100 Things I Love About Montreal pt. 4/5…The People!!!

 

Reader, or soon to be Traveler to Montreal, of all the things I loved about our Neighbor to the North, the people literally ran away with my Heart.  Warm, Smiling, Vivacious, Joyous, Happy, Delighted, Merry…they were all that and a bag of chips…(African American slang for Fantastic).

Standing on a street corner…la rue.. looking at the signs..le metro, la bouche de metro, l’arret de bus… trying to decide if I’m going left/right/ Sideways…oh no, that’s a movie…Pardon, Miss do you need directions?

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Checking into the Residence Inn, tired, sweaty, in need of food/shower/a bed… after an unexpected 12 hour bumpy what-happened-to-the-Express Amtrak train ride...

Oh Miss Linda do not worry, Everything is ready for you…your requested lower floor room, one key or two, do you have bags, Ah you are traveling light. Would you like  a bottle of  cool water. And Welcome to.. .L’hotel de Marriott!

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Welcome to the Marriott! Special Thanks to Sylvain, Veronique, Nick and Karine! You represent Marriott proudly!

H&M, Simon, Aveeda, Ecco, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Everything for 9.99 and More…High end and low retail grace the streets of Downtown Montreal…like a virtual shopper’s Paradise.  Let the Retail Therapy Begin!

Saleswomen/ men greet you first with a smile and cheerful Bonjour. And if they see the dreaded stranger-in-strange land look, the greeting instantly turns into Hello! How can I help you? Crisis averted.

Pretty, thin, polymer yellowish green CAD$ in Hand... Wait, You mean if I give you $100 US dollars, you will give me $125 Canadian dollars back.  Where do I sign? And don’t worry plastic users  Visa/ Mastercard/AMEX wherever you see the Plus sign are accepted in Canada too.

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Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?… petite dejeuner, No problem….Interwoven into Downtown Montreal are numerous restaurants many with beautiful  flower decked outdoor cafes, offering a veritable smorsgabord of food from around the world and their own hometown specialties…

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All Foodies know, the best food is where the locals go. In search of lunch on my second day, I heard the roar of the crowd literally coming from a small nondescript building.  When I peered inside I saw the  quaint tiny restaurant was packed to the gills with Citizens/Visitors all gazing at the overhead screen cheering on their favorite World Cup team. 

Bingo!  I was seated at a small table next to a larger one that seemed to be occupied by an entire family.  Their bowls of soupe and chicken salade sat untouched as they gazed reverently, intently at the players on the screen.

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One night after a heady jazz filled, dancing-at-the front-of the-stage kinda night, I took the 5 minute Metro ride back to my hotel.  It was close to midnight, and the cool night air beckoned me to linger outside and enjoy more of Montreal. I passed by an outdoor café near the hotel.

The menu was intriguing  but I was in search of a glass of wine to top off my evening.  When I sat at one of the very French curbside tables, a neatly dressed server immediately appeared and greeted me with a tall glass of perfectly chilled clear water. When I asked about the wine list, she said there was none but what wine did I want. Rose, I replied.  Glass or bottle?  she smiled. I smiled back…. A glass or two.  She returned with a goblet filled with a generous pour of the most heavenly rose.

 

By day 3, I was convinced Le Gouvernement had issued an edict to all Montreal Citizens to be extra friendly, kind, helpful, courteous, cordial to any guest who was visiting their beautiful province.  But NO such edict had been issued.  It is just their natural, humanity conscious way… our neighbors to the North. People matter. All People.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Immigrants: Haitians, Africans, Asians, Latinos, Middle Easterners, and more. all co exist peacefully and happily.  Eyad, a smiling taxi driver from Pakistan who took me on my final ride through the streets of Montreal said he and his family absolutely loved living there. And, of course, they missed their original home, but  Montreal is were they want to be.

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The LGBT community proudly displays its rainbow flag at the entrance to their community. Confused by this at first( me and a handful of liberal passengers looked questioningly…What? Are they on display.. When the double decker tour bus driver quickly announced Le Village Gai was a renowned place. And that Montreal is one of the few cities in the world to thoroughly embrace their LGBT communities. Smiles. Sighs. Nodding heads…Click click of  camera followed. Rebellion Against the MAn averted.

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I will leave you with a few  more pictures of the People of Montreal.  Please enjoy them as I have. And don’t forget the most picturesque Fall leaves can be seen on the roads leading to Montreal. Who knows I may see you there…September borne.

Love and Light.  Merci Beaucoup. And as Always, Please feel free to Comment/Share and Follow… My Blog

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Sabrina Cosmetic genius
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Apple Store Guru
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Street musicians
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The cell phone charging station ladies
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Girls Nite out at the Jazz Festival
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Even Mickey Ds was there
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At the Canada Greyhound, I complimented Cynthia’s earrings and she  gave them to me…just because!
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Bonjour! and Bon Soir! . (Final segment: Underground Montreal next week)

 

 

 

 

💯 Things I❤️About Montreal…

Bonjour Mes Ami! (French spell check app not working)

As some of you astute, eagle eyed Readers discovered, my July adventure found me in none other than the Exquisite Jewel of a Neighbor north of us Montreal, Canada!

My raison d’etre or reason for traveling in the heat wave of 2018 to this glorious, heaven on earth, 6 hours from NY, respite from twitterization of the US government ( did I say that…please don’t detain me at the Border …. City can be summed up in one word :JAZZ!

However, Little did this starry eyed music seeking, Foodie searching, Adventurer know that she would discover some of the world’s finest jazz and so, so much more!

Five days was hardly enough time to capture the richness and beautifulness (not a word) of this gentle, world class, forward thinking/acting home to champions of all men/women!

Lest, I start sounding like a commercial, I will let the pictures and a few words that follow tell this Tale.

Set your pilot on automatic ( Flyboy, Welcome Home And Thank You for Your Service!) and Readers enjoy the ride.

As always, feel free to comment/share/ click follow/ send cash…hell iola, I’m broke now!

(Note: This post will continue over a few weeks of the summer until I have posted all the 💯 reasons. My use of The French language is gratuitous and in no way reflects on the  years of study at Jacox  Jr High; Maury High, Los Angeles City College and Big Blue ODU.

Dang, all that and she still can’t hold a conversation beyond bonjour, merci, Bien, Bon! Mais oui, Voulez vous…What Patti LaBelle sang…

The Adventure Continues…

Reader, I know you are probably growing weary of these teasers.  Here are some visuals that hopefully will keep you entertained until I am back at my Computer.

Day 3….Hmm is that a French pastry and espresso….from a foreign land or right down the street? And what does that dress say…au revoir…translation app, please… Lawdy,What is she up to this time?

Stay tuned Summer Adventure Blog is a mere 5 days away. In the meantime enjoy your illegal fireworks!

Liberal Lin is on the move seeking yet another Adventure…a girlfriends’ trip to a foreign land? Backpacking through the mountains? Frolicking on a white sandy beach? Cruising on an Italian yacht? Stay tuned…and as always thanks for the Journey! Happy born day Cancers!

I Refuse to Be Lonely or

Mantra of a Single Boomer

Packing for a girl’s trip.  No, not inspired by the movie last year.  We enlightened- girls-just- wanna- have- fun Boomers have been taking these trips for years.  Just haven’t had the connections to turn it into a million dollar movie… Gurl, don’t hate …participate.

The trip is 2 months out so packing actually means sticking mini post it tabs ( meant for readers of books) on the hangers of clothes I plan to take.  This way I can periodically check the inventory and delete or add as the big day nears. Thus, ensuring that my I only travel with one carryon bag motto is enforced.  I don’t know if I read about this in one of those Boomer how to simplify your life AARP articles (as if being a Boomer could be anything other than simple…is that a conundrum?) or if I dreamed about it. But so far it seems to be working. If the weather changes or my itinerary improves….Did that automated message from Amtrak say that there have been schedule changes for your trip

I digress.

This post is Really about what to do when you are living Single and want to avoid some of the pitfalls Big Brother/Society/The Man/World/ place in your path.

First, do not ever buy clothes that fasten with a hook and eye.  Those of you who sew will recognize this term. Its from back in the day and has made it way onto the 2018 runway.   For the uniformed, I have posted a picture below.  No matter how cute, how discounted, how many times it beckons to you from the H&M hanger.  Do not, I, repeat, take it home. Remember that perky salesperson will not be waiting in Your closet to help you button the damn thing up. Face it, there are just some clothes a single person can’t wear…and this is one of them.

Next, read a book or watch a video on how to perform self Heimlich maneuver.  Try it out beforehand on several sturdy door frames preferably near the kitchen.  This is important because when you are scarfing down those yummy cheesy grits in the insomniac hour and start to gag, you will need to have this procedure for saving Your life down pact. Trust me, that’s why I’m Still Here. Forget about falling in the bathtub…those silver guard rails will protect you from that. But choking on your carefully prepared cuisine… well, check the morgue.

Lastly, invest in a good aluminum baseball bat.  Or maybe its titanium.  One of those man made metals that replaced the good ol’ fashioned wooden bat.  These can be found in any sports department and next to pepper spray (requires you to get too close to the intruder/and to periodically check the expiration date…did that say 2011…) Wasp spray, (effective but a little unwieldly and may be empty if you are a patio lover), are a Single person’s best friend. That chi chi little Shiz Tsu, can only bark and rarely bites. So this bat will make the intruder think you auditioned for the movie Breaking In…shout out to Being Mary Jane.

Now where did I put that inflatable man…oops pillow?

Love and light.  Comments are free and always 🙏🏿

Looking into the Abyss OR the Pleasure Dome

(Memoir/Fiction)
60 is a very pivotal age for the Baby Boomer. Ten years apres finding that First AARP in the mailbox… the lilting ring of I’m 50 something replaced by the thudding sound of Yeah Man, I’m 60. The reality that there are more days behind you than ahead… and depending on your world view… this could be the beginning of staring into the Abyss or racing into the Pleasure Dome. After all, we were the generation that was going to change the world…baby if I cooould channnge the world…Remember.


So here I am almost sixty (technically I am still fifty-nine) but when the ball drops next month I will be throwing rocks as they say, at sixty so why not claim it now…it will lessen the shock…and make it easier to mouth the words when some Uncoth type asks me my age. Not that I have any problem telling them…but why is it really important? Does it tell them Anything really relevant about who I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and more importantly what I am about to do. Like leave this establishment as soon as I finish this drink because this conversation is boring me to thoughts of suicide or better yet homicide…His.
When did I become so impatient with men…people in general…but especially men in my age bracket…knowing what they are about to say before they engage their brains and let their mouths belie their intelligence. Able to spot an Old Playa from across the room or right up in my face whispering that I should remember his phone number without bothering to ask mine.
I think most Boomer women would appreciate it more if men just knew how to graciously accept their age and flow with it. This obsessing over younger women who see nothing but dollar signs when they look at them and the constant need to put down the women who really are in their age category has made many of my sisters declare that the war is over.

I should be stickaforkinme done but every now and then I allow myself to traverse down that road. Often because of an unexpected gift- a smile- given to a Stranger as I am leaving say… a business mixer.
He said his name was L and the smile on my face made him think I was up to something. I was. Trying to get home after two drinks of Grey Goose from a friendly bartender at the first stop followed by another less generous pour at this place. The silly grin was, I admit, Goose induced and He just happened to open the door as I was trying to gracefully ease out of the place.

     After depositing my distinctive blue business card in his hand and declining to remember his whispered digits, I found myself mildly entertaining thoughts of his phone call and what might ensue. He was charming enough and had the balls to approach me so I was intrigued.
     And then reality set in as day three or four since our encounter and no phone call. I put thoughts of him out with the smelly trash and immersed myself in grading yet another freshman essay about the horrors of abortion, war and gun control.
And then he called – very formal tone- as if he wasn’t sure I would answer. The conversation was brief. He was on his way to have his car inspected and I guess thought he would ring me up on the way. Not too impressive I thought for a first call since I seemed to be part of his errands for that day. And when he abruptly arrived at his destination the call ended and his promise to return the call shortly did not materialize for another 24 hours.
This time it was at my insomniac hour. I guess he didn’t believe I would really be awake but unfortunately for him I was already engaged on the phone with a close friend and ironically at the moment he called was sharing something about Him with her. I told him I would call him back which I did some two or three hours later… all is fair in love and war…and got his voicemail.
      The phone remained silent for the rest of the day and finally later that evening over sushi and a second glass of wine in a new spot downtown, I did break down and call him as he had suggested just to see what his reason was for ignoring me. Yet another voicemail that signaled he was otherwise engaged. This is going nowhere fast and time to pull the ripcord.  So I decide I will not entertain this nonsense any longer because those freshman essays are still piled on my living room floor ungraded.

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Friday rolls around and I decide to treat myself to some seafood in the form of Cioppino which usually is reserved for holidays or special occasions since the ingredients are so costly…shrimp, clams, mussels, cod, halibut, salmon, lots of garlic, tomatoes and of course white wine…but I tire of reserving things for special occasions.

     I trek to Whole Paycheck and purchase the necessary ingredients together with those for Muffaletta, a shamefully greasy salmon /spicy ham/three kinds of cheese and a slathering of olive salad on French bread kind of sandwich that has become my latest passion.
     Armed with these pricey ingredients and a bright yellow blast of daisies, I surrender to the peaceful hum of my kitchen and prepare the succulent seafood stew when the phone rings and surprise, surprise…It is none other than elusive stranger. I decide to just slice through the small talk when he tells me he is on his way to a Sushi joint near my hood. And announce that I am making the best seafood dish ever and invite him over to sample my cooking.

     Within minutes he appears at my front door, not as dashing as I remember from the dim lights of the club doorway but congenial enough and anxious to see if I can really cook. Since he appeared without so much as a bottle of wine, I offered him some  Sauvignon that I was using in the stew.
The conversation was pleasant, informational, non threatening as I put the finishing touches on my shellfish feast. He had never had Cioppino and as I instructed him how to sop up the broth with the Italian bread, I could see the pleasure spread across his face… that look which tells the cook he has eaten something truly divine.

     Before I had a chance to offer him some fruit and cheese for desert –organic pears and buttery smooth Havarti- He announced caveman style that he had other plans for the evening and had to get home and prepare himself.
    I smiled sweetly to cover up my agitation. A smart guy would never have been this rude and a young guy would have been anxious to see what was for dessert. Schmuck!
Now I could really see him for what he was…an old has been who needed a good hearing aid instead of that earring in his ear. Who fancied himself a Playa when Senior Citizen more accurately described him. I quickly closed the door on both the cold winter night and him. (Note: This is My Version of Fiction. Your Comments Appreciated!)

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Talking About a Revolution 

IMG_0094Don’t you know
They’re talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper…
While they’re standing in the Welfare lines/
Crying at the footsteps of those armies of salvation/
Wasting time in unemployment lines/
Sitting around waiting for a promotion/
Poor people gonna rise up/
And get their share.
c1982. SBK/purple rabbit music

Many folks think that we have come a long ways Baby and that the circumstances of America’s poor, disenfranchised, Not the talented 10th (or the Well heeled 10%) has improved since Tracy Chapman penned this song in the 80s.

I wonder.

Having been a card carrying member of the Movement during the 70s, And a poor person (I was a college student in Los Angeles working 3 part-time jobs, an unwed mother (now pc term Single Mom), a culture seeking, I love My People sistah who volunteered many wee hours growing food, cooking stew , sewing dashikis, teaching reading, tutoring and Workin’ for the People of Watts.

Often in the company of members of the Real Black Panther Party who were laser sharp serious about feeding hungry children in the city of the Angels only a stone’s throw from Holly weird, Shoppers- paradise-Rodeo Drive and right up the road from the Happiest place on earth.

Is it possible that things really do change while remaining the same?

Fast forward to 2016 and the country is immersed in holiday cheer, spending $ like water for a day that is supposed to honor a King/healer/leader/ Teacher and not an obese man in a redsuit.

Uh uh, here she go humbugging Christmas.

Readers, Like many of you, I luv the holidays and all the lights and carols and decorations and eggnog and gift giving/receiving and baking and hosting and TV specials and excitement on the faces of little ones opening their gifts on Christmas eve…

Remember I’m a Boomer and grew up in a Black household modeled after Leave it to Beaver, Father knows Best, and My3Sons. We DID Christmas thoroughly and enjoyed it.

But that does not mean we and America get to take a pass just because it’s the Holidays and the cofers of capitalism need replenishing.

And before you think it..I’m not talking about the seasonal well meaning middle class gestures of throwing some loose change (do they take debit cards now) in the armies of salvation kettles, or buying a pair of socks for the angel tree.

Hunger, Virginia is a 24/7 proposition. Being poor for too many children is a lifestyle handed down from previous generations and like crack, it’s hard to break the cycle.

Like Dredlocked wearing, folk song singing, visionary Tracy Chapman says…
Oh you better run/run/run//run/run …talkin’ bout a Revolution.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good nite!