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  1. For the best food, festivals and fun, head to Montreal, Canada Just like the United States postal service’s motto, “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail” shall prevent Montrealers from throwing a fabulous festival. Be it musical, comedy, fashion, dance, circus, film or food & wine based, they’ve got it covered, and leave it to those crazy/generous Canadians to throw many a bash for free-particularly in the summer when you can virtually channel surf for festivals. when I was there a few weeks ago, there was almost an embarrassment of riches to choose from including the 35th annual Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, the 30th L’International des Feux Loto-Quebec and the Montreal Cirque Festival. If you’re planning a visit this year here are some upcoming festivals for you check out: 1. Festival Mode & Design Festival-allows you to get an inside look at the world of fashion. Choose from over 50 fashion shows (some of the finest Canadian designers will be represented) live creative sessions, designer showcases and musical performances. A MUST for the fashionista! 2. Montreal World Film Festival-is the only competitive Film Festival in North America recognized by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) which is a pretty big deal. Now in its 38th year, you can view films from over 70 countries, as well as hear from some well-known filmmakers. 3. Pop Montreal- features Francophone, Canadian, and international pop musicians. , This dynamic five-day festival in September will present more than 600 artists to audiences of over 50 000. 4. La Biennale de Montreal- is a slightly more highbrow international event focusing on film, sculpture, photography, painting and installation art that respond to current conditions by considering “what is to come”. 5. Taste MTL- pack your stretchiest pants if you’re coming to this 10-day fall event with more than 100 restaurants participating. It’s sure to be a winner since Montreal often claims it has more restaurants per capita than any other metropolitan area in North America. To see a year’s worth of events check out Go Montreal Living Festivals and Events link. Where to feast between festivals For a respite from all the noise and commotion try Maison Boulud, one of the newest restaurants from acclaimed chef, Daniel Boulud, in the newly refurbished Ritz-Carlton Montreal, provides an elegant, yet non-stuffy option (including al fresco tables overlooking their peaceful pocket-park). Boulud’s magic touch combined with ingredients sourced from the finest local purveyors ensures a gastronomic dining experience, whether you stopping in for brunch, lunch or dinner. The sparkling arugula, cherry and Parmesan salad was the perfect opener to a succulent, Moroccan spiced chicken dish. Double down by dining at both of Chef Normand Laprise’s restaurants for guaranteed culinary winnings. The cheeky, casual, and much more affordable, Brasserie T , is located right in the heart of all the excitement at Place-des-Arts, Montreal’s cultural hub. If you reserve a seat on the bustling outdoor terrace, you can enjoy the jazz concert while nibbling on luscious little temptations such as pan seared fois gras, glistening salmon or beef tartar, betcha-can’t-eat-just-one farm-fresh deviled eggs or just an absolutely perfect cheeseburger and fries. Don’t forget to make reservations well in advance for a dinner at Laprise’s celebrated restaurant Toqué!, a landmark in Quebec’s gastronomical scene offering haute cuisine without the ‘tude. Toqué! has won more kudos and awards than Meryl Streep, including Relais & Châteaux, AA/AAA Five Diamond, James Beard Foundation, and the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for 2014 cookbook of the year. He was even appointed Knight in 2009 yet you’ll never meet a more down-to earth chef, who is passionate about showing respect for the multitude of cooks, farmers, foragers and fishermen responsible for bringing him the finest seasonal bounty– right down to the humblest root vegetable. This is one night that I recommend you skip all the festival offerings and instead indulge your senses in their unforgettable 7-course dinner with optional wine pairing, although the sommelier’s pairings were so innovative it should be mandatory. Where to stay Le St-Martin Hotel Particulier Montreal, a 17-floor boutique property, is a pleasing blend of luxury, warmth and contemporary styling (think faux-leopard blankets and colorful throw pillows, homey fireplaces, peek-a-boo glass showers offer views all the way through the big bay windows) also offers the perfect festival location: close enough to walk to most of the festivities, yet far enough away to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep. After navigating the mini-jungle entrance, where the helpful doormen are wearing safari outfits (don’t ask me why) you check in with the unbelievably friendly staff at the front desk. I spent a full hour the next morning with Virginia, who answered dozens of my itievenerary questions and then marked each of my stops on the map in a different color. When she saw that I still looked a little lost, she went to the computer and printed out metro directions for each stop and never stopped smiling the whole time. The hotel recently won a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor which I’m sure is partly based on their exemplary service as well as the fact that their signature Bistro L’Aromate serves an utterly fabulous breakfast, that could easily power you through the whole day. For a quick relaxation break simply step outside to their mini-heated pool, nestled alongside a waterfall, teak bridge and tropical plants for a little private Shangri-La. Within minutes you’ll be recharged for the next round of festivals. http://www.aluxurytravelblog.com/2014/08/01/for-the-best-food-festivals-and-fun-head-to-montreal-canada/
  2. March 15, 2009 OP-ED COLUMNIST By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN San Francisco If you hang around the renewable-energy business for long, you’ll hear a lot of tall tales. You’ll hear about someone who’s invented a process to convert coal into vegetable oil in his garage and someone else who has a duck in his basement that paddles a wheel, blows up a balloon, turns a turbine and creates enough electricity to power his doghouse. Hang around long enough and you’ll even hear that in another 10 or 20 years hydrogen-powered cars or fusion energy will be a commercial reality. If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard one of those stories, I could buy my own space shuttle. No wonder cynics often say that viable fusion energy or hydrogen-powered cars are “20 years away and always will be.” But what if this time is different? What if a laser-powered fusion energy power plant that would have all the reliability of coal, without the carbon dioxide, all the cleanliness of wind and solar, without having to worry about the sun not shining or the wind not blowing, and all the scale of nuclear, without all the waste, was indeed just 10 years away or less? That would be a holy cow game-changer. Are we there? That is the tantalizing question I was left with after visiting the recently completed National Ignition Facility, or N.I.F., at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 50 miles east of San Francisco. The government-funded N.I.F. consists of 192 giant lasers — which can deliver 50 times more energy than any previous fusion laser system. They’re all housed in a 10-story building the size of three football fields — the rather dull cover to a vast internal steel forest of laser beams that must be what the engine room of Star Trek’s U.S.S. Enterprise space ship looked like. I began my tour there with the N.I.F. director, Edward Moses. He was holding up a tiny gold can the size of a Tylenol tablet, and inside it was plastic pellet, the size of a single peppercorn, that would be filled with frozen hydrogen. The way the N.I.F. works is that all 192 lasers pour their energy into a target chamber, which looks like a giant, spherical, steel bathysphere that you would normally use for deep-sea exploration. At the center of this target chamber is that gold can with its frozen hydrogen pellet. Once one of those pellets is heated and compressed by the lasers, it reaches temperatures over 800 million degrees Fahrenheit, “far greater than exists at the center of our sun,” said Moses. More importantly, each crushed pellet gives off a burst of energy that can then be harnessed to heat up liquid salt and produce massive amounts of steam to drive a turbine and create electricity for your home — just like coal does today. Only this energy would be carbon-free, globally available, safe and secure and could be integrated seamlessly into our current electric grid. Last Monday at 3 a.m., for the first time, all 192 lasers were fired at high energy precisely at once — no small feat — at the target chamber’s empty core. That was a major step toward “ignition” — turning that hydrogen pellet into a miniature sun on earth. The next step — which the N.I.F. expects to achieve some time in the next two to three years — is to prove that it can, under lab conditions, repeatedly fire its 192 lasers at multiple hydrogen pellets and produce more energy from the pellets than the laser energy that is injected. That’s called “energy gain.” “That,” explained Moses, “is what Einstein meant when he declared that E=mc2. By using lasers, we can unleash tremendous amounts of energy from tiny amounts of mass.” Once the lab proves that it can get energy gain from this laser-driven process, the next step (if it can secure government and private funding) would be to set up a pilot fusion energy power plant that would prove that any local power utility could have its own miniature sun — on a commercial basis. A pilot would cost about $10 billion — the same as a new nuclear power plant. I don’t know if they can pull this off; some scientists are skeptical. Laboratory-scale nuclear fusion and energy gain is really hard. But here’s what I do know: President Obama’s stimulus package has given a terrific boost to renewable energy. It will pay lasting benefits. And we need to keep working on all forms of solar, geothermal and wind power. They work. And the more they get deployed, the more their costs will go down. But, in addition, we need to make a few big bets on potential game-changers. I am talking about systems that could give us abundant, clean, reliable electrons and drive massive innovation in big lasers, materials science, nuclear physics and chemistry that would benefit, energize and renew many U.S. industries. At the pace we’re going with the technologies we have, without some game-changers, climate change is going to have its way with us. Yes, we’ll still need coal for some time. But let’s make sure that we aren’t just chasing the fantasy that we can “clean up” coal, when our real future depends on birthing new technologies that can replace it. Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company Privacy Policy Search Corrections RSS First Look Help Contact Us Work for Us Site Map http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/opinion/15friedman.html?pagewanted=print
  3. IluvMTL

    SketchUp

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