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Summertime in Montreal: Jazz Festival and the Old City

Old Port of Montreal below:
 Spending the day at the Old Port of Montreal, checking out the famous Jazz Festival, then cruising for food on the Rue Saint Denis during the Circe Festival.

Montreal Jazz Festival building video projections
Last night was a bit silly.  We had gotten in quite late, and gone out to Crescent Street for a couple drinks, but then neglected to eat till about 3am when we stumbled on some unappetizing (yet available) ambiguously Mediterranean food. Our room at Hôtel Anne ma sœur Anne, was spectacular (both cheap and spacious), but we had left our motorcycles out on the street, and then had to pull them under the stoop of the restaurant. 
 The next morning we woke up ready to explore this beautiful city, and drove around until we stumbled on the old port, riding past the Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal.
 We found an enclave of motorcyclist parking, and had lunch on the waterfront throughway, talking to riders coming and going about how different riding in this city was than New York City.  Throughout the trip, I continued to be amazed at how much of a foreign country this was, quite different than my experience with the rest of Canada.  The absence of the pervasiveness of the English language was really intriguing, especially in a cosmopolitain city center, where even young people struggled to converse with us.
 However, we did meet a few Quebecois, and though many people seemed a bit more modest (next to NYC, who doesn't?), and my buddy Jay and I got some tips on the goings on in town, some dining and club recommendations, and where we could find some of the best riding in the area.  A fellow Ducati-rider on a Ferrarri-yellow 1098 suggested we ride up to Mont Tremblant, a ski resort a couple hours north of the city.
 After lunch, we walked along the waterfront promenade, getting mixed up in a BBQ festival, and climbing up to get a little better vantage point of the city.
 We then embarked on an ultimately fruitless quest to find a cheap shoe store, as both Jay and I had brought nice clothes for one respectable evening out on the town, but had forgotten anything but our riding boots.
We didn't find shoes, but did get a little dressed up, and headed downtown to see the Jazz Festival.
 Montreal looked like it had shut down a fairly large section of the city for the festival, and had multiple concerts going on simultaneously.
 We listened to a couple bands, like this band, which was closer to reggaeton/rap than Jazz, but the atmosphere was buzzing on this lovely summer Montreal evening nonetheless.
 Eventually we took off, but not before seeing all sorts of street performances, put together by a mixture of different individuals and professional organizations, though I'm not sure who was officially associated with the Jazz Festival.
 The video above was actually a couple of professional ice skaters, who did a fantastic routine first on skates (on the pavement), switching over to roller blades for most of the act.
 Perhaps my favorite part of summertime in Montreal was an incredible lighting display, where scores of buildings and skyscrapers served as canvases for a massive public works projects.
 Artistic videos were projected on buildings, ranging from churches to commercial buildings to highrises.
 The architecture of the city was historical and incredible; a real mix of old and new, even at the same time, as pictured in the building above, where a modern floor actually bisects the center of a turn-of-the-century building, cantilevered in support and out of antiquity...
© 2015 Tigh Loughhead


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