Welcome to My Neighbourhood – Part II

Posted: July 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

So now, let’s turn right onto Parc (going south) and stop in front of the Rialto Theatre. it’s a beautiful old movie place from the 20s and Mr. Jazz tells me it was designed by the same guy who did the Outremont. In the 80s and 90s it was one of Montreal’s best repetory cinemas. And then, like they all did, it died. A few years ago, it was transformed into a steakhouse which folded pretty quickly. Luckily it’s considered a historic site and as such is safe from being torn down like the Seville and the York and countless others, to be replaced by ugly condos. Of course I wouldn’t put it past them to eventually gut it to make it into not so ugly (and extremely pricey) condos…

On the other side of the street you’ll find the Épicerie/Fruiterie Mile End with its outdoor fruit and veggie stand. It adds colour and fun to the street…

Don’t they have a cool truck?

As we continue on south, let’s stop at Aux Lilas (The Lilacs) one of the best Lebanese restaurants in Montreal. As a testament to it’s goodness, in a town where restaurants often last only six months, no matter how good their reviews, it’s been there for over 20 years now.

And I should’ve taken pics of all the Greek Tavernas around. Along with the Hassidic Jews, there are tons of Greeks in our area – and lots of wonderful Greek restaurants.

And for Violetsky, here’s a pic of a café, the New Navarino – which can’t be considered new by any stretch of the imagination, it’s been there forever and then some. People go there for breakfast and coffee and a sit-down on Parc.

All righty then, lets pootle back on up to Bernard. Here is the street just west of Parc, along with Mr. Jazz in his orange barracuda shirt – damn I love that shirt. We’re now officially in the Mile End.

Granted, it doesn’t look like much from this angle, but it’s a great street. First stop, Drawn and Quarterly. D&Q is a comic book publisher based in Montreal. And they have this shop on Bernard. I try not to go too often because mayhem inevitably ensues with my bank account. How I love D&Q.

A little further down the street is Senzala – a great little Brazilian place that makes wonderful breakfasts – for instance their eggs “benedict” served on avocado or mangos rather than English muffins.. Sublime.

And the flower shop:

And another ice cream place – we like our ice cream in Montreal…

Well hell, we’ve reached St-Laurent aka the Main. St-Laurent divides Montreal between West and East, Anglo and Franco, rich and working class. It’s the great divide, the separation between, what was called, at one time and maybe still is the two solitudes. The Main crosses Montreal in a South/North direction, starting in old Montreal and ending on the north shore of the island. This part of the Main is pretty dead, but I’m thinking of taking you through it from South to North and you’ll see just how vital it actually is:

That, however, is a post for another day… Because for now we’re stopping on the corner of St. Viateur and the Main for lunch at a great little vegetarian place, Esperanza.

I had the best grill cheese sandwich on multi-grain bread with pesto and tomatoes. And no, I didn’t think to take a picture before scarfing it down. And here I sit, contemplating the original tin ceiling, which could really do with a coat of paint.


While Mr. Jazz drinks his microbrew.

Which concludes this installment of the walk. It’s time for me to have a drink. Next time: St-Viateur, more Parc and Fairmount streets. Cause you gotta do the whole neighbourhood before going on to another, eh?

Cheers all!

  1. Dumdad says:

    Fascinating glimpse of your life in Montreal. And, of course, so much French about!

  2. Jazz says:

    Dumdad – See, you'd feel right at home!

  3. Bandobras says:

    I've never been a fan of avocado but Sunday's breakfast is going to be eggs bennie on a mango. What a fantastic idea.Great shots too thanks for the tour.

  4. XUP says:

    Is that Épicerie/Fruiterie Mile End a permanent/year-round fixture or only certain days of the week or months or the year? If only Montreal had the jobs, I'd be there in a flash

  5. Rachel says:

    I did not know that about St laurent street, being the great divide.Fascinating!

  6. geewits says:

    What a wonderful tour! The bad part is my growling tummy woke me up early today and reading this made it worse. And girl, you growed your hair! I like it. By the way, I just ordered two bras from Macy's and said to myself, "Okay Jazz, wish me luck!"

  7. geewits says:

    To Mr. Jazz: Cheers!

  8. Jazz says:

    Bandobras – I'm partial to the avocado eggs bennie myself.XUP – It's all the time, except in winter when it's too cold, though they do put the less fragile fruits and veggies out sometimes in winter when it's not too cold, if I remember correctly. I try to block anything about winter from my brain – and I usually manage pretty well.Rachel – It's the great divide and also the place where immigrants used to end up. The Portuguese area is a bit lower than we are, as is the South American area. To the north you have Little Italy. Way to the south below St. Catherines is Chinatown…

  9. Jazz says:

    Geewits – good luck with the bras, now go eat! I quite like the longer hair too.

  10. Gaelyn says:

    It's too bad the theatre can't be used again as intended. The market looks very inviting with all the bright colored food. Love those old tin ceilings, but paint would be good. Maybe the painters of those mountain pictures could take care of that. Great tour of your community. I look forward to more.

  11. Guillaume says:

    I miss Montreal so badly these days. The fruiteries and the microbreweries beers. While my "village" there is the Plateau, it is always nice to pictures of anywhere in the city.

  12. Jazz says:

    Gaelyn – too bad indeed. And yeah, paint would be good, but I confess that I really like the shabby, rusty look.Guillaume – I'm thinking of "taking a walk" on the Plateau. You should email me and let me know of some things that need to be in the "tour". I'm pretty familiar with the Plateau, but probably mostly Mont Royal and the shops and restos there…

  13. Susan Tuttle says:

    thanks for the tour — loved seeing photos of you and mr jazz!the architecture of the building in the first photos is stunning — and that veggie market — so yum!

  14. Hagelrat says:

    Great pics, looks a lovely area.

  15. VioletSky says:

    Ah, merci. there is nothing like a cafe with a patio out on the street, though that little vegetarian place looks pretty cool…and next – bagels? or maybe I should just come visit myself…

  16. Jazz says:

    Susan – Glad you liked it. Yeah, the Rialto is beautiful…Hagelrat – It is a great area. I love it.Violetsky – yep, the best bagel place in montreal will be one of our next stops…

  17. Gnightgirl says:

    Your neighborhood has much more character than mine. Love the produce market pix, everything is so colorful!

  18. mrwriteon says:

    Love the Rialto. Reminds me of the Orpheum in Vancouver. Same glory accorded cinema of the past when movies were done for adults and were worth watching. Nice to see your lovely face, too. Oh, and Mr. Jazz's also, of course.

  19. As much as I love living in a rural area, I have days when I'd love to have fresh markets and bakeries within easy reach.

  20. Warty Mammal says:

    Wow. And aren't you pretty? Not that it matters; I'm just jealous.

  21. Jim says:

    Oh, Lord, I looooooove your neighborhood! And Thank God they will not be tearing down your Rialto. The theater of my youth, The Oriental, was lost many years ago (actually, the building is still there, but gutted and replaced by an electrical supply company – ugh.) I would give a few years of whatever life I have left for the chance to spend one more Saturday as a child inside that magnificent palace of dreams…

  22. Jocelyn says:

    I'm too hungry (and always in need of a beer) to not be deeply envious here. Hey, and Duluth has a theatre like yours…except it's now a place for "adult" entertainment. Suppose I could go in and see my students stripping.I YUV these tours. Keep 'em up!

  23. lime says:

    what a lovely city. the architecture is so beautiful. the veggie market has my mouth watering. and the proliferation of greek restuarants….sign me up!

  24. Jazz says:

    gnightgirl – it's a great neighborhood. I love it.ian – Them was good times, eh? Not that I was around for them.SAW – I think I'd go batty eventually if I were living in a rural area full time. Weekends is fine with me.WM – I'm sure you have nothing at all to be jealous about.Suldog – I remember Saturday matinees. They were great. Sometimes I think its so sad, growing up with multiplexes…Joce – You really should come and see for yourself.Lime – Come try them. Wait till I take you to old Montreal.

  25. Pouty Lips says:

    You are going to laugh when I tell you my favorite part. I love the old tin roof! I am so glad you posted a picture of it. I'm thinking about doing a tin ceiling in our cabin.

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