I love downtown Montreal so damn much, especially in the Summer.
I went downtown yesterday with my mom, Emi, Ty, and Nick (Ty is here visiting again). The Fringe festival is going on right now, so there was plenty of activity. As I think of what to write, the sensory impressions are what come to mind first. The smell of cigarettes, weed, and good food. The sound of cars, music, laughter and voices. The sight of a numerous amount of people. Dyed bright hair, dreadlocks, bright summer dresses, studded everything, cool piercings...
We headed down in the afternoon, and as we walked along the streets, the first thing I noticed were the colours. The bright purple of someones railings; street art splashed on multiple walls, bright colours, faces, abstract scenes. I can't understand why some people don't see the value in such art. To me it's a beautiful art form, and the artists who create it are no less talented than their more traditional counterparts!
We passed a small garage sale on our way, and I bought another pin for my purse. I'll have to post a picture of my small but ever growing pin collection sometime soon.
In the square where the folk music was being played, we hung around briefly. Cigarette smoke hung in the air, and the twang of bluegrass folk sang in my ears. Since it wasn't really our type of music, we left my mom there to listen while the rest of us threaded our way through the band booths, poster plastered temporary walls, and eclectically dressed people. Some sounds we did like were the Fringe fest Cabaret, a motley group of people who wandered through the streets in pirate/gypsy-esque costumes, playing plaintive gypsy tunes. We passed them several times, and always enjoyed their music (and the juggler, in Ty's case). There isn't any feeling quite like wandering down the street with friends, the sun beating down and warming my back, watching the people that pass, taking in the sights, sounds, smells...
When we headed back to meet my mom a little while later, we were all slightly hungry, so after applying a few temporary tattoos supplied by one of the shows, we started on the twenty minute walk that would bring us to a cafe that was selling vegan food by donation. It was a lovely little fair trade, vegetarian cafe, with friendly people. We happily consumed millet pie, ginger cake, and spiked fruit juice with much happiness, at least on my part!
Afterwards, we wandered around for a while, Ty bought a new hand drum, and we headed home, sweaty, tired, and sore-footed. The day ended on a worse note than it had started on, but overall, it was still a good day.
Next Saturday, we're going downtown to see the fireworks (every year Montreal hosts an international fireworks competition, so the shows are truly spectacular), and we'll be there again at least once more this week for an outdoor concert.
I love this city. I really do. And I love long Summer days wandering it's streets, taking in everything, and just enjoying the vibrancy that is all around me. I'm biased, of course, but I truly believe that I live near one of the greatest cities there is!