Previous: Monday in Montréal
I rose early and made coffee using the French press I brought with me. I suppose that I could have ventured out and tried a different café, but the luxury of staying in my jamies while sipping coffee in bed won out over getting dressed. What can I say? The house was quiet, its other occupants still held tightly in Morpheus’s embrace.
I could have delved into a novel. I might have surfed the net or posted to one of the various social networking sites in which I lurk. But no, I went for more mindless entertainment: variations on a theme of tower defender. Yeah, leveled up defending my onion against monsters who wanted to take a bit out of her. Then I defended my fortresses against ogres and other meanies. At some point, I moseyed into the kitchen for more coffee and something that passed for breakfast. Geeking out over a video game while sipping freshly pressed coffee… I’m such a nerd. Get this, I got others sucked into my monster madness as they awoke.
For the duration of this visit I had the great pleasure of being Hobbitesque, in that I got to have second breakfast. Of course there was a mango involved! This time, my host had the pleasure of doing the cool mango trick. After eating, It didn’t take long to clean up, dress, and then gambol out the door into the waiting world. I thought that we walked from one end of Rue Sainte-Catherine to the other, but when I searched our route on Google maps, it’s clear that there was much left to explore.
Rue Sainte-Catherine is the primary commercial artery of Downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It crosses the central business district from west to east, beginning at the corner of Claremont Avenue and de Maisonneuve Boulevard in the city of Westmount, traversing the borough of Ville-Marie, and ending on Notre-Dame Street just east of Viau Street in the borough of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.
I thoroughly enjoyed stumbling across unexpected architectural treasures tucked in between more modern buildings. I don’t think too many people thought that I was crazy for stopping in the middle of foot traffic to snap photos. While visually exploring Christ Church I mentioned to my buddies that it looked Gothic. The discussion ensued that it couldn’t be Gothic because of the era in which it was constructed. Of course I had to search the interwebs to discover the secrets of it’s style. Huh, looks like I’m not all that off. >insert smug smile here<
The present [Christ Church] cathedral, an Neo-gothic structure, was designed by architect Frank Wills (1822–1856), who also designed Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Before construction began, Willis died, and Montreal architect, Thomas Seaton Scott (1826–1895) was commissioned to carry out his design. The structure was completed in 1859 and consecrated in 1867.[
We walked to the location of where the Place des Arts and Orchestre Symphonique du Montréal call home. I was there during fashion week, and we got to watch the crew doing the technical tests on the enormous screen at the end of an equally large cat walk. Now, why stand around watching when you can do so dining alfresco? What’s better than center stage? How about Taverne F! Talk about friendly-trendy, this small place packed a lot of personality. But, will it pass the taste test?
What better way to try a place than to share what’s ordered? We scored the octopus and the burger (laced with foie gras, aka cocaine – sooo yummy!). I’ve only ever eaten octopus a la sushi. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was a bit surprised to see a tentacle with suckers still intact. It was served in the cutest little cast iron skillet, accompanied with slivered onions and Portuguese olives.
“Would you like to try the octopus?” My host inquired. Moment of truth, do I try it or do I decline? I can’t be the only one at the table to turn down this delicacy, now can I? Besides, it was in a cute little skillet! I think I expected it to be chewy, the octopus was in fact tender and skillfully seasoned. I’m not big on olives, so I avoided those and went for the onions instead.
We listened to the crew of FDM (I can’t remember what that stands for) as they played popular selections over their sound systems, or the organist played selections from his repertoire. (Really, a friggin’ pipe organ was brought out and tuned for this event!)
It was just a snack, really. Just enough to fortify us for the walk back and to tide us over until dinner. I saw several more building I wanted to snap photos of, but it was just dark enough that the images were grainy and not worthy of posting. We walked back via René Lévesque Boulevard. Many modern behemoths lined the street. I noticed the images of the beautiful, old buildings reflected in the glass of these technological giants; as if in silent testimony that we cannot go forward without acknowledging our past.
St. James the Apostle was first opened for worship in May 1864. It is a Gothic Revival church built of grey limestone. Originally, it stood on open land and was given the nickname of St. Crickets in the Fields. This name arose when a British army regiment was garrisoned in Montreal at the time, owing to the American Civil War, and the officers took to playing cricket beside the newly built church.
Next: Wednesday in Montréal