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February 10, 2014 at 9:10 am ET
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It’s La Ville de Montréal

It’s not Man-tree-owl. It’s pronounced Mun-tree-all or Mo-ray-al in French. You can’t make a right on red but you can buy beer until 11 pm at the dépanneur along with your smokes and lotto tickets. It’s the birthplace of Conrad Black who may have taken your money. It’s where Éric Gagné learned how to throw and then throw it all away for steroids. It’s where Corey Hart wore his sunglasses at night. It’s where Jon LaJoie went from being that guy you know from the Internet to that guy you know from The League.  It’s where Jessica Paré morphed into Mrs. Don Draper. It’s where Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve felt the need for speed. It’s where political unrest meets poutine and smoked meat. It’s where the bars stay open late until the Cheval Blanc stops flowing and the flower has five roses.

Montréal is the city where Americans from border towns in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont come to party because the legal drinking age of 18 is just a suggestion. It’s the “cool mom” to Toronto’s “uptight dad”.  And don’t get it twisted; it’s Toronto that’s run by the crackoholic fatass, not La Métropole. However, Montréal’s mayor is probably committing Hells Angels’ approved fraud at this very moment. But don’t worry; he’s using the Récréatèque as a tax shelter.

There’s Foufounes Électriques (translation: Electric Assholes) where someone tried to smash a pumpkin with a bottle leading the daughter of writing royalty Melissa Auf Der Mar to become the bassist in Billy Corgan’s friend’s band. It’s where everyone claimed they were at that Nirvana show even though most of us were barely out of diapers when it happened.

It’s where the hooker fights at the corner of St. Laurent and Ste. Catherine are legendary. It’s where watching two filles du roi ripping each other’s extensions out over corner rights in front of Cleopatra’s should be a televised event.

There’s the seedy underbelly. The corruption. The language laws. The snow. The ice. The passionate sports devotees that make Philadelphia sports fans look like members of Mensa.

There’s the urban legends about our city that made us think twice about going downtown. There were tales of HIV-infused needles that could prick you at any time if you took in a movie at the Egyptian Theatre. There’s the stories of abandoned metro stations or the former patients that haunt the halls of the Royal Vic. There’s the bloodthirsty loup-garou that supposedly roams the mountain in search of the larping hippies that populate the Tamtams.

Montréal is where the only weather man you trust is located 174 kilometres away in Burlington, Vermont.  It’s where the grumpy old bastard stumbling around the Plateau isn’t a homeless drunkard but your man Leonard Cohen.

It’s where the streets of the Vieux-Port  and Centre-Ville have stood in for Manhattan, Paris, DC and New Haven. It’s where people have acted as extras for Martin Scorsese, George Clooney, Sidney Poitier and the X-Men.

It’s the city where Gary Carter played for 12 seasons and became synonymous with Montréal baseball. It’s where the Expos lost and occasionally won. It’s where the corner of Rue Mile-End and Rue Faillon meet in front of Jarry Park. It’s Gary Carter Street and it’s ours.

 

 

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One Response to “It’s La Ville de Montréal”
  1. Howie says:

    Hey Libby,

    Great article. You nailed the city…

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