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THE HEAT IS ON AT IGLOOFEST

Last week I went to my first Igloofest. Or, as one friend put it, “You lost your Igloofest virginity.” [Insert happy face here.] While I can’t exactly say I’m a brand new woman, I do have a new appreciation for the month of January. How, I wonder, did the last three editions of this massive outdoor party ever pass me by?

A TEXAN’S TRIBUTE TO BUNDLED MONTREALERS

Texan-based artist Susi Brister knows Montreal well.  She attended  Concordia University’s internationally renowned fine arts program for her Masters.  Susi was back in Montreal recently for her first solo show in Canada.  While you are in town, check it out at Parisian Laundry Menagerie has lightness, wit and charm.

OLD MONTREAL GOURMAND À GO-GO

The Happening Gourmand festival is happening right now (it started Jan. 10) and will run until Jan. 31. For any Toronto-folk reading this and scratching their heads, this is sort of like your Winterlicious. For Manhattanites, think New York Restaurant Week, only smaller and wrapped up in Old World charm and ambience.

THIS WEEKEND IN MONTREAL (JANUARY 14 TO 16)

If this weekend saw last weekend in a bar it probably wouldn’t even talk to it. Here’s what’s happening in Montreal this time around… [Party Time] IGLOOFEST: If you’re wondering where Montrealers are going to be getting down this weekend, look no further… [Foodie Fun] HAPPENING GOURMAND: New York may have “restaurant week” but Montreal has “Happening Gourmand”, which is a bunch of great restos offering food at an entirely reasonable price…

JANUARY CONCERT ROUNDUP

From some of the city’s best local bands to shows from some of the biggest names in rap, pop and indie rock, Montreal’s January Concert schedule has clearly made a resolution to be pretty awesome…

M0851: QUALITY MADE IN MONTREAL

I like to travel light, usually limiting my luggage to a laptop bag and a carry-on. Simply. Effectively. I like pretty objects that are practical, good designs that last but that are nonetheless remarkable. One of the things I systematically get asked about when I travel–and I swear it happens every time–is: – Excuse me, but may I ask where you got your bag? – Oh, this bag? (I can see their eyes searching for a known brand tag…) It’s from M0851. – It’s really nice. I love the minimal look. Is it from Tokyo? – Actually no, it’s from Montreal. – Reaaaaally…? That leather looks very expensive… – …But it’s not, seriously… – Looks like you just bought it. – I’ve had this one for close to ten years now… …and the conversation often goes on and on to a point where I feel like an actual M0851 salesperson. And you know what? I always feel this certain pride in “showcasing” a distinctive and such well-made product made in Montreal.

NEIGHBOURHOOD 101: SHERBROOKE STREET WEST. MONTREAL’S GOLDEN MILE

Montreal’s Golden Mile was where the wealthy families of the city once lived about a century ago.  Large mansions, with coach houses for horses and staff, lined stately Sherbrooke Street, from Guy almost to University Street.  Sadly, many of these architectural marvels no longer exist, lost to the inevitable march of progress.  However, today Sherbrooke Street is home to some of the best shopping in Montreal.Couture fashion labels-  Gucci, Hermès, Dior, Escada -  share space with prestigious antique dealers and art galleries, where you can buy a Picasso, work from the Group of Seven, a cutting edge piece sure to grow in value, or works from local artist / photographer Amel Chamandy at her gallery.

NIGHT LIGHTS SHINE BRIGHT

“Trippy” was how my colleague described them. So I had to go and check out the “big white ball things” in front of Place des Arts and on the esplanade of Place des Festivals. In summer, the area comes alive with water jets, sprinkling people that walk by or completely dousing those who just can’t take the heat. In winter, as I’ve now seen with my own eyes, the public space appears to have been invaded from outer space.

THAT WAS THEN – A HISTORICAL LOOK AT SAINTE-CATHERINE STREET

My colleague Brendan Murphy recently posted a blog about Sainte-Catherine Street, as part of his Montreal street profiles series. I have many a fond memory of this vibrant main drag, one in particular includes a time when I flew in from Vancouver (where I used to live) and went to see a Boys to Men concert (they were cool back then) at the Pepsi Forum, which is no longer an arena and hockey home for the Habs but a cinema and retail funhouse. After the show, my girlfriend and I walked from there all the way to Parc Avenue and up to our hotel on Prince Arthur, which is now a dorm for McGill University. At that time there was no Simons department store, Cinéma Banque Scotia was known as the Paramount, and there was no H&M, much less two. In retrospect, it seemed like a really long trek. But that could’ve been in part due to the chunky platform heels I had on. They were cool back then, too – and I guess they’ve finally come back full circle. Anyhow, this is just a tiny example of how much Sainte-Catherine Street has changed since then, and since I moved… / Read More →

MONTREAL BEST NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTIES

I know you’re all super busy returning Christmas presents online, but, when you have a second, here are some of the best New Year’s Eve parties in Montreal…