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)

 

 

 

 

CONVERSATION OVERHEARD…

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Gurl you lucky

You got a man

I look around bewildered

Who is she speaking too

Where is he? Who you talkin’ ’bout

You know what I mean

Damn Everywhere you go

10 sets of male eyes on you

You breeze by smelling of shea patchouli and African oils

Hair coiled lightly scented softly

Framing your dark black black glistening skin

Smile for days

Men wish they could

Catch your eye

But like a Spring butterfly

You and your sheer gauzy cotton

Dresses just float by

Girl I ain’t got no man

No one in my bed

when I close my eyes

Or cuddling up to make

My Undressed body smile

Yeah I had a man

2 3  maybe even 4

But that was back in the day

And I’m living in the present Now

Damn gurl I just knew you had a Man

That sexy gait, like you’re on

A Paris runway

That beaming smile that says

Hello how are YOU

Today

Narrowing your eyes

That lyrical voice

Conjuring up nights

Lying in your cocoon

Gurl I ain’t got a man

They don’t understand

Me

OR what I need to Please

Them

So I just Please Me

Poised on the Precipice

5am and I’m soaking in the too short tub Again

Me and Kem and My thoughts

Swishing swirling like waves

I watched today in the Chesapeake bay.

Summer almost half gone.

feeling unsettled anxious afraid?

Poised on the precipice of something/somewhere.

Exciting/ unknown

Unknowable/ Unrealized

Writing taking flight.

Book deal.
Blog.
Canada sponsorship.
Offer for lecturer @ Univ.
in the fall.

Everything you hoped for

and more baby girl

So why don’t I sleep?

Why

Am I and

my Twitter

insomniac comrads

doing yoga sleep moves

at 3am.

Where is the great love

I wished for

Chanted for

Prayed to Allah/God for.

Friends mostly male

Listen distractedly

They don’t know what

it means to be Black,

Female, 60+, in these Times

Even the select few

the Circle

I have let into

My Secret World

Don’t really comprehend Me

Girlfriends I don’t have many

Concerned with menopause

Failing health weight gain

Why are all the men in prison or way down Low

Gurl you are blessed what you complaining for?

I reply yes I know

and pour

another glass of Wine

Is this what 60 plus is really for.

Memories/regrets/ half lives lived.

Wanna be happy

Wanna Really smile.

We women wear the mask that

Hides and smiles.

Tired of frowning fretting brooding raging

Eating my feelings at 3am

Good black still cracks and gets fat.

You’re so funny

Can make everyone laugh

The tears of a clown are just that

So talented

so thin

look at that Smile

…Got good genes

even the physician scribes.

Ask Robin Williams,Anthony Bourdain, Phyllis Hyman, Donnie Hathaway Gerald Levert

Lt. Steven Nettles…thank you for your service/Your UnwaveringFriendship

All gone before their time

How does it feel to have a graveyard

For a friend?

Bath water so warm

murmurs hush.

Be still.

Peace
Be still.

The one you seek has yet to be born.

Guess I’ll see you next lifetime

…may Be a Butterfly.

(Love and Light!)

MISSING ME…

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Photo by Joshua T on Pexels.com

Have You Ever…

Heard a voice so distinctive the vibrations reached your very Being and literally touched your soul/life force

Have You Ever…

Looked into a face, a mirror reflection of you and saw the same Smile, the same  Joy, the same Laughter, Longing and Pain

Have You Ever…

Desired that sweet sweet passion that only His hands, His lips, His tongue can bring

Have You Ever…

Waited patiently/impatiently for the phone to ring, the text to bing, signally the beginning/end of your day

Have You Ever…

Dressed and undressed…Black shoes? Red? High heels? Low? Anticipating his Eyes caressing your curves and nodding approvingly

Have You Ever…

Wished that minutes so precious and few would rush by like a Bullet train hurtling you into His waiting arms

Have You Ever…

Touched Your Self the way he touches you…probing, searching, searing, softly releasing his explosive Treasure inside you

Have You Ever…

Prayed to the Creator thanking HIM/HER for crafting the other half of you

Have You Ever…

Laughed so loud so hard so long at the exact same time even though you were hundreds of miles apart

Have You Ever…

Looked up into the silent morning sky watching the clouds drift/ dance slowly by wondering  if HE was viewing that same sky

Have You Ever…

Cried beautiful silent tears listening to his powerful words

Have You Ever, Have You Ever, I Say, Have You Ever

Been in Love

 

 

100 Things I Love About Montreal: Environmentally Friendly Pt 3

IMG_2017Over the years, I have read about our Canadian neighbor’s concern about global warming..It is a thang…Mr. Twitter... overuse of natural resources, free health care, food markets not food deserts, people first…Vive la difference!

The pictures that follow depict a society where All Lives truly Do Matter. It is evident in the laser focused Street Cleaners who keep Downtown Montreal spotless, the recycling receptacles on every corner,( including one for your old electronic devices), the familiar BELL telephone sign above the strategically placed Clean telephone booths…No, Virginia everyone does not have a iPhone… The 10 cents charge for a bag in a store, the no straws policy, the no smoking in front of a building , the Clean, Clean air and Happy, Friendly People (more on them in the Next Post).

The Free cell phone charger machines are a godsend for those who have cell phones…. like my trusty iPhone that suffered a relapse and needed a constant battery charge upon crossing the Border, and even had the audacity to die en route to the Dr. Lonnie Liston Smith set ( I had drank the kool aid and not printed out my $50 ticket, trusting my phone would do what it was supposed to do).  This resulted  in a good old fashioned American begging  session with a young clerk in a nearby Bookstore who graciously offered his personal charger to solve my problem…Mais oui, Madame..(spell check keeps changing my French words!(

These free chargers (various space age designs) can be found at many public places, colleges, and of course the Jazz Festival tent- manned by a smiling, vivacious newly arrived Brussels native and her co-worker from Eritrea who upon finding that the “charger”machine was full, offered her Own  personal charger (another Personne sympathique) to give my iPhone a boost. Thus ensuring that I could communicate with Someone, Anyone that night while at the Venue.

I could go on and on…but I will let the photos do the talking. Bon Soir!

PS…have you booked your ticket yet? I understand the foliage in the Fall is breathtakingly awesome!

As Always, thanks for Reading! Comments/Shares/Follows Welcomed.

Love and Light!

 

 

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised… Or Posted on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (spoken word) is waiting for your comments.

Liberal Lin

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WE interrupt this broadcast to bring you an important message!

The Revolution will NOT be televised

or posted on Instagram

or Facebook

or snap chat

or twitter.

Brother Gil Scott sounded the alarm

Malcolm and Martin were already gone

Huey and Fred and countless unnamed Panthers have led the charge

For  dignity

community

free food

brotherhood /sisterhood

A Voice

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

The Community of Brothers Behind Bars

serving time

for victimless crimes

must be freed

Instituitions of Higher Learning

must replace crack dens,

measuring grams,

driving while black,

killing of our boys and men

Wake up! Wake up!

Social media is not real

it is a Medium

designed by the 10percent

for control of the 90

Anesthetizing Our Youth

Dulling Their Brilliant Minds

Gaming Gaming does Not Rule

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

We have already lost too much Time

Vietnam /PTSD /Homelessness /Brother can…

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100 Things I Love About Montreal Pt 2

The ten day Festival International De Jazz De Montreal held the last week of June and first week of July is one of the oldest and certainly finest of all International Jazz concerts.  This year’s 39th Jazz festival featured over 150 indoor concerts and 100 free outdoor concerts including Jazz greats and promising next generation artists.

Yes, you read it right…FREE.  The indoor concerts were ticketed but prices were reasonable allowing the jazz lover to attend a number of free and ticketed events.

Dr. Lonnie Liston Smith (with sax great Chris Potter), Seal, Herbie Hancock, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Chris Botti, Al Di Meola, Renee Lee Octet, Dominique Fils-Aime, Jethro Tull, Bela Fleck, Boz Scaggs, Terence Blanchard, Leslie Odom, were just some of the 150 jazz illuminaries jamming  in venues that ranged from concert halls to intimate clubs.

The outdoor venue was a centralized location a few  blocks from downtown Montreal which could be reached easily by walking, Metro, cab, bike or bus.  Many of the outdoor concerts boasted large stages with seating either in the adjacent area or nearby cafés that had been erected for the event.

Food was available from established  Montreal eateries, vendors, and specially built   Bistros.  Every palate could be satiated by the sights, smells and taste of food choices from around the globe… from Fettucini with pesto to bison burgers  to homemade frites with fresh guacamole and salsa.

Wine/beer/liquor vendors were plentiful and served generous pours and refills.  Additionally, the main Outdoor venue was staffed with friendly folk ready to answer any question a non French speaker might have.. where is the charging station for my dead cell phone …. I have a map but where did you say Club Jazz Casino was?

Most impressive was the accommodations for families with play areas including water spouts…many adults took advantage of that as well… game tents, animation zones, and  areas of grass/seats that kept even the youngest concert goer happy.

The concerts were scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to the wee hours of the morning.  Warm balmy weather with clear blue skies made the event picture perfect. On a scale of 1-10, the Montreal Jazz festival is easily a 100! Check out some of the sights and I guarantee you will be making plans to attend next year…I know I am!

Bon Soir!

Comments Welcome.  A Special Thanks to the Always Friendly Helpful Canadians pictured here!