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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 .

GIVE JOHN LENNON’S PARK A CHANCE

When you tire of Zest & the City, take a break. Discover Montreal’s Mont Royal. The sprawling 200-hectare park is a signature space by Frederick Law Olmsted famous for his landscape design of New York’s Central Park . At the top of Peel Street, follow signs for GIVE PEACE A CHANCE. The garden is in memory of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famed ‘bed-in for peace’ that took place in Montreal 41 years ago.

A PERFECT DAY IN GRIFFINTOWN

A perfect day in Montreal’s Griffintown neighbourhood starts with a walk from the Old Port along the Lachine canal, continues with an antique and vintage shopping spree on Notre-Dame street and ends with a comfort food dinner at Griffintown Café (reservation strongly recommended), listening to the live music of Dan Livingstone and The Griffintown Jug Addicts.

BEN MULRONEY MISSES MONTREAL “ALL THE TIME”

Ben Mulroney is renowned, of course, for his handsome presence as presenter on eTalk Daily. He also makes a cameo appearance in Jay Barushel’s The Trotsky (playing the role of a famous eTalk Daily presenter)! Last week, he took time off from his busy schedule to profess his love for Montréal through the much lauded Quickie With Montreal/Toronto initiative that is currently hitting the streets of both cities ( our video). 

MONTRÉAL IN A BOTTLE: MTL PREMIUM LAGER

Can you infuse a drink with Montreal’s DNA? Pol Brisset is a 35 years old passionnate – and experienced – brewer who believes so. He created the MTL Premium Lager to export his vision of the city’s creativity, refinement and Joie de vivre. I met him to hear the story behind the design of this tasty brew, to admire its see-through-font-loving bottle… and to enjoy a little liquid lunch!