I was watching a travel show about Montreal, and most everything made me think, cool, why didn't I know that?
Perhaps it is because when I visited Montreal 15 years ago, it was (counting wind chill) both -40c and -40f, and the month I stayed there, I was both poor and shacking up with a recluse.
I did not try the Montreal bagel, or poutine, or smoked meats. I did not eat any meat, being vegetarian at the time. I did enjoy peanut dumplings from some Chinese place, and a lot of cheap NY style pizza and falafels. I drank overprided cheap wine woth french bread. I froze my ass off.
Did you know that buildings are heated to 70-something, mandatorily, in winter? So you go from -40, your scarf frozen to your chin, your eyelashes frosted, into a sweldering indoor inferno. Your glasses fog up, even. Yet it is so cold outside, peole plug in their cars. You see medusa-like tentacles wiggling out of third story windows, a dangerous electric tangle.
I saw the Notre Dame cathedral (I think that is the name? Just like in Paris?) From the outside. I went near the top of Mount Royal, at dark in a snowstorm so I saw nothing. I walked past old town. There ends my touristy adventures.
I rode the metro and the busses, often with the poorest of poor. I saw a Vanilla Ice concert, because it was free. I sat inside a basement apartment, on a yoga mat on the floor, in utter squalor, sighing as my boyfriend at the time smoked pot to inspire some guitar playing - my anti-drug self saying, love triumphs all, yes? Whilst trying to motivate him to go to class, let alone, leave the apartment.
I stayed in Notre Dame de Grace, on a street infamous for violence and drug trafficking. I never saw anything more exciting than my boyfriend smoking pot, but I felt utterly alone, the building's tenants spoke no English or French, rather strange Russian-esque languages.
I think Montreal could be a neat place, especially not in January. A neat place if I had spare money, someone not high to explore with, and an appetite for the typical foods. Someday, perhaps, my family and I can explore the city.