Pictured: I stumbled upon this band playing classic rock tunes as I made my way from the métro in NDG (details below).
Last night I went down to Boulevard Saint-Laurent to check out the street fair I noticed they were starting when my bus ride from Vieux-Montréal the other day took a meandering detour up Sherbrooke. I also wanted to go grab a beer at the Anglophone pub I discovered, Barfly, since I was starved for some socialization and figured it would be a good place to chat up some locals.
I had some great conversations about the politics of Quebec and Canada, the sheer complexities of which I was not aware. I didn't realize how contentious the Quebec political climate is, and how much the provincial government has alienated its anglophone constituents.
During our conversations, someone brought up the fact they were going to attend an event today called Porchfest NDG, a neighborhood music festival taking place all around the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood. I woke up and, after writing my morning pages, decided I'd make good use of a sunny afternoon and find my way there.
Luckily, NDG can be accessed via the Métro Orange Line, at the Vendôme station. This was the furthest I had ridden the Métro so far, and I was taken aback by how unique and beautiful some of the station interiors were. It got me to thinking that it would be a fun photography project to visit every métro stop, photograph each one and publish the photos on a website to showcase the art and architecture that livens up commuters' days here.
When I got off the train, I emerged a couple blocks off Sherbrooke, and tried my best to orient myself.
First, I discovered the band pictured above playing some mean classic rock covers. People had congregated in the street to watch them play, so many that cars had a difficult time getting around us. It was incredibly inspiring to see a full-on concert crowd in someone's front yard.
I remembered NDG was just beyond the A15 overpass, so I followed the road signs to the A15 and eventually found the park that was to host the festival's inaugural event.
I was too late for that, but instead stumbled upon a dadcore punk rock band playing outside an Anglophone used books and music shop:
They were excellent, but unfortunately I arrived at the end of their set and they only played a couple more songs.
I also noticed this nifty mural while walking on Sherbrooke:
On my way back, I remembered that Sherbrooke would eventually lead me back downtown, so I decided to walk along it as far as I could before I got tired, and then find the nearest métro station to wherever I was. This led me to Westmount Square and the Atwater métro:
I had to change trains at Berri-UQAM, since Atwater was on the Green Line. Eventually, my legs sore and my body sleepy, I found my way home.
After a few hours of lazing about in bed, I walked down to the phở restaurant around the corner to get some tasty soup. The guy running the place (I imagine he's the owner) is an all-around chill guy—super-friendly and hospitable. And being that it feels like 110 degrees outside in Florida most of the year, I haven't wanted noodle soup much down there, so it was nice to have a cozy bowl of noodles.
When I got back from dinner and a quick trip to the corner grocery store, a white-and-black cat approached me on the sidewalk outside the apartment. When I bent down to pet her, I expected her to be shy and to run away, but she seemed quite interested in me. So much so that she followed me up the stairs, where I sat for a moment and pet her. Then she leapt onto my lap, at which point I began wondering if she'd been abandoned, or at least, forgotten about.
But then, when I left her and went to unlock my apartment door, she zipped up the stairs and walked in the door ahead of me.
It was at this point that I was concerned. Was this just an extra-social neighborhood cat, or was she in some sort of distress? I located two phone numbers on her tag and called and texted both of them while I sat on the porch and comforted her.
It took a full hour for her owners to return my calls, but they laughed and said she's quite social... which I think is quite the understatement! Her name was Fleurette, and she was probably my favorite part of the day: