’s be honest, the embarrassment of smelling like Fixodent drool each holiday begins to erode one’s self-respect.

STREET PROFILE: GREENE AVENUE

The Montreal Street Profiles series, considered by some/me to be the greatest set of blog posts ever written, has been busy. It’s covered Bleury, Parc and Maisonneuve, but then it got tired so it took a quick nap on a nearby park bench. But then it got right back up and strolled down Saint-Paul, Saint-Zotique and Crescent. It then decided to head a little west to explore Greene Avenue, in the heart of Westmount… Though Westmount, home to most of Montreal’s wealthiest English residents, extends much further west and up towards the mountain, Greene Avenue is viewed by many as it “Main Street”. Running south from Sherbrooke down to Atwater, in a couple short blocks this upscale avenue, named in 1881 for the landowner G.A. Greene, manages to contain an incredible density of shops, restaurants and what is probably Montreal’s best English bookstore.

SHOW & SELL – BARILÀ POP-UP SHOP

Barila Fall/Winter 2010 Campaign from Le Genou de Claire on Vimeo. Ladies, start your engines. Montreal-based fashion label Barilà is opening a pop-up shop. For ten days starting Nov. 14, get your fill of edgy frocks at major discounts. I’ve seen this local brand’s rocking show at Montreal Fashion Week; now it’s time for you to see the collection up close – and bring it home. To kick off Day One of this temporary boutique, there will be a special grand opening event with cocktails and nibbles. Plus, designer Sabrina Barilà will also be in the house to mix and mingle. I caught up with this super-stylish lady to chitchat about her ideas, her pop-up shop, and, of course, her clothes.

HAUTE FASHION EXHIBIT AT THE SOFITEL GOLDEN MILE

The drama!  The divas!  Great photos from the Couture Catwalks. The dazzling days of Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and Dior. The inimitable elegance of high fashion from the runways of Paris are all on display at Montreal’s Sofitel Golden Mile hotel.

SOFITEL MONTREAL : A CLASS ACT

Seriously.  There’s absolutely no gimmick in that “five stars” rating. Everything at the Sofitel hits you as being top of the line.  Starting with the service. Four clés d’or concierges  (one of them being the actual vice-president of the international union) make sure every single customer gets what they want, when they want it.  The decorum adopted by the staff speaks for itself: the moment you step in, the staff makes you feel like royalty.

THE LGBT PACKAGE: IF YOU’RE GAY, THEN YOU DESERVE A DISCOUNT

It’s no secret that the gay community has an affinity for packages. Many people are drawn to a big package, but really, it’s the quality of the package that truly determines its worth. Tourisme Montreal is offering a discount on a hotel rooms, and throwing in some pretty stellar coupons to up the ante.