Let’s get right to it: you know what ice skating is and even if you’ve never been to Montreal before, you probably think it’s a good place for it. And you’re right. Here’s a list of places where you can skate arm and arm with a loved one, play pick-up hockey with some goons you just met or just freeze standing up for a while before getting some hot chocolate…
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All that glitters is not gold, a smart gentleman named Shakespeare once said. And by that I’m sure he was referring to all the shimmering sterling silver, sparkly diamonds, and twinkling gemstones that the world has to offer—and, oh, let’s not forget beautiful pearls. Whenever I travel to new (or old) places, I like to buy local jewels or handmade trinkets to remind me of my trip. Then when people comment on the mini-ornaments hanging from my earlobes (likewise, around my neck, wrists, or fingers), I can say matter-of-factly, “These little things? Why, I found them in an adorable little shop in the South of France.” (I don’t really talk like that, but it’s never too late to start.) As such, when my out-of-town girlfriends come to Montreal, I like to steer them toward local boutiques, so they can peruse the baubles of our belle province for their own “souvenirs”—and so I can get my fill of retail therapy too.
I was about nine years old when I saw my first ballet – The Nutcracker. What little girl doesn’t dance around in her PJs and dream of being Clara? (Although, personally, at that age I was more interested in leaping around in a tutu than hanging out with any Toy Soldier.) Thus began a love affair for classical dance that never really faded, even after a very discouraging Ballet For Adults class. Some things, I’ve discovered, you just have to start at a young – and pliable – age.
There is apparently some big holiday at the end of December that, every year, seems to take a bite out of our concert schedule. Though Christmas, as I believed it’s called, does bring with it all sorts of recitals and choirs, what about those of us that just want to rock out with our stockings out? Read on…
We’d already worn our several pairs of virtual walking shoes by the time the Montreal Street Profile series hiked down Bleury, up Parc and across Maisonneuve. But, entertained by the sights, sounds, shops and smells, we hit Saint-Paul, Saint-Zotique, Crescent, Greene Avenue and went shopping on Sainte-Catherine. We decided we deserved a good time, so we headed next to Saint-Denis…
While in town, shop early for the whole family, for the office, for friends (and for yourself!) at the Salon des métiers d’arts du Québec. It is the most important professional exhibition-sale in the province. The wonderful fair full of hand-made works has praise from all who visit. It has been a go-to gift-buying place for locals for years, and visitors have quickly discovered it. You can choose from a vast array of made-with-love-and talent pieces. Art, beads and bracelets, decorative objects, ecological works, foie gras, jams, kids’ clothing, lamps, sculptures, wine..basically almost everything and anything one might need to wrap. Wait. No need to wrap. A booth at the Salon will do this for you…easy, peasy.
A must-see event arrives in Montreal! This multimedia show combines dance performance and big band music. This amazing happening highlights the talents of the Coleman Lemieux Dance Company, the musicians of Sun Ra Arkestra – ‘’the missing link between Duke Ellington and Public Enemy’’ (Rolling Stone Magazine) – and ten dynamic dancers – including the famed Margie Gillis and Carol Prieur (Dancer of the Year 2010 – Tanz Magazine).
Live jazz lives on in Montreal seven days a week. Here are three of our top picks.
The list of Montreal Streets that we’ve already profiled has gotten so extensive that I’m going to skip the usual witticisms and just lay out where we’ve been so far: Bleury, Maisonneuve, Saint-Paul, Saint-Zotique, Crescent and Greene Avenue. But, with Christmas and visions of over-stuffed shopping bags dancing around your checking account, we thought it was time to take a trip to Sainte-Catherine… If there’s one street that visitors to Montreal know without consulting our profile series, Sainte-Catherine (or St-Catherine/Ste-Catherine) is probably it. It’s a massive east-west thoroughfare, which starts in Westmount and ends in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and manages to pass through the Concordia ghetto, the Quartier Latin and the Gay Village on its way. Which is clearly too huge an area for us to cover in one post. And it’s not really necessary, because it’s the part of Sainte-Catherine that crosses downtown Montreal that is the big draw…and has been for years.
Shopping trip with the girls? The Delta Montreal is the hotel for you! Last week, still glowing from a hot tub-sauna-and-manicure splurge followed by an afternoon spent in a heavenly bed, I ran into my neighbour Claudia, and told her: “I’m just back from trying out the girls’ getaway package at the Delta Montreal”. With a quizzical look on her face, she immediately asked: “Sounds fun, but… what IS this getaway package, anyways?”