Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday in Montreal!

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Montreal's a very bike-friendly city.  Check out this BIXI system of theirs:  ANYWHERE in the city, you can stop by a kiosk like this and rent a bike either by the hour, by the day, or for three days.  Then, when you've had your fill of the city, you can return it to any OTHER kiosk in any other part of the city!

"BIXI" Bikes.  Rent-a-bike for an hour, a day or 3 days!

Reasonable rates for the BIXI bikes.

Bikers everywhere.  Many, many streets have bike lanes.

Our mission today was to head to the Ste. Catherine area, to the Belgo Building that houses several art studios/galleries.  I was intrigued when I read about this building (on a blog whose name I unfortunately forget).  The building is equipped with iron bars on the doors to the galleries, and the blogger said it felt like you were in an insane asylum when you entered the building.  Could that be true?  Yup!  Double yup!  My sister and I walked with reverence down the corridors and walked into the few studios that were open today.  Here's an example of those iron doors:

Inside each studio, we did find art that intrigued.  Made you think.  Made you cringe.  Made you want to sometimes not enter when you "felt" it from the doorway (I realized I left without taking pics of those, for some reason).  I don't believe I've ever been in that kind of situation before.  I also felt that, even though there were a lot of studios in here, each artist seemed to be in isolation, even if their iron gate was wide open.  

"Worry Stones" by SARA A. TREMBLAY


Untitled - In Progress by SARA A. TREMBLAY
We rounded out our morning by walking along Ste. Catherine Street which is known for its many shops.  This section was closed off to traffic due to the Jazz Festival that just took place, and due to this week's Comedy Festival.
This is part of Ste. Catherine Street (just east of downtown Montreal).  Ste. Catherine is a big shopping district.


Buildings are painted everywhere, in this part of town.

La Baie - The Bay (Canada's leading department store).  Originally called The Hudson Bay Company.
Still in business since 1670!

On the drive back home to my sister's, we encountered these "poles" in the middle of the streets which serve the same purpose as speed bumps...to slow you down!


And finally, tonight we attended the Comedy Festival back in the same part of town we visited this morning.  It was held at Place des Arts.  Outside, after the show, we were delighted with all of the activity going on late into the night.

Complexe DesJardins - late night shopping, eating, mingling and overall frivolity!

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