My first full day in Montreal since leaving the city behind on our last visit in 2006 was spent mostly on my own since Amber and April wanted to bring the kids to splash park and take it easy. I had ambitious plans. My time in the best city in North America was limited and I wanted to make it count.
I struck out by walking Ste Catherine's, Maisonneuve, and Sherbrooke until the Musée des Beaux Arts opened at 10 AM. With free entry to the standard collection, I had to check it out as I had never done so before. Three main collections exist: European Etchings, Modern Art, and Napoleon I.
This etching shows people skating and playing what looks like hockey 300 years ago!!
When death is friendly (there's an unfriendly one too).
Peter defending Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
This is a giant grenade chest of drawers - perhaps a domestication of violence?
This was simply the most affecting exhibit. It was called Old Enemies or Old Foes. It was so realistic and horrifying - class warfare?
One of Emperor Napoléon I's chapeaux.
A bust of Napoléon with his symbol, the eagle.
After a relaxed tour of the Musée, I hopped on a bus and found Schartz's Charcuterie Hebraique so I could have a legendary smoked meat sandwich. I was startled by the line up, but it was for the restaurant. I slipped into the much shorter line for take out and left with a stacked smoked meat sandwich and a plastic wrapped pickle wrapped. I ate my greasy and oh-so-delicious food at the next bus stop.
My bus took me within 4 blocks of the Parc Kent where I met up with Amber, April and the kids. They had water - which I was in desperate need of, it was blistering day. I forgot my cap on the bus, so April lent me hers.
After refreshing myself some, I parted ways with my kin south on Côte-des-Neiges so I could visit the Oratoire St. Joseph - and were there ever a lot of St. Josephs.
Brother André, the man who got the large oratory complex built with his fundraising, is venerated as a saint in the RCC, so he's everywhere too, literally. His body is entombed within (just behind this image of Joseph) and his heart is a few floors up in a glass case.
The style of the place is a mixture of classical and 1960's architecture which makes it quite unique. I particularly enjoyed the organists practicing in the basilica and the chapel.
I slipped in 2 minutes late at the AMC Pepsi Forum for a matinée showing of The Future, the latest film by Miranda July. It wasn't that great. Kind of disappointing really.
I met up with the gang at 5:45 only to return to the old Forum for ice cream. Once the kids were in bed, Amber and I strolled down Rue Ste Catherine and hung out at our old haunt, the 3-storeyed Chapters.
A full day, rich with urban beat, contemplation, savour, colour, opportunity and love.