Experience Montreal through the eyes of the new Grace Shaw Mobster Thoughts, Promo My two weeks spent in Montreal have given me a tremendous amount to ponder and reflect upon… like the fact that here I am legal to drink to my hearts content, and back home I still have a year to wait out before I can step into a pub and feel like I own the place. *Haha* all is well though, as I am ready to embrace my inevitable sobriety once again. On a more serious note, this blog ensues a re-cap of my experiences that I had in the short (but wonderful nonetheless) amount of time that I was here. I will be touching on The Comedy Nest, Design Mode Festival, Montreal nightlife, and TamTams, whilst including my own POV written from my current perspective at the time. Ask anybody, I’ll be the first to tell you that Montreal has officially been appointed as my favourite place that I have ever visited! From the beautiful and historical architecture, to Montreal’s undeniable sense of community and the wholesomeness it encompasses, when it comes down to “great places to live” Montreal is high up on the list. As I finally left the bus with my girlfriend Johanne and had that first intake of breath I already knew that Montreal was bound to be full of surprises and limitless opportunities. Speaking of which, we made our way onto the busy streets and hailed ourselves a cab. But this was no ordinary cab hailing… in fact, the cab we were attempting to hail missed us completely and continued driving. It was the SECOND cab that decided to subsidize this golden opportunity and literally stopped traffic, nearly caused two crash collisions, and pulled an illegal U-turn just to get to us on the opposite side of the street!! I was in utter shock. Suddenly I felt as if I was in New York or something… that or a really funny movie scene. That’s when I turned to my friend and exclaimed “now THAT is how you hail a cab in Montreal!” *lol* at which point I knew that this was only the beginning of an incredible journey. and incredible it was. That very same night I was invited to check out The Comedy Nest venue, located on Saint Catherine street. I had managed to catch their open mic night, where up and coming comedians showcase their abilities to make people guffaw and leave them in hysterics. As it was my first time going to a comedy club I had no idea what to expect, all I really knew going into it was that I loved live entertainment and that I enjoy laughing. Admittedly, I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. For those of you that have never been to the Comedy Nest you should! The bar service is phenomenal, and they make some of the best mojito’s I have ever tasted, the entertainment is guaranteed to give you a laughing fit (as long as you’re not a prude of course) and the atmospheric vibe is calming and warm. It’s actually a great place for a first date or a night out with friends. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and plan to go back and visit again. If you love to laugh I highly suggest that you check out the Comedy Nest. After the show ended at around 10 PM I decided that I would go and grab a pint from one of the local pubs known as the Cock n’ Bull with my girlfriend. Within the first twenty minutes of me being there I had already made 5 new friends. That in itself goes without saying that Montreal has some of the friendliest people ever! You must realize, that from my point of view, here I was sitting in this amazing little pub located in completely uncharted territory… an unexplored city… promising, and full of adventure. I hadn’t even been there for an entire day and I was already feeling so embraced and accepted. The Cock n’ Bull was my first official taste of Montreal nightlife. I’ve also noticed how many more people enjoy dancing here. It’s pretty awesome! I’ve been in pubs before back home in Toronto, and very rarely do I see people actually dancing and letting loose. Personally, I love to dance. It’s a great stress- reliever and evidently Montreal-er’s are keen on this knowledge too 😉 After all, that would explain all of the smiling faces that line the streets. My second day in Montreal consisted of shopping and hanging out at the Mode Design Festival on the first floor of the lounge. The weather was lovely for shopping that day as I remember it. I took the metro to the downtown core, right in the heart of shopping HEAVEN! Fellas, if you want to make your woman happy hand her a wad of cash and send her ass on a plane to Montreal to go shopping. I promise she won’t be disappointed! I’m serious. The amount of incredible storefronts and boutiques is enough to send you into cardiac arrest. Just to name off a couple of my faves that I took note of: Holt Renfrew, H&M, Sirens, Forever 21, and American Apparel. After blowing off some steam with some retail therapy for a couple hours I finally had in my possession the perfect outfit to wear during the Mode Design Festival. I picked up my media pass accordingly that after noon, went home to get dolled up, and returned that evening. If you’ve been following my last few blogs, than you’ve already probably ready about my experience at the lounge, where I was able to oversee the models set fire to the runway from some of the best seats in the house, accompanied by my friend Safia (whom is also a blogger) and photographer Adam! I could easily observe all of the eclectic pieces, and beautiful fresh faces. Fashion lines such as Theory, Numero, Oxygen, Forever 21, and Suzy Sheer appeared to show and they mainly consisted of fall/transitional and winter apparel. Looking back on it in retrospect, I would have liked to have managed to score a quick interview from one of the designers or perhaps even one of the models, just to get a little insight on their views are from behind the scenes from a production standpoint. I believe it would have made a great addition to the blog but hey, there’s always next time right? That following Sunday I went to check out TamTam on the Mount Royal, I wrote a blog about that too you should totally check it out if you haven’t already done so. TamsTams was a really astounding experience for me. Certainly different from the social norm of Ontario. People from far and wide gather (usually to relax after a crazy night of partying) and enjoy the sound of drums. You’ll usually find people drinking beers with friends or smoking reefers, but even though people generally keep to themselves they’re also very social and open to meeting strangers which is sort of what I like about it… there’s that dualistic nature that’s like the perfect balance. It’s a great way to tie the end of an awesome week together before returning to the hustle and bustle of a busy work week. I met a few kind strangers who shared their stories with me and it was really lovely to get to know the people on a more intimate level instead of just observing from afar. All in all, the Montreal experience has been a grand one, and although I am sad to leave, I am excited to know that I’ll be back, as this beautiful city continues to resonate within my heart. Between the incredible fashion scene, the electric nightlife, and the cultural diversity I am completely and utterly sold on this place and I can’t wait to move here and blog more about my up and coming experiences, as I am sure that there will be many more to come! I think that Montreal is a great place to live, and has a tremendous amount to offer. It’s hard not to fall in love with the city. Thank you for accompanying me on my journey and taking the time to read my work. Rest assured you haven’t seen the last of me yet!! *Arnold Schwarzenegger voice* “I’ll be back….” -Boss Grace xo One Response Johanne Britton August 21, 2013 Montreal loves you too!