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FORGET AMERICAN THANKSGIVING, ESCAPE TO MONTREAL FOR THE WEEKEND

Dear American friends, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. For many of you, this time of year represents festive meals and the opportunity to reflect on the blessings in one’s life. Yet for other folks, Thanksgiving is a tired and stress-inducing holiday where you’re forced to wear that god-awful chartreuse sweater that your half-blind aunt knit you while salivating over Don Johnson during a Miami Vice marathon. And let’s be honest, the embarrassment of smelling like Fixodent drool each holiday begins to erode one’s self-respect.

STREET PROFILE: GREENE AVENUE

The Montreal Street Profiles series, considered by some/me to be the greatest set of blog posts ever written, has been busy. It’s covered Bleury, Parc and Maisonneuve, but then it got tired so it took a quick nap on a nearby park bench. But then it got right back up and strolled down Saint-Paul, Saint-Zotique and Crescent. It then decided to head a little west to explore Greene Avenue, in the heart of Westmount… Though Westmount, home to most of Montreal’s wealthiest English residents, extends much further west and up towards the mountain, Greene Avenue is viewed by many as it “Main Street”. Running south from Sherbrooke down to Atwater, in a couple short blocks this upscale avenue, named in 1881 for the landowner G.A. Greene, manages to contain an incredible density of shops, restaurants and what is probably Montreal’s best English bookstore.

SHOW & SELL – BARILÀ POP-UP SHOP

Barila Fall/Winter 2010 Campaign from Le Genou de Claire on Vimeo. Ladies, start your engines. Montreal-based fashion label Barilà is opening a pop-up shop. For ten days starting Nov. 14, get your fill of edgy frocks at major discounts. I’ve seen this local brand’s rocking show at Montreal Fashion Week; now it’s time for you to see the collection up close – and bring it home. To kick off Day One of this temporary boutique, there will be a special grand opening event with cocktails and nibbles. Plus, designer Sabrina Barilà will also be in the house to mix and mingle. I caught up with this super-stylish lady to chitchat about her ideas, her pop-up shop, and, of course, her clothes.

THIS WEEKEND IN MONTREAL (NOVEMBER 12 to 14)

Oh Montreal, why can’t you just give me a weekend off? I keep thinking that one of these weekends there will be NOTHING to do, and I’ll be able to get caught up on sleep and pay my bills and floss my teeth and do stuff that people with spare time do. But alas, my dear Montreal, you keep presenting me with so many wonderful temptations. Here are ten fun things to keep you in trouble this weekend.

SOFITEL MONTREAL : A CLASS ACT

Seriously.  There’s absolutely no gimmick in that “five stars” rating. Everything at the Sofitel hits you as being top of the line.  Starting with the service. Four clés d’or concierges  (one of them being the actual vice-president of the international union) make sure every single customer gets what they want, when they want it.  The decorum adopted by the staff speaks for itself: the moment you step in, the staff makes you feel like royalty.

THE MONTREAL GAY LIST: NOVEMBER

Each month THE MONTRÉAL BUZZ features five gay or gay-friendly things to do or see around the city. Recommendations range from parties to bistros to festivals to boutiques to cultural events. Here are our suggestions for the month of November.

THIS WEEKEND IN MONTREAL (NOVEMBER 5 TO 7)

Many people assume that summer is the season for festivals in Montreal. And it is true that many of our most famous festivals, such as The Jazz Fest or Just For Laughs, take place during the warm months, but some of the more subtle and locally-cherished festivals take place in autumn and winter. There are a few of these festivals taking place now in Montreal, as well as some other events and activities to pepper your weekend getaway with loveliness.

SHOP ‘TILL I DROP

So What makes a gal happier than shopping for clothes and jewellery? Well, for me, it’s shopping for clothes and jewellery on sale! Twice a year, thousands of like-minded fashion hounds block their calendars to hunt for amazing deals at La Grande Braderie de Mode Québécoise held at the Marché Bonsecours in the Old Montreal.

BACHELORETTE BASH IN MONTREAL

Seeing that I’m writing a book about hedonism in Montreal, my girlfriend in New York was convinced that my “cute little French city” would be the perfect place for her up-coming bachelorette party—and that I was the ideal person to send her a list of ideas. Of course, I had to agree, on both accounts (and add that Montreal is also a very safe city). But, I made her promise—in exchange for a girly-girl, good times itinerary—that there would be no matching pink t-shirts or plastic tiaras involved. Thank god, she agreed. Here goes…

FLICKR PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Our photo this week comes from sociologist and Flickr extraordinaire David Schalliol (aka MetroBlossom on Flickr). He uses a photo technique called “Tilt-Shift” which plays with depth of field to simulate a miniature setting. David has captured a Montreal moment at the corner of St. Catherine and McGill Avenue, the heart of the shopping district. Bravo Mr. Schalliol! We love your Montreal photo set. For recommendations on what to do downtown, check out our Montreal Neighborhoods 101: Downtown. —————————————————————————————————————— Submit your Montréal pictures to our MONTRÉAL BUZZ FLICKR GROUP. And see our previous PHOTOS OF THE WEEK.