Despite having grown up only a few hundred miles away in Massachusetts, this past week marked my first time — ever — to Montreal. It goes without saying that the city is spectacular on many levels. So much so, in fact, that I’ve been struggling to decide how to post about the trip. Should I write about the scenery? The food? Riding along the river? Hiking in the park? The separated bike lanes?
Instead, I present to you this short, slightly offbeat list of experiences that I had in Montreal because I wasn’t in a car.
|#1||Rode the heck out of the BIXI bike-sharing system. Burned off a few extra calories pedaling one up the hill from the Old Port neighborhood to a station at the base of Parc du Mont-Royal|
|#1.5||Put years of watching French New Wave cinema to good use when making purchases at Marché Atwater and Marché Jean-Talon. Success sounded like: “Un petit pot de cornichons SVP. Pas de sac. Merci!” (Masterful if I do say so myself.)|
|#2||Experienced what is guaranteed to be a top 10 sunset of my lifetime while running along the Lachine Canal. The crazy part was that all I could do was just stop and watch rather than snap away with Instagram. I’d left my iPhone behind at the apartment to recharge.|
|#3||Strolled past an anarchiste, Anglophone bookstore on Boul St-Laurent where patron and shopkeeper heatedly discussed balancing roots of Marxist thinking with more contemporary views.|
|#4||Bombed downhill with 20+ cyclists on their morning commute into Cité du Multimédia, Montreal’s tech neighborhood. When the bike lane ended abruptly and we emptied into the chaotic downtown traffic, I couldn’t help but think of my preferred route in San Francisco which ran right into the heart of Civic Center.|
|#5||Successfully biked to my conference with hot coffee in hand while wearing a long sundress. (Yes, biking in a skirt rocks!) I imagined myself une belle femme à bicyclette when I was probably more like une femme américaine fou.|