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Day Three: Church, State and food in Montreal by Ann Treacy
November 15, 2022, 12:44 am
Filed under: Canada, Montreal

Day three really starts on day two where I last left off. Lily and I had a gorgeous meal at Majestique, an oyster bar on Saint Laurent. We didn’t have oysters; we did have delicious smoked mackerel and fries. The place was toasty warm on a cold night. There was a guy at the bar that looked like the lost brother of Russel Brand and Father John Misty and I liked the beer. What’s not to like? We talked about all of Lily’s plans. She was so nervous about getting into a zinefest this weekend. (Spoiler alert: she got in.) It was the fun chat you travel to another country to have. Lily is nervous but excited and the whole world is open to her!

Real day three we were all business; well, one of us was. We headed out to get Lily the paperwork she needed to move forward with jobs and stuff. Turns out that sort of thing can take a long time. (Second spoiler alert: she did it!) So, I went walking around town. It was chilly and I was traversing area that we visited yesterday so suddenly stopping into churches seemed very appealing. I was St Patrick’s Basilica, Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde and Notre Dame. Each was so different.

St Patrick’s Basilica was most like the European churches – or even like grander versions of churches I’ve attended in Minnesota. It’s ornate but warm. The weird thing was the altar to what looked like the shroud of Turin.

Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde was majestic but stark. It felt more modern in a lot of ways. They had a message that called out the possible offense some of their art might incur in regards to the representation of indigenous people. (Years ago I did a tour of the MN State Capitol with Jim Bear Jacobs talking about the art, which details a lot of tropes that serve to put down indigenous people.) The main altar was gorgeous. But also it felt cold.

Notre Dame was very church-sexy and it was the only one that charged a fee ($15). The dark colors and lighting was beautiful. The statues behind the main altar were like frozen stage scenes. There was somehow a movement to them. Turns out they have a light show in the church six nights a week. That seems brand appropriate after my 20 minute visit.

I also saw some amazing art and history. I love the juxtaposition of old (cite memoire) and new. There are areas around Rue Saint Laurent that seem pretty bohemian and there are areas closer to the river that seem very upper crust. And then there are areas that are very industrial or feel like regular downtown centers of business. And of courses the Olympics!

Lily gave me the call when she had success and we celebrated with a much-needed early dinner in Chinatown. Nothing better than noodle soup on a chilly day going down. On the way home we say some amazing street art. And now we’re hanging out waiting for her secondhand bike to arrive. (Third spoiler: new bike shown below!) One by one she is getting through her “new to town” to-do list!

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