Friday, May 18, 2007

The Mile End

I spent the day in the mile end, the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in North Montréal. This used to be the home to mostly Hasidic Jews, Poles, Russians and Greeks but is now over-run by anglo yuppies and their baby strollers. Rents have increased drastically in the last five years* but you can still buy a bagel fresh out of the oven for fifty cents and get great coffee in a totally non-starbucks environment. This used to be the suburbs to those of us who lived just a few blocks south on the Plateau Mont-Royal, you would only venture this far up Park Avenue to go to the Rialto theatre or maybe get some bagels. I treated myself to some chocolate rugelach at Cheskie's,

a hot bagel from St. Viateur Bagel and a decaf latte from café Olimpico. As I was leaving Olimpico I ran into my dear, old friend Jonathan Inksetter

and we drank our coffee together, then I went to Anni's house on Park and found her and Kate eating fancy cheese and home-made ice cream. I was trying to track down my good friend, Pam Dunns so Anni and I went for a walk and we bumped into Pam's neighbors and gave them the message for Pam to call me. By the way, for the last two days it has been freezing-ass cold and rainy here. People are experiencing all kinds of psychlogical trauma thinking that Fall has arrived and it's time to find a place to live and someone to snuggle with for the long, cold winter. It's seriously hard to believe that it is the middle of May!

* Montréal rents are still dirt cheap compared with most other large cities, you can still find an unheated two-bedroom apartment for $500 or less!

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