Votre McDo le plus proche? (Ligne droite!)
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1. Votre McDo le plus proche? (Ligne droite!)
Old Damascus is quite unique, it is enclosed by very high walls and it can only be accessed by very few doors ( i believe 7 of them). Streets are never wider than the width of two cars, and most of them are unmapped and wide enough for one person to pass.
Old Damascus is composed of a good sized Christian Minority, and you can find packed Churches on Sundays and other Holidays.
Old Damascus is the heart of the oldest still inhabited city in the world, Damascus goes back to over 4000 years before Christ.
So I'm not going to spoil any surprises, check the pics and some commentaries... i tried to be as concise as possible, but if you do have questions, just ask.
If you haven't checked the first part:
Going to Old Damascus
There's no detached houses in Damascus, its all 3-4-5 stories with no elevator. Thats why you don't
see many fat Syrians :-)
The almighty Minister of Finance... aka Mafia.
My host in his '78 Mercedes annoyed by my too many pics... he hasn't seen nothing yet.
The usual 3 lanes become 6 lanes traffic in Syria.
Notice the fruits on the left, that guy makes amazing fresh pressed juice... I was always having one
too... 25sp or 50 cents.
That's the most important commercial street in Damascus, the mazout deliverer and his horse
The almighty Commercial Bank of Syria... the biggest fiasco I've ever witnessed in my life... it
takes maybe 5 or 6 signatures to cash in a regular cheque (45 minutes)... to bad I couldn't take any
A roundabout, very common.
Another common sight... ok maybe not, a fellah wit his lamb :-)
A vestige of old railroad tracks.
Thats a movie theatre... look at those sexy women. BTW, going to the movies in Syria is seen as a
bad thing by the masses.
Thats the old central station.
Good luck in getting in.
Can't remember what was that building.
Thats the telegraph and communication central... if you want a phone line, you go there. (the
waiting list for a phone line was so long that we got it nearly 10 years after we already moved to
Market (Souq) al-Hamidiyya and Roman ruins
So we wanted to visit Al Hamidiyya, unique I confess, and encolsed in Old Damascus.
These are the walls of Old Damascus.
Thats the new part of the markt... not intresting.
That guy on the left doesn't seem to like being taken in a picture :-)
Here we are... it is encolsed by roof. This is the prime spot of the Sook (which spans on many many
Secondary streets where the sook spans.
(Courtesy of The Gazette)
Maxim couronne Montréal
Le Journal de Montréal
DAYTONA BEACH | En offrant un «ménage à trois de filles francophones, de bière et de course automobile», Montréal a obtenu le titre de destinationparty numéro un en Amérique du Nord, selon le magazine Maxim.
Dans son style irrévérencieux, le magazine masculin Maxim suggère à ses lecteurs de venir à Montréal afin de faire la fête lors de deux événements cet été: au Festival international de reggae de Montréal, le week-end prochain (symbolisé dans l'article par une feuille de cannabis), ainsi qu'à la course de série Busch qui se déroulera le 4 août prochain.
Montréal est suivie, dans le classement, par la Nouvelle-Orléans, la péninsule de Basse-Californie au Mexique (Baja California) et le lac des Ozarks au Missouri, un paradis pour la plaisance et les casinos.
D'ailleurs, la proximité du circuit Gilles-Villeneuve et du Casino de Montréal est mise en valeur comme l'une des raisons pour lesquelles Montréal est une bonne destination festive. Dans l'illustration, une paire de dés est installée au milieu de la piste de course qui est pourtant ovale... Et on mentionne que le circuit Gilles-Villeneuve est une «ancienne piste de F-1».
Le casino a attiré l'attention des rédacteurs car «les gains n'y sont pas imposables, une bonne raison pour jouer à l'une des 115 tables chanceuses».
On explique aussi qu'il y a quatre bars dans le casino, sans pour autant mentionner qu'il y est interdit de se faire servir pendant qu'on joue. Dur, dur de faire le party quand tu essaies de jouer aux dés en ne buvant que du café!
Les danseuses dans le palmarès
Bien entendu, un club de danseuses, le Super Contact, fait partie de la liste d'adresses suggérées par le magazine Maxim.
«Comme le nom le suggère, c'est ici que les clients viennent pour combattre la politique fasciste du »pas touche«, qui est en vigueur dans les établissements plus sains tels que le Club Wanda's».
D'autres points d'intérêts montréalais, comme la Biosphère, la basilique Notre-Dame et le Mont-Royal, sont aussi représentés.
«Grimpez vers le point le plus élevé de Montréal pour profiter d'incroyables panoramas. (Vous devez bien faire quelque chose avant que le soleil se couche!)», suggère la légende en parlant du Mont-Royal.
Étonnamment, l'article suggère aussi un terrain de camping, le Koa Montreal-South de Saint-Philippe-de-Laprairie, où planter une tente ou installer un «motorisé » pendant le séjour. Peut-être que les pilotes de NASCAR profiteront de la suggestion, car le site Web d'information aux compétiteurs est très clair: «Les motorisés ne seront pas permis pour cet événement.»
Quand on sait à quel point les pilotes sont attachés à leurs palaces roulants, il risque d'y avoir des grincements de dents... ou bien des clients pour le KOA Montreal-South!
Quelsques suggestions de Maxim
Voici quelques suggestions de choses à faire à Montréal, selon le magazine Maxim qui considère la métropole comme étant la destination de party par excellence en Amérique du Nord.
«Partagez la grosse assiette de fruits de mer, aussi grosse qu'un enjoliveur (145 $) avec vos potes pendant qu'un DJ fait tourner les platines. Eh, oui, c'est bien De Niro qui est assis à côté de vous.» Surprenant qu'ils ne suggèrent pas plutôt la fameuse poutine du Globe.
Lounge À Gogo
«La clientèle et le personnel le plus hot au nord de Miami Beach - si vous pouvez y entrer.» C'est sans ajouter que la majorité de la faune de Saint-Laurent préférerait justement être à Miami Beach!
«Une assiette costaude de viande fumée au coût de 8,50$ en argent de clown canadien. »Avec le taux de change à moins de 1,05$, disons juste que l'argent US est aussi de plus en plus clownesque!
Le pub Winston Churchill
«Les French femmes de ce bar plaisant meurent d'envie de vous faire subir leur rage anti-américaine à votre hôtel.» Les French femmes sont habituellement rares sur Crescent, mais bon...
Rue Prince (on pense qu'il manque «Arthur» dans l'article...)
«À peu près tous les restaurants sur cette rue historique (sic) vous laissent apporter votre propre bouteille de vino, sans frais de débouchage. Votre toast aura autant de classe.»
The Myth of Montreal
Posted 12 Feb 2008 at 12:18 PM by Bill Archer
There are a great many of you who will stop reading at the above title and skip right to the comments section which Huss thoughtfully provides in order for all and sundry to heap abuse on poor ink-stained wretches like Dan and I.
Fair enough. We can take it. (Just lay off of 10Shirt. He's a sensitive, New Age guy.)
So in the spirit of goodwill, mutual respect and bonhomie for which I am justifiably famous, herewith some "Inconvenient Truths" regarding Montreal fielding a team in MLS.
First off, let's look at Montreal's geographical dilemma, because lost somewhere in the discussion about whether Montreal is leaving USL1 is the fact that USL1 seems to be leaving Montreal.
This concept is illustrated perfectly by the history of the "Can-Am Cup" competition, which was a competition between Montreal, Toronto, Rochester and Syracuse. A nice little regional tournament which added a little drama to the season by highlighting natural rivalries.
Except that Syracuse folded in 2004, Toronto left the league in 2007 and there's a good chance Rochester will cease to exist in 2008. So much for natural rivalries.
In fact, USL1 used to have quite a few teams within a quick plane flight, and all of them - save the teetering Rochester Rhinos - are now just memories: Long Island collapsed in 2002. Pittsburgh and Indiana in 2003. Syracuse was gone in 2004. Virginia Beach in 2006. Toronto skipped to MLS in 2007.
And what new cities have taken their place? Well, there was Portland Oregon in 2001, followed by Puerto Rico in 2003 and Miami in 2005.
In other words, if Rochester really does go the way of all things, the shortest road trip and closest "regional rival" will be the Carolina Railhawks, in Cary, NC, a mere 871 miles away. If home and home grudge matches between those two don't light you up, your next choices would be Charleston, SC (1134 miles) St Paul (1240 miles) and their friendly neighbor Vancouver, which is a staggering 3000 miles from the stinky cheese of home.
And the league is welcoming a new member this year: Austin Texas (the obnoxiously named "Aztex"). Apparently the Dark Side of the Moon still has some stadium issues to sort out, but look for them in 2009.
In short, if you're a travel agent, the Impact is the Mother lode, Holy Grail, put-down-a-deposit-on-oceanfront-property of clients. By the end of 2008 they'll have racked up more frequent flier miles than Barack Obama.
Compare this planeride/hotel existence competing against a bunch of far distant cities the average Quebecois couldn't care less about with membership in Major League Soccer East:
Toronto anybody? How about New York? New England? DC? Possibly Philadelphia? Think maybe you could gin up a little fan interest in any of those games?
Talk about a no-brainer: step up to a Division 1 league offering readymade rivalries with major North American cities and have your travel expenses go down? Where do I sign? Get Garber on the horn!
Plus, as everyone knows, because it gets repeated on BigSoccer 50 times a day, Montreal is a) moving into a gleaming new Soccer Specific Stadium this April, b) Draws 12,000 fans a game in a minor league and c) is owned by a scion of the deep-pockets Saputo family, worldwide cheese purveyors.
What else could you possibly want? What kind of idiot is Don Garber, wasting time playing footsie with Philly and St Looey while this golden opportunity is just a quick hop across the border?
Well, to paraphrase Havey Keitel (Mr Wolf) in Pulp Fiction, let's not start "congratulating ourselves" quite yet, gentlemen. There are a couple of issues getting lost in the confetti here, to wit:
First of all, the Impact is not owned by team President Joey Saputo. After the team went bankrupt in 2002 (something nobody ever seems to mention) the team was resurrected as a non-profit organization owned by Saputo, the Quebec Government and Hydro-Quebec. It's charter is to serve as a representative for Montreal tourism and as an incubator for Quebec-born soccer talent.
So leaving aside the question of just how Phil Anschutz might feel about being partnered with a bunch of French-speaking politicians, and just how this ownership structure translates to MLS (and, honestly, it doesn't) there's the fact that a good deal of the Impact's success at the box office is due to the fact that they field as many Quebed-born players as they can find, another thing which won't likely translate well into MLS unless their goal is to lose all the time.
Furthermore, Saputo, who would have to be the one to take over ownership and become and MLS partner, has been bad mouthing MLS for the better part of a decade, very publicly disparaging the caliber of play and scoffing at any hint that he might be interested in joining up.
Back when MLS was desperate for someone - anyone - to step up and buy a team, Saputo ridiculed the idea that it was worth the $10 million asking price. A year or two later, when he could have bought in for $15 million, he announced that it just wasn't worth the money.
But maybe, as the USL has migrated away from Montreal, and after seeing Toronto's success last season, maybe he's changed his mind and, being the gracious, good-hearted, forgiving types that we are, why wouldn't we simply forgive and forget and - assuming he's changed his mind, a proposition for which there is but scant evidence - roll out the red carpet and welcome him with roses and champagne?
Short answer: his stadium.
Now, on any day of the week you can read dozens of BigSoccer expansion experts raving about the wonderful new stadium in Montreal. They'll tell you how, although it only seats 13,000, it is "expandable" to 18,000 (officially it was 17,000 but 18 sounds better, apparently) and if that's still a little small, well, why let that get in the way of a good story?
I would suggest to those of you who are dying to put MLS in that building to look at a couple facts. Starting with the cost of construction:
Among recent stadium projects, Red Bull Park will come in somewhere between $180-200 million. If memory serves, Bridgeview was built for around $100 million. Sandy Stadium is projected to wind up at roughly $115 million. Chester (Philadelphia) and the proposal in Miami both call for $100 million buildings.
Saputo Stadium (Stade Saputo for you Francophones) will be completed this April at a total cost of $15 million. Canadian.
By comparison, Columbus Crew stadium, which a lot of MLS fans denigrate as being a cheaply built galvanized erector set high school stadium cost Lamar Hunt over $28 million. Ten year ago.
So let's have a look at the gleaming soccer palace which so many of you insist ought to become an MLS venue immediately if not sooner, shall we?
The small cement block building in the corner is the combination restroom and concession stand. Just like your local high school only smaller.
The expansion to 17,000? They'll put another set of bleachers in the open end, where the consruction trailers are. It'll make all the difference, I'm sure.
Now this is a very nice little stadium for USL1. Works very well.
But for MLS? Seriously?
I mean, the place makes Crew Stadium look like Anfield.
Sorry, Montreal. It's just not going to happen.