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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…

LAST WEEK-END FOR WORLD PRESS PHOTO

Billed as ‘The World’s Largest Photojournalism Exhibition’, World Press Photo 10 is at the Just for Laughs Museum until October 3. This amazing exhibit features the finest photojournalism from around the world. There is something for everyone, as the ten themes include sports, nature, portraits and daily life. Selected from over 100,000 submissions, the 65 chosen photographs will travel to over 100 cities.

ARTIST NICOLAS BAIER PLAYS WITH YOUR MIND

Many Montrealers know Nicolas Baier’s in situ work:  the large  – 6,000 square feet!  – leafy glass mural installed at Concordia University, high above wandering students. Now there is a chance to see Baier’s latest art up close and personal.

ELIXIR : PIXEL AND WATER MAGIC EVERY NIGHT IN MONTREAL

Elixir, the new multimedia light show created by Moment Factory premiered last week at Montreal’s Place des Festivals.  The multimedia light, water & sound extravaganza tells the magical tale of the encounter between a pixel and a drop of water.  After watching the show two times in a row (to get to see it from a different perspective – you should try it too), I interviewed the Quartier des spectacles’ general manager Pierre Fortin, along with Sakchin Bessette, Moment Factory’s creative director and co-founder.

METROPOLIS FINALLY COMPLETE, GETS NEW SCORE

Buenos Aires, 2008– A priceless treasure is discovered in a forgotten corner: A complete 16mm version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, the most important masterpiece of the German Expressionism movement and the most expensive silent film ever made. Montreal, July 28, 2010. A newly restored digital copy of the complete Metropolis has its Eastern Canadian premiere as a special gala of the Fantasia film festival in the 3000-seat Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des arts, featuring a new score by Gabriel Thibaudeau of the Cinematheque Quebecoise, performed by a 13-piece orchestra.

COOL DOWN IN MONTREAL’S BEST POOLS, FOUNTAINS

July’s Wet Dreams from Philtre Films on Vimeo. For a full week I’ve been going off the deep end – and I mean that literally. It’s been so hot in Montreal I’m going crazy with one thought, and one thought only: Pools. Since weather reports predict more sizzle than drizzle in the coming weeks, here are some of Montreal’s coolest pools and best fountains for frolicking!

MONTREAL NEIGHBORHOODS 101: DOWNTOWN

The downtown district of any major city often tops the list of things ‘to do’ for a traveler. Montréal’s downtown is a mélange of stores, restaurants, cafés, galleries, corporate headquarters, and yes, those famous “adult cabarets.” Yet the central business district of every metropolis can risk blandness. And a selection of discriminating Montréalers have accused the downtown area of being overly commercial, with a heavy emphasis on big-brand shopping. And we understand that one could feel blasé in any given retail area. But among the generic giants there are plenty of gems. You just have to know what to look for. Here are a few of our favourite things about Montréal’s Downtown district.

TURNER PRIZE LAUREATE RUNA ISLAM SHOWS IN MONTREAL

Montreal’s Contemporary Arts Museum, hosts its first solo show of British artist Runa Islam.  Prisms and Pantone! I first saw the work of contemporary artist Runa Islam at the 2005 Venice Biennale where her film of china tea cups slowly crashing to the ground was a hit.  Runa’s international reputation was enhanced by her nomination for Britain’s Turner Prize in 2008.  Islam is a world citizen: she was born in Bangladesh, she studied in London, where she now works, and is represented by the prestigious White Cube Gallery.

EXHIBIT: ISABELLE HAYEUR REFLECTS ON URBAN LANDSCAPES

Isabelle Hayeur is one of my favourite photographers.  Her large photos are now showing at Pierre- François Ouellette’s gallery  in the Belgo building, the downtown Soho-style space full of great emerging artists.

SENOR COCONUT TO HOST FREE FIESTA AT MUTEK

Montreal’s Mutek festival just announced their first ever free outdoor concert. It’s taking place on June 5th at the Place des Festivals in the Quartier Des Spectacles. Even if you don’t know much about electronic music, how could dancing in downtown Montreal during a concert headlined by someone named Señor Coconut be anything but an awesome idea?