Walking in the Rain in Montreal

What is the best thing to do on a rainy Saturday? Go to Montreal and walk in the rain. It's even better when you are visiting your daughter, and she has lined up a day's worth of stimulating experiences.

We got to Montreal smoothly, although a little later than planned due to a series of shopping stops made along the way. Once there, we found that rare gift, free legal on-street parking. Almost all parking spots in Montreal are restricted to cars that have purchased parking permits, but we have found a cul-de-sac just behind Ana's apartment building that has about six unrestricted parking spots. One of them was open and waiting for us.

We delivered an early Christmas gift, a rug for her bedroom, that was received with great joy. In return, Ana fed us. Also visiting was Michael, her boyfriend, who helped her install the rug. We then took off on foot, with umbrellas at the ready, and headed towards McGill University.



McGill the place and McGill the man. Ana told us not to go on the lawn near the statue, because it is a favorite place for disgruntled university students to urinate.





Montreal is starting to get decked out for the holidays.



We walked by the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, empty and awaiting renovation. The lobby looked sad and abandoned, and still quite comfortable. I imagined ghosts enjoying the privacy in the interregnum between waves of human guests.



We had a goal: The Warhol Live exhibit at the Museé des Beaux-Arts de Montréal.





The exhibit was even better than I expected. I couldn't take pictures of the exhibition itself, of course. His very early work was enchanting, and there was a large collection of album covers that he designed over many years. Lots of iconic images - coke bottles, brillo boxes, flowers, celebrities. There were naked television tubes suspended in lucite columns playing some of his movies, including Kiss and Haircut. Sleep and Empire glimmered on the walls. A movie of a Merce Cunningham dance with set design by Warhol played in a loop in a room that mimicked the set - walls of mirrors and big rectangular silver balloons filled with helium. One kept trying to follow people out of the room, which amused me. There was a room with aluminum foil walls, a big divan with pillows in the middle, and a light show. Robert and I thought it needed a big hookah in the middle of the divan to really capture the essence of the sixties. There was a couple making out passionately, though, so that helped set the proper mood.

Here the four of us are in the lobby after we left the exhibit.



We then undertook a long walk east to a Tibetan restaurant, the Chez Gatse. It was a lovely, peaceful place. Tibetan food was a surprise for me. The texture is akin to Chinese, and the seasoning is subtle, and closer to Indian. After being out in the damp, a bowl of cream of lentil soup was very welcome.





The next course was a generous liter of the house red plus momos for me, Ana, and Michael, chicken for Robert. The chicken was marinated in yogurt and was tender and succulent. The momos were delicious. They are steamed dumplings. The ones that look like pot stickers were filled with marinated beef, and the big puffy momos were filled with either vegetables or cheese. The sides of bean sprouts and slivered vegetables were perfectly seasoned with a delicate vinaigrette.



After our dinner, we undertook another short walk to Juliette et Chocolate, where we had chocolate fondue with a lovely assortment of fruit. I intended to take a picture, but greed possessed us all, and I didn't remember until this was all there was.



We walked back to Ana's apartment. It was still raining. By this time, my poor left leg was failing and I had to concentrate hard to keep from staggering. I tried to walk as well as I could, and to keep my eyes open for the delights one finds in cosmopolitan city that doesn't take itself too seriously. I loved the mannequin store. Yes, they sell the mannequins themselves there.



Robert and I headed home soon after we got back to the apartment. We had a 2.5 hour drive ahead. We also figured that Ana and Michael wanted some alone time together before Michael headed back home again.

Final shot of the night, taken as we were stopped at a train crossing outside of Canton, a half hour from home.

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