Wednesday, June 13, 2007


You are walking down a busy street. Tall, new buildings made of concrete and glass rise high above your head; squat, old buildings made of stone rise only a fraction of that height. Trees sprout from even, square cuts in the sidewalk every dozen metres.

You enter a public square; it is a delta where two important, commercial streets intersect. In the center of the delta is a statue, barely fifty years old and its subject already forgotten. Between the buildings, two black pigeons swoop in above the crowd; another pigeon nervously hops out of the way as your stride brings your foot dangerously close to its hindquarters.

Hundreds of people move about freely around you, disregarding signalization and crossing the streets where they please, checking onle briefly for oncoming traffic before doing so. There are dozens of cars darting about on the street, avoiding a lone skateboarder who gestures defiantly at anyone who dares honk at his obtrusive activity. No one in this city drives if they can avoid it; public transit is an oasis of order in the chaotic anarchy of the city's aging road network.

The sun warms your skin and a cool breeze whips your summer shirt to one side, stretching it accross your flank. You smile; there isn't a cloud up in the sky, the people who surround you are beautiful, happy, and moving with purpose but without haste.

This is a beautiful, if eccentric city and you cannot help but smile at the though of just being here. It doesn't matter that this is just another summer day, for some reason it feels like your presence here is somehow important.

It may sound like a stange thing to post on a blog, but I wanted people to get just a small idea of how I felt, today, on my brief forray into Montreal.

There's a reason I love this city.

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