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THREE EXOTIC BRING-YOUR-OWN WINE RESTAURANTS

We admit it, Bring Your Own Wine restaurants, a Montréal speciality, can be hit or miss experiences.  Here are three culturally diverse classics that never disappoint. We’ve been going back to them for years with the same pleasure.

HOW TO NOT ACT LIKE A TOURIST IN MONTREAL

In my book of travel, no one likes to walk in a foreign city with the inscription “tourist” on their forehead. For that reason, let me provide you with ten essential “Montrealities” that will help you act like a local during your trip to Montreal!

THIS WEEKEND IN MONTREAL (JULY 23 to 25)

This weekend in Montreal there are a few awesome festivals to choose from, enabling you to get your daily recommended amount of giggles, acrobats and African beats. But, while you’re here, you’ll probably need to eat at some point. And you might be in the mood to check out some art. And there’s a chance you’ll want to buy a new T-shirt. Wow, you’re going to be busy! We’ve got ten diverse recommendations for you to have a jam-packed, incredible weekend in Montreal.

FESTIVAL COMPLÈTEMENT CIRQUE: STREET STYLE CIRCUS

Montréal Complètement Cirque festival will be taking the city for center stage and “unleashing” its troupes from July 8th to the 25th. Coming from Belgium, Spain, Germany, Australia, Walles and of course Canada, the hordes of multi-disciplinary performers will show the public why they weren’t made for office work.

THRIFT SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP

Montrealers love their thrift shops.  That is probably why you’ll find some in almost every neighbourhood of the city. Conveniently, three of our favourites ones are neighbhours, which makes for an easy vintage shop-hopping sessions on Saint-Laurent Boulevard.  Moreover, these boutiques have a unique way to play with retro stylings, making them an awful lot of fun to walk into, even when you’re not looking to actually buy anything.

JAZZ FESTIVAL: BASIA BULAT

The entirely enchanting Basia Bulat is one of the Montreal Jazz Fest’s busiest performers. On Friday night she played the first of three performances at the MACM before jumping up on stage during the Plants and Animals show at Metropolis. We met up early Saturday morning after I may or may not have drank a lot of whiskey with members of Plants & Animals and The Besnard Lakes at Casa del Popolo …

THE ‘QUEER OF THE YEAR’ – COULD IT BE YOU?

There are a lot of fabulous queers in the world. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transfolk (and all the beautiful identities in between) are spending their leisure time making the world a better place: helping community organizations fundraise, lobbying for equal rights against antiquated legislation or simply being funny and positive individuals. Why not throw a massive, viral internet party and celebrate them? The ‘Queer of the Year’ contest has arrived. It’s equal parts “YouTube reality jovial-ness” and “genuine campaign to salute awesome queers.” And it’s pretty easy to enter. You submit a short video that attests to why you might be the ‘Queer of the Year.’ The upload it at queeroftheyearcontest.com. Then you get your friends to vote for you! (All the contest rules here.) Five fab queers will be flown to Montreal from August 9 to 16, 2010 to compete for the final title. Do you have what it takes? So watch the above introductory video. Visit the ‘Queer of the Year’ website. Make a quick video. And maybe we’ll see you in Montreal! —————————————————————————————————————— DETAILS Queer of the Year Contest The search for the brightest star under the rainbow http://www.queeroftheyearcontest.com twitter.com/QOTYcontest facebook.com/QOTYcontest

THIS WEEKEND IN MONTREAL (JUNE 25 to 27)

We have officially entered into the delicious embrace of Montreal festival season. And we’ve never been kissed so darn sweetly. Here are the events that will make you fall in love with Montreal (again) this weekend. —————————————————————————————————————— [festival] JAZZ FESTIVAL – The largest Jazz festival in the world, this Montréal institution is typically attended by two million people annually. This year you’ll be serenaded by Dave Brubeck, Cyndi Lauper, Misstress Barbara, Smokey Robinson, George Clinton and so much more. Find a tempo that works for you. [pyrotechnics] FIREWORKS – The top fireworks companies around the globe present 30-minute long shows on Saturday nights to compete for the top prize. The International des Feux, our International Fireworks Festival, attracts the world’s leading designers, bigbang technicians and sparkly optic addicts. Poland represents this weekend!

FIVE VERY FRENCH THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL

Montreal may be far away from Paris. But sometimes it’s pretty close. Here are four addresses to indulge into the original French lifestyle of Montreal

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 .