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About greynotgrey

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    bon vivant, raconteur, and man-about-town
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    web designer/ illustrator
  1. http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/magnificent-montreal/1 "Both Canadian and Québécois, part anglophone and part francophone, with one foot in the past and the other firmly in the future, Montreal is a city that defies easy categorization."
  2. So I noticed a story last week in the Gazette (cryptofascist birdcage liner though it may be, it's still the only English paper in this City so I check it out now and then)... Ferme Angrignon has no budget for this year, and its fate will be decided once and for all when the next budget comes out. I'm guessing it'll be closed for good. I have to say, it always struck me as strange that a city with the size and history of Montreal doesn't have a decent-sized Natural History museum or zoo. And no, the Redpath and the Biodome don't count; they're fun but very rinkydink.
  3. I think perhaps the most telling thing is that when working in the Montreal garment industry, it's taken as a given that what sells in the Quebec market does not represent the tastes of the rest of North America. We have plenty of style here, but we're definitely not the trend-setters. Of course I only speak from my own experience working in the garment industry... but even the colours that work here are very different than what will sell in the US.
  4. Ah, I see - "quand" c'est la meme que "toujours". ;D Distribution costs would definitely be lower & with higher density some discount centres would likely arise, along the lines of Plattsburgh - but even with everyone living in Quebec, 1/10th the population makes the kind of volume necessary for the overall pervasiveness of deep discounting you see in the US unlikely. So yes, there woudl be savings, but not on the scale of US shopping.
  5. Actually, St. Henri/ Little Burgundy are bordered at the south by the Lachine Canal, which is actually quite a pleasant place to be people watching. It does get rather empty once you get past the old locks around Saint-Remi but from old Montreal through Little Burgundy and Saint-Henri it's quite busy in summertime and a great place to go biking, have a picnic, etc. - around Atwater it's even nice on the side that belongs to the Point.
  6. I voted Villeray instead of Rosemont because it has more of a street culture that can be built on - I think Rosemont would definitely be a good investment if you were looking to buy a residential property, but as far as street culture goes, Villeray has a lot more to work with. I imagine Rosemont will end up sort of like Saint-Henri is now - gentrified but much more residentially-oriented as the people moving there have no reason to hang around there much, look at how little redevelopment has gone on with Notre-Dame even though rents and condo development has gone through the roof. The only th
  7. ...Back to the original question, should you bring your kid into a bar? If we're talking about having a pint with some friends in the middle of the day, sure, why not? If I'm out walking around on a Saturday afternoon, say, I'll stop somewhere like Else's with my wife and kid and we'll have a bite to eat and a couple of drinks. No big deal, right? By the same token, I wouldn't take my kid into Le Black-Jack at 10 pm on a Friday night, either. If it's the kind of place that isn't "kid friendly", go somewhere else.
  8. Frankly, I'd rather live in Saint-Henri than any of the 'burbs. At least rents are still decent, you can walk downtown, and it's actually being gentrified in a rather pleasant way while maintaining a sense of neighbourhood unlike, say, the overpriced duplex farms east of Atwater or any of the new housing developments in the 'burbs. disclaimer: I lived in Saint-Henri for 6 years in the 90's and I still think it's a fantastic, underrated neighbourhood that a cultural wasteland like, say, Laval has absolutely nothing on. Well, except driveways. But who needs a car when you live in the city?
  9. It used to be the winter housing for the zoo in Parc Lafontaine (rmember that?) but in more recent years it was more of a petting zoo, administered by the Jardin Botanique. In looking for a description for you, I think I found the answer to my question - no budget for this year. A shame. "Attention : La ferme Angrignon est fermée cette année, car aucune somme n'est prévue au budget 2010 pour ce projet. Les panneaux sur le terrain seront enlevés prochainement." http://www11.ville.montreal.qc.ca/sherlock2/servlet/template/sherlock%2CAfficherDocumentInternet.vm/nodocument/124;jsessionid
  10. I searched MTLURB for any news regarding Ferme Angrignon, but couldn't turn anything up. My apologies if this has been posted elsewhere. I know Ferme Angrignon was shut down in 2008, ostensibly to bring it back up to code, to be reopened in 2010... but while this information was all over the place two years ago, all mentions of Ferme Angrignon's re-opening have been removed on all the official Montreal sites I have checked. The VdeM site unhelpfully states "La Ferme Angrignon est fermée." Has anyone heard any news?
  11. About a quarter of Detroit is going to be plowed under and turned back into farmland. "Operating on a scale never before attempted in this country, the city would demolish houses in some of the most desolate sections of Detroit and move residents into stronger neighborhoods. Roughly a quarter of the 139-square-mile city could go from urban to semi-rural. Near downtown, fruit trees and vegetable farms would replace neighborhoods that are an eerie landscape of empty buildings and vacant lots. Suburban commuters heading into the city center might pass through what looks like the countryside
  12. The main reason for that has nothing to do with the relative values of the dollar, and everything to do with retail volume & distribution costs - in the US they have 10x the population of Canada, in 2003 the top 9 cities all had populations in excess of one million. Greater New York and Greater Los Angeles combined have a substantially larger population than all of Canada. The US retail market is much more heavily invested in sales volume, and part of that is deep discounting. Canada's much smaller population & substantially lower density means that we can't amortize lower markups
  13. This is a bit misleading. Manufacturing has always been a secondary sector, this is part of the reason that the collapse of domestic industry of the 70's and 80's didn't hit us as hard nationally as it did the US. Also worth noting, sure a lower dollar makes wages more competitive but let's face it - manufacturing is increasingly going offshore in any case - how many knitting mills are still open in Montreal compared to 20 years ago? It's no different in the US manufacturing sector. Detroit was once a thriving city, lest we forget. As far as the tourism argument is concerned, sure fewer Ame
  14. I don't know how long it's been since any of you were inside but I really doubt that any amount of renovation could get the building back up to code... Maybe something entirely new could be built on the site and some of the existing elements could be incorporated, like those terra cotta silos (which are also starting to become seriously weathered), at least in part.
  15. Yeah, that place on Fairmount is now "Bond". A real shame the German place closed down. If you're into Polish, though, there's a great little eatery on Saint-Viateur, Euro Deli Batory. It also has a great deli counter. The mushroom dumplings are FANTASTIC.
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