Hey, so hi! I’m going to go easy on the textual stuff for the next couple of weeks because I need to save my energy for takingnotes/writingessays/oralpresentations/exams. I will be posting some of my favorite videos — some of which will be great study break material.
There is going to be a slowdown (excluding this post) until Friday because this genius (aka me) signed up for an oral presentation on Pinker’s “Natural Language and Natural Selection” on the same day as her midterm. (Translation: 50 pages of quality reading material on top of readings for said midterm.)
Fucking brilliant, I am.
These next 2 sympa-study-jams (or even empa-study-jams?) are for all you students out there, cramming so much info into your brains, you no longer know left from right. Get some sleep. Don’t. Forget. To. Sleep. (Both songs are entitled “I’m so Tired.”
And no coffee binges comme moi aujourd’hui; bad idea.
”[…] Montreal I think I called depressed, beautiful Montreal, and sadness is always part of beauty. Montreal remains my hometown, and a place of my heart. Though I’ve lived in Paris, New York, and elsewhere, my idea of heaven is still Montreal at 5:30, just before a snowstorm on a late December day: the violet grey sky lowering above us, the streets packed and then emptying, the snow beginning to fall as you walk home. There’s a beautiful Jesse Winchester song called, I think, Wintry Feeling, that begins “Look how the sky’s all silver/beautiful Montreal/ Out of a sky of silver/snowflakes begin to fall.” I can’t listen to it without blubbering - my eyes water as I write the words down.”
If there is anything you need to know about Montreal, you can learn it through any writer who lived in and then left the city. And I don’t just mean lived in it for a month — no, when you are born in Montreal and when you live in Montreal, you are in a committed relationship for the rest of your life. It can be both a blessing and a curse.
Every street corner you pass, every alleyway you walk through, every bakery you frequent — all these tiny little crevices are where most Montrealers store their own respective memories. Read Leonard Cohen’s novels, read Mordecai Richler, read Gopnik — and they all have a place they loved to eat, a great place for books, or little corners where they daydreamed, or better yet — where they wrote. On Crescent street, where Cohen hung out when he was young, he once carved a poem on the side of the wall of his favorite cafe/bar. (It has since been covered up in paint.) On Friday night, Gopnik talked about counting nickels in Alexis-Nihon so he could pick up Hard Times from a used bookstore. And this process happens to all of us Montrealers. I myself have left this city so many times, and still feel myself missing it. Sometimes I walk through the streets and I am flooded with nostalgia, and then I get mad because how, how could a city I love also be the very city I hate sometimes?
And then I walk into the same bakery I’ve overindulged in since I was five. The owner comes out, smiles, and hands me my “usual.” *
I know that St-Laurent is the dividing line between East and West; French and English. Ah, that language debate, that cultural divide — much more muted now than in its October Crisis days, but still palpable when a tourist asks a question in English, not French. But where else can I hear French and English spoken in the same sentence so fluently?
But enough about me, and back to you, hypothetical Montrealer. This, this is your city — a well-kept secret that everybody still seems to know, but not know. You know where your friend lives, you know where to find veggie pulled-pork sandwiches, you know that the best coffee is served by an Italian man who delivers it with a nice little jig. (Ok, he’ll sing too.) You run into friends on the street, or at a shitty after-hours party in a loft covered with shitty art installations. And people will go on about their “art” nonstop, and you’ll keep thinking ”Yeah right.”
Despite this pretentious art crowd, the sceney music shows, and those what-the-fuck-was-that art installations; despite running into two exes at a party, or better yet — running into friends from your schoolyard days… you don’t care.
The fact that this city, which can be so insular, so stagnant, and so flooded with memories, can still make you grin. It can so cruelly throw you into a river of memories that hurt, that make you cry; but you don’t care. No, you still want to come back to it. (And Leonard and Gopnik still do. Leonard Cohen is still a bit reluctant to admit it sometimes.)
There is both a peace and a warmth to Montreal that trumps all other cities — no other city can make you feel like you’re here, and there, but not over there. No other city will choose DIY over any other way — no way — we Montrealers protest with guerilla knitting when the city fuck’s with us (re: no posters allowed). Angie ofI Heart Norwegian Wood? Yeah she does it all herself. (She moved here from Winnipeg a few years ago.) We all do.
Montreal is Montreal is Montreal. There is something so inherently special about this city. So much so, that you’ll put up with the longest line at Trudeau Airport just to see it again.
* NB: Fuck, no other city takes their food and coffee so seriously: variety (veggie? Caribbean? Indian curry? Greek? Italian? WE GOT IT) and CHEAP. (You can get a meal for under 10 bucks. EASY.) AND, we also have the best fucking breakfast options. Ever. Case closed.
There is so much amazing talent convening under one roof this weekend at Puces POP!
Plenty of wry humored and quirky design (Pet portraits on porcelain by Daphna, hand knit cacti by Shannon Gerard and dirty murmurs by The Misanthrope Specialty Company), lazer cut and precious metal jewelry…
This is what happens when you delay the inevitable* : you have a conversation with yourself on Twitter. Or, OR — You’re spitting some hypothetical truths about pyjamas, namely Julian Schnabel’s pyjamas. Just check this train of thoughts:
* [writing your short story for tomorrow’s class, and that Galliano post you promised]
I also lie to myself on Twitter. (Or I can’t control myself on Twitter.)
Layering masterpiece, this is.
AND yellow + purple color combos.
"I painted my Gary-Oldham-as-a-Matador in these jammies."
But seriously, that AGO exhibit was pretty awesome. (I, ofcourse, loved his “Painting for Malik Joey and Bernardo Bertolucci.” The scaling was incredible. (I felt like an insignificant little dot, waiting for the wave to crash right onto me.)
Follow me on Twitter, yeah? (Weird lines in real time.)
And email me, if you want to: firstname.lastname@example.org !!