I've always had the thought of what would happen if stores didn't close early in Montreal, mainly on the weekends. On one hand, it gives a nice work-life balance, but on the other hand, stores closing at 5 pm in a major city gives it a dead feeling. I've had friends from the states, and also people here who want stores to be opened later on weekends, preferably until 9 pm.
2. Bars being open till 6 am, with the last call being at 5:30 am.
The question is
1. In your opinion: would you want retail/store hours extended until 9 pm on weekends, and would you want bars open until 6 am?
2. Would it benefit the economy, will things stay the same or will it be a boon?
3. Will it have a huge impact on society? or a minimal one?
Alstom is delivering Hydrogen-fuelled intercity Coradia trains to Lower Saxony.
The locomotive and motor engine were manufactured in France whilst the Hydrogen cell was made in Germany.
In terms of fuel supply, Hydrogen is generated by electrolysis and the energy used to power this reaction is tapped from wind power.
Functionally-speaking, energy is generated by converting H2 gas to electricity using reverse electrolysis - an old technology discovered back in the 19th century.
A single H2 fill-up drives the engine with an autonomy of 1,000 km plus the possibility of peaking up to 140 km/h. This is a direct alternative to diesel trains, the motor engine itself is electric, hence quiet, and overhead lines are history.
H2 is stored in a highly pressurized state and withheld inside reservoirs bearing high tensile strength, still I ponder on the event of an accident given its extremely exothermic nature.
Anyway, I often hear people arguing over job losses through delocalized assembly lines or trivial companies moving to Calgary or Toronto and always thought Montreal (besides France and Germany BTW, coz I deeply love these 2 cultures ) had all what it takes to unleash innovative industries that would disrupt traditional transport and energy markets (kind like the way Apple's smartphones relegated Nokia's mobile technology to oblivion). Quebec has top universities that lead research in the Physical Sciences, lots of natural resources and genuine reasons to curb climate change. One could imagine developing shuttles that use hydrogen cells to transit people from one bank of the Saint Laurent to another. La Rochelle already has one such gizmo and Marseille has been using a solar-powered equivalent to move people around the Vieux-Port.
Une petite révolution dans le monde des transports
Source: Radio France, 11/11/2017
Vibrant Montreal brings new Canadian rock sound to world scenes
Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 (EST)
Montreal, the Canadian city known for its fierce winters, has become an international hotspot for a new wave of indie bands.
The Montreal band "Arcade Fire" during a performance
© AFP/GettyImages/File Kevin Winter
PARIS (AFP) - Led by trailblazers Arcade Fire, guitar-wielding groups have been touring overseas, winning fans and have everyone wondering about the secret of the city’s sudden success.
Alongside the rock scene, electronic acts such as DJ Champion, Kid Koala and Tiga have made "based in Montreal" a fashionable stamp of quality.
In the process, the image of Canadian music, once dominated by pop crooners Bryan Adams and Celine Dion, has been redefined.
"Montreal is an extremely cosmopolitan and open city," said homegrown singer Pierre Lapointe, giving his reasons for the new vibrancy.
"We couldn’t care less about origins. What we look for is good music and interesting ways of doing things," he added during a stop in Paris.
Montreal is home to about two million people, making it the biggest city in the French-speaking eastern province of Quebec.
Music journalist and commentator for Canadian cable channel MusiquePlus, Nicolas Tittley, puts the vitality of the guitar scene down to North American influences.
The Montreal band "Arcade Fire" during a performance
© AFP/GettyImages/File Kevin Winter
"Rock, country, blues, folk. Basically, all the music movements linked to North America are not foreign for 'les Montrealais'," he said in an interview.
Indie rockers Arcade Fire have sold a million albums worldwide, according to their record label, and fellow groups Wolf Parade, The Bell Orchestre, Patrick Watson, Stars, The Besnard Lakes or The Dears are following in their footsteps.
The francophone movement includes Ariane Moffatt, Karkwa, Ghislain Poirier, Les Trois Accords and Malajube.
Malajube is threatening to cross the language divide and break into English-speaking markets after the group’s new album "Trompe-l'oeil" won plaudits from US reviewers.
Although Montreal is a majority francophone city, most people can speak (and sing in) both languages and the city is also home to a large, well-integrated ethnic population.
"The openness that we have in Montreal is quite unique," said Laurent Saulnier, programmer for the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Francofolies de Montreal event.
"Few cities in the world have access to so many sorts of music from everywhere: France, USA, Europe, South America, or Africa."
The cross-over of influences and culture is also seen in the music collaborations.
Pierre Lapointe, The Dears, Les Trois Accords and Loco Locass, a rap group similar to the Beastie Boys, make guest appearances on the Malajube’s album.
Critics snipe that the hype will not last, but for the moment at least, a new, fresh face has been put on Canadian music overseas. ©AFP
DURING the 2000 presidential campaign, the candidate from Texas fielded a question from Canada: “Prime Minister Jean Poutine said you look like the man who should lead the free world into the 21st century. What do you think about that?”
When George W. Bush pledged to “work closely together” with Mr. Poutine, Montrealers fell off their chairs laughing. It wasn’t so much that the Canadian leader was, in fact, Jean Chrétien, but that the “reporter” — Rick Mercer, a television comedian — had invoked the city’s emblematic, problematic, comedic junk food dish: poutine.
A gloppy, caloric layering of French fries, fresh cheese curds (a byproduct of Cheddar making) and gravy, poutine goes deep into the Quebequois psyche. Somehow, Quebec’s rural roots, its split identity (Acadian farmers or Gallic gourmets?) and its earthy sense of humor are all embodied by its unofficial dish.
This may be one reason that until now poutine has not traveled well. True, it was on the menu for years at Shopsin’s, the quirky West Village restaurant that closed this year, but so was nearly every other known foodstuff. But recently, it has materialized in a handful of cities across the United States. In New York City, it is on the menu at three highly divergent establishments, and this time it shows signs of taking hold.
Andy Bennett, the chef at the Inn LW12 in the meatpacking district, recalled his reaction on being told (by the Canadian faction of the inn’s owners) that poutine must be served. “I said, you’ve got to be kidding me. Then I realized I wasn’t going to be able to get away from it.”
Mr. Bennett, however, was converted. “You have to embrace these things,” he said. “Now it’s our biggest selling item by a long stretch.”
“I think it’s going to be across the city soon,” he said. “It’s going to stick without a doubt.”
Mr. Bennett’s choice of words was apt. Poutine is an extreme stick-to-your-ribs concoction, whose name is said to derive from Quebequois slang. According to the dominant creation myth, in 1957 a restaurateur named Fernand Lachance, when asked by a customer to combine fries and cheese curds, said it would make “une maudite poutine” — an unholy mess. (And this was pre-gravy. Another restaurateur, Jean-Paul Roy of Le Roy Jucep, claims to have first served fries with gravy and curds in 1964.)
Since Mr. Lachance’s death three years ago, poutine’s de facto spokesman has been Bob Rutledge, creator of the Web site MontrealPoutine.com. Mr. Rutledge, a professor of astrophysics at McGill University specializing in neutron stars, black holes and gamma ray bursts, first heard of poutine on moving to Montreal in 2004. He was instantly smitten.
“When I started asking about it, I got one of two responses,” he said. “It was either: ‘Oh here’s my favorite poutine place; you must go...’, or else it was: ‘Oh my God, why do you want to eat that stuff?’ It’s a veritable food phenomenon; half the people are embarrassed it exists.”
Siobhan O’Connor, a journalist who moved to New York from Montreal five years ago, has a different view. “The only people who don’t like poutine are people on a diet,” she said. “It’s the first thing you want when you go back, a real late-night post-drinking thing.”
Ms. O’Connor recently sampled the new batch of New York poutines. The classic version at Sheep Station, an Australian gastropub on the western edge of Park Slope, initially struck her as too dry. But, on discovering that the Quebequois chef, Martine Lafond, had secreted further curds and gravy under crisp, hot fries, she warmed to it, declaring the gravy authentically peppery, salty and meaty, and the curds as fresh as could be expected so far from home.
At Pommes Frites, an East Village storefront that traffics in Belgian fries but now has a sideline in their Canadian cousins, neither the rubbery, yellowish curds nor the lukewarm, flavorless sauce met with Ms. O’Connor’s approval. But Mr. Bennett’s four varieties at the Inn LW12 did, despite distinctly unorthodox stylings.
“I’d come back here just for this,” she declared of the plate with five-spice gravy and chewy strips of pork belly, though she found the Stilton cheese in the rich, toothsome braised beef with red wine version to be overload and the herby marinara sauce on the tomato version — called Italienne back home — disappointing. Though somewhat overshadowed by its glitzy sisters, the classic, too, more than passed muster.
Ms. O’Connor explained that poutine really belonged to the French speakers — her Irish-Montrealer mother, for instance, had never tried it — until “around 2000, when people started messing with it: green peppercorns, Gruyère, truffle oil...”
According to Professor Rutledge, variations on the theme are fine. “They strike me as creative and interesting so I give bonus points,” he said. He is, however, from Southern California. The average Montrealer seems to be more of a purist.
The chef Martin Picard, one of Montreal’s most high-profile culinary figures, embraces poutine at his restaurant Au Pied de Cochon. “That dish becomes an international passport,” he declared. “It’s not haute gastronomie, but it permits Quebec to get more interest from the rest of the world.”
Mr. Picard said he occasionally offers classic poutine as a “clin d’oeil” — a wink — to Quebequois cuisine, but his version with foie gras is what everyone remembers. For this, the regular poutine sauce — a thick, highly seasoned chicken velouté, which Mr. Picard enhances with pork stock — is enriched by foie gras and egg yolks. The dish is crowned with a four-ounce slab of seared goose liver.
Whether Montreal’s embarrassing but adored junk food does take root in New York, it may never attain the status it achieved earlier this year when the CBC revealed the results of a viewer poll on the greatest Canadian inventions of all time. Granted, poutine came in only at No. 10. But it beat, among other things, the electron microscope, the BlackBerry, the paint roller and the caulking gun, lacrosse, plexiglass, radio voice transmission and basketball.
Outside the box in old Montreal
By Patricia Harris, Globe Correspondent | May 27, 2007
MONTREAL -- Once the weather warms there's hardly a better picnic spot than the riverside park of the Old Port. And there's hardly a better place to pick up your meal than Europea Espace Boutique , the Old Montreal gourmet shop opened by one of the city's top chefs, Jérôme Ferrer .
No sub shop here, as the elegant minimalist decor and racks of museum-quality coffee sets and boutique condiments attest. Although Europea sits in the heart of the tourist district, you're likely to encounter bankers, lawyers, and government office workers coming in for the box lunches ( boîtes à lunch to the French-speakers). In case it rains, the shop even has a few tables and a bar with high stools for dining in.
The box lunches feature a choice of sandwich (prosciutto and Benedictine blue cheese with grapes and figs, for example, or sliced lamb with onion confit and grilled vegetables on ciabatta ) or salad (marinated vegetables with smoked duck and shaved Parmesan, or tiny greens with gravlax , fresh dates, and slices of mango) and choice of soda, juice, or water.
An exquisite little pastry is perhaps the clincher. There's something downright decadent about concluding a picnic with a lemon and chocolate cream tart or a miniature chocolate mousse cake. The chocolate indulgence needn't end with the meal. Europea also sells dessert-inspired body products, such as crème brûlée hand lotion, dark chocolate bath oil, chocolate orange perfume, and white chocolate massage oil. Sweets for the sweet, indeed.
Europea Espace Boutique, 33 rue Notre-Dame Ouest. 514-844-1572. europea.ca. Box lunch $8.10.