Go to Montreal but expect challenges along the way. Starting with the pronunciation that takes what is a French word anyway and shortens it as much as possible. Morial? M’rial? Quoi?

Then you have to overcome the Poutine Hurdle. Fries covered in cheese curds and then soaked in gravy plus the topping of your choice (here pastrami-style smoked pork, shown at the timeless Le Roi du Smoked Meat diner). Sounds daunting, and is.


Smoked pork poutine, as served at Le Roi du Smoked Meat.

Beer selections are extensive and there are great microbreweries in town. Start at Dieu du Ciel and go from there.


Prepare to see disturbing yet life affirming art at the MBAM, including lifelike fighting apes –


Old Enemy, New Victim, by Tony Matelli.

Appropriate cover is given to Kent Monkman, who explores Amerindian themes, and not only from a  transgender perspective.


Art by Kent Monkman.


Art by Kent Monkman.

I couldn’t bring myself to photograph another piece, “The King’s Beavers” as I have a soft spot for the diligent little critters:

Montreal has a lot of micro businesses in town that elsewhere would be in an industrial park – these bakers were prepping close to midnight for the following day.


Bakery, Boulevard St-Laurent

Lest a day in the 17th-century old town (it’s nice, but well reported) get you carried away with the past, Canadian gas stations are well-kept and convenient.

Etude – Station Service la Nuit

Montreal – nice place. Go go.

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