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STREET PROFILE: RUE ST-DENIS

  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…

LE SALON DES MÉTIERS D’ART: MONTREAL’S ONE-STOP SHOPPING SPOT FOR HOLIDAYS

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.

SUN RA ARKESTRA MEETS MONTREAL TALENT FOR TOP DANCE EVENT

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).  

STREET PROFILE: SAINTE-CATHERINE

  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.

DELTA MONTREAL HOTEL AND THE GIRLS GETAWAY PACKAGE

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?”

CHICAGO’S TOP CHEF CHARLIE TROTTER IN MONTREAL TO HONOUR NORMAND LAPRISE

It seems to be the thing, these days, to see celebrities flying in, making a splash, and flying out. Jean Paul Gaultier, überchef Gordon Ramsay – who’s opening a restaurant in town in February! – and also…. Charlie Trotter, who’s a veritable culinary legend in Chicago, where his restaurant Charlie Trotter’s has been among the highest-rated for as long as there have been reputable restaurant guides. And yes, we spoke to him, too.

F BAR AND BRASSERIE T!: THE TWO HOTTEST NEW RESTOS IN TOWN

Montreal may not be New York, with dozens of media-crazed chefs and restaurateurs, but it has a vibrant yet easy-to-grasp restaurant scene, with a handful of true restaurant-world stars. Locals know them on a one-name basis: Picard. McMillan. Chuck. Ferreira. Laprise. These are some of the biggies. But more on this later…

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…