Happening Gourmand Vieux Montreal is currently happening held between January 16 to February 9, 2020. A handful of restaurants in Old Montreal is participating in this food event filled with special priced menus for lunch, brunch, dinner and happy hour. We had time to as a Battle of Ingredients in January replacement to go out with the group to try out a meal at Taverne Gaspar for their dinner menu.
Blueberry Tea Cocktail
Honey Old Fashioned
Being a tavern, there is a no doubt that we were expecting some delicious cocktails. The first is one that I was recommended from the waiter as a hot cocktail called Blueberry Tea that has black tea, Grand Marnier and amaretto. Its really delicious and such a warm feeling to have a nice hot cocktail in the winter.. The second is my husband’s where Old-Fashioned is his go-to and for Happening Gourmand, the Honey Old-Fashioned which has bourbon, honey syrup and orange bitter. Its a nice taste and the husband liked it quite a bit. If we go back, he said that he’d try the other old-fashioned on the menu called MTL Old-Fashioned.
I realized that I didn’t take any pictures of the appetizers except for my own replacement for dairy-free option which was a green salad with balsamic vinegar. The actual options on the menu is:
Seasonal Root Vegetable Soup
Arugula Mango and Avocado Salad
Confit Duck Leg
There was a good selection of mains and ended up with the Beef Mignonette which was the option that didn’t need to be modified except for taking out the mashed potatoes and replacing it with yet another green salad. I have to say, the beef itself was cooked very tasty. My only issue with this whole thing is that they didn’t think about how to replace mashed potatoes with fries or something instead of a second green salad. I was having a feeling that I had turned into a rabbit during this meal.
I believe that everyone did enjoy their meal pretty well. My husband took the cheeseburger (as expected) and he thought it was pretty good. The only meal that isn’t shown here is Mussel and Fries.
Maple Creme Brulee
Sugar Pie with Chantilly Cream
Lactose-free option: Chocolate Chip Shot
Last for dessert, we had two main choices: Maple Creme Brulee & Sugar Pie with Chantilly Cream. I think that perhaps the dessert was the letdown for the main. My husband took the Maple Creme Brulee and it was a bit disappointing in his opinion. As for the sugar pie, I believe that as expected it was rather sweet, maybe overly sweet. I can’t quite remember that one. However, a really nice surprise for their lactose free option was to replace with a shot. The waiter chose to give me the chocolate chip (or I can’t remember if my friend went to follow-up and chose it for me..not too sure). Its really a great one that if you go to Taverne Gaspar should try because if you didn’t know what liquid chocolate chips taste like, this shot was like drinking a chocolate chip. It was absolutely delicious.
Overall, Taverne Gaspar was pretty alright. The ambiance was very good and it was overly loud as what you’d expect in bars. The food was delicious just probably not quite focused in the balance of structuring meals or not as well-thought through. However, if you don’t have the nuisance of lactose-intolerance then these issues shouldn’t occur. And of course, as a bar, their drinks are definitely a huge highlight and a place that we’d go back to try some other of their cocktails as they all sound very good. Despite some little disappointments, the overall experience was comfortable and nice.
Welcome to the mid-April Weekly Adventures! Its a bit weird to call this the calm before the storm as we supposedly should have had a rain storm (there was a rainfall warning on The Weather Network) but it was a lot more mild than expected. Regardless, my meaning is that the first half of April was relatively calm but the second half of April is going to be crazy. I sometimes skip the month end April Adventures post because my life is going to be mostly work and more overtime work so just putting it out there in case, things get crazy. For now though, April was a little quiet, mostly because there weren’t any holidays and then nothing huge happened and I didn’t really do a whole lot of anything. Still, let’s see if I can rummage something to talk about. I will end with some little planning things I have set for myself in anticipation for some stuff down the line.
I’m going to keep this short since I already did a small post on it before. ChuChai is a Thai vegan restaurant. It was a spontaneous visit to say the least while being in the area.
You can check out the entire Restaurant ChuChai post HERE.
Courses Thematiques Le Tour D’Horloge (& Old Montreal Stroll)
To be clear, my outdoor running season hasn’t started. I’ll talk about that at the end of the post. My friend’s that I help out has. This was a new one for him but it was a nice double race to start with a 5 km and 8 km. To be honest, I’m considering this one for next year, the 5km probably since its still early in the season and on the rare occasion, I’d have time to run in March. Either way, my friend did alright especially for the first outdoor races. However, I liked it mostly because I got to finally walk around during that time and take some nice pictures in Old Montreal. I work around the area but its not the same on a weekend morning or when its gloomy and stuff. The emptiness of it in some areas makes for some nice pictures. I only showed two with actual runners in the background. Talking about the race, the course looks pretty nice.
L’Instant at Casino De Montreal (again)
One of my friends are on a gaining casino points mission so its been all about taking advantage of the bonus points events so on the start of a gloomy weekend, we went out to have dinner. I finally got to try Fish & Chips there which was what I wanted to try last time but decided to choose the pasta instead. It was the special of the day and I don’t think its a permanent selection? I really don’t know the menu here at the L’Instant, the deli at the casino that well. Either way, it was pretty good. I only went to the casino to eat so it was pretty much in and out.
Upcoming Plans: Workout Plan
As the 2 months and one week countdown starts until my best friend’s wedding and I’m one of the bridesmaids, I need to lose some of my winter fat and get a little more in shape (at least to make sure that I can still get into the dress at the end of June. I have started walking the stairs to the office at our building and trying to not take the elevator. Its been pretty nice. The project coming up is finding a cardio and weights workout schedule that I know that I can stick to and try to eat more healthier. I’d like to start clean eating again but I’m not sure that I’m totally ready for it. Either way, I’m going to gradually try to get back to a more balanced diet, more veggies probably. Gardening season also starts soon and weather is starting to be good for running so I’m looking forward to putting some outdoors activities in as well as in May, hiking starts. So, I’ll work it out accordingly. Especially going to try to add in using the park workout stations facilities to incorporate something different to the running path. I won’t do a segment specifically for workout (too many segments right now) but I will do some updates here. 🙂
Cute Kitty Pic
That’s it for this Adventures post! Its been relatively calm lately and its nice since I’m enjoying the staying at home time.
Hopefully I keep up with posting (or getting things done in bulk beforehand) for the second half of April.
MTL a Table finally done as of this past Sunday. In a final attempt to give a brunch a shot, my friends decided to go out for one last little trip out! Well, a post I saw about the recommended brunches just made me want to go eat one of them so much and the Bistro-Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises just looked phenomenal in the article that I’m happy they agreed.
Let’s wrap up MTL a Table in style!
Bistro-Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises
MTL a Table Brunch
Mimosa with Prosecco
(another option is mimosa with beer)
One word for this: YUM! I love mimosas. Probably because I don’t usually have them when I go out for breakfast.
Toutiere du Lac St. Jean (Pie pan of Lac St-Jean with deer, ox and boar, country bread, wild boar bacon jam and seasonal fruits)
Burger des Soeurs (Pretzel Bread, blueberries wild boar sausage, aged cheddar cheese, egg, fruit mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato salsa Kumato and seasonal fruits and brown chopped potatoes)
Pancake and Gravlax (Thin pancake with gravlax and smoked Matane shrimp, dill cream, flying fish egg, apple and fennel salad, smoked potato salad and seasonal fruits)
I had the tourtiere du Lac St. Jean for this one. The other choices, without the lactose portion just would seem incomplete. But then, I had my eye on this option. I don’t think it was on the menu displayed on MTL a Table site. Just to show that, you can never be sure about a menu until you give it a chance for these events. For those who don’t know, Tourtiere is something of a traditional Quebec food. It is pretty much a meat pie. Some people prefer to eat it with ketchup. I do that sometimes. If you look at this one, they really changed up the formula. The meat is different and the presentation as well. It was so awesome! Right from the meat in the pan to the bacon jam. As for the other options, the pancake and gravlax was delicious as well. My friend enjoyed that one. Her husband took the burger and I think it was decent as well.
The winner of the show for my friends was maybe the side of pretzel bread that we got. It was not only cute to look at but also tasted really good. I personally think they could have gotten another one.
Overall… Bistro-Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises is a winner. The brunch was the best meal out of the four places we checked out. You can argue that I’ma brunch lover so a little biased but this place has heart, great atmosphere, located in a nice part of town and the service was great. Really not much to complain about. I just want to go out to eat there again and try something else on their menu.
Last week’s My Weekly Adventure, I had talked about this free historic event in Old Montreal. All you needed to do to learn about architecture and history of Old Montreal was to strap on your comfortable walking shoes and head out for 30, 60 or 90 mins, depending on what you liked and even choose day or night. There were different circuits for the thirty and sixty minute ones exploring different area of Old Montreal. If you didn’t want their circuit, you needed to get the app (you need whether or not you follow a circuit) and go the points of interest.
I have yet to do the nighttime trail but I have done the daytime trail. Its the Circuit 2 which runs somewhere near where I work and was a good after work activity.
What makes Cité Memoire so special, right? The point of it is that it is a free history lesson using modern technology (aka your cellphone) and using this year’s new favorite technology, augmentative reality. It is educational and is a good reason for a walk around Old Montreal and admire the city a little while having a little guide in your hands telling you where to turn and what the highlight is. I think its pretty nifty and I’m not even a tourist. There was some stuff I knew before but there’s also information that I never learned about. It isn’t like there is a Montreal history course in school, there is World History and Canadian/Quebec history.
What I’m going to do is take you on this Trail again! I didn’t actually snap a lot of pics on the trail so I went back to some of the locations.
And with augmented reality…
New York Life Insurance Building
Merchants Bank Building
Saint Anne’s Market & Parliament Building/The Grand Trunk Building
Centre D’Histoire de Montreal
The Grey Nuns
Joe Beef’s Tavern
John Lovell and Son Building
CPR Telegraph Building
Centaur Theatre/The Montreal Stock Exchange
The Old Custom House and Place Royale
De Maisonnveue’s Path and The First Seminary
Notre Dame Basilica
Here’s your walkthrough in pictures. I hope I got most of the buildings right. It was mostly by memory of the path that I took and little bits of historical things I retained. You’ll see some buildings will have American architecture influence like the last picture. Some will have European influences and others are just historical symbols of the city. Its sad that I can only do this mostly in the evening so some of the sculptures on the building like the gargoyles and whatnot, are not as apparent. I used to never notice them until this walk.
I hope that it returns next year. I’m not sure if it is still running now. Maybe the nighttime one? I’ll have to double check. But I’m hoping to go check out more if its still on if not, next year, I’ll be back out to learn more!
There’s no better way to start the week than with some lovely food posts. At least I love looking at food-related stuff to start off my week. In My Weekly Adventures post, I had promised a breakfast/brunch double feature and here it is! Well, its not a double feature because I think Le Cartet deserves a post all to itself!
Let’s jump right into it!
Le Cartet is a fun dining experience. The restaurant is very big and its part of the back 75% of the store. In the front area is a little boutique with a lot of nifty little organic foods. The assortment of chocolates, particularly dark chocolate is amazing. There’s also a little coffee bar right in front of the reception/waiting area. There’s a lot to look at even if there is a little waiting. We were rather lucky since we got there before 10am and didn’t have to wait but right after we got seated, the crowd started arriving and by the time we left, there was quite a few people waiting.
The seating is unique. The decor has a lot of style that matches where its situated in Old Montreal. Its not too bright but not too dark either. The tables are some that are the normal square ones but it also has a seating on long tables like in a lunch room but with individual chairs. So technically, you might end up sitting next to another group. That is what happened to us, but there’s enough space to not feel crammed surprisingly.
Brunch des Cantons
Brunch des Toscans (maybe?)
There was a selection of teas to choose from which is usually only available in these more delicate restaurants. Brunch des Cantons is amazing. It comes in a pan and is cooked in duck fat so everything just melts and the highlight is the ham. Its not like the traditional ham we get at other restaurants sliced. This one is really delicious and just simply awesome! I have the other plates that my friends got but I cannot remember which they are on the menu. The last one is the Smoked Salmon platter. I think everyone enjoyed their food. The smoked salmon was a lot since they struggled to finish it.
Overall, Le Cartet is fantastic and deserves a visit if you are ever in Montreal. Just remember to try to get there a little earlier to avoid waiting! 🙂
We’re ending MTL a Table in absolute style. This time, we’re in for a $41 menu at Bonaparte. Bonaparte is French cuisine located in Old Montreal very close to where I work. The menu itself was probably one of the most anticipated in our little foodie adventure event. Also, we didn’t realize but this is a five service meal (including tea and coffee). The restaurant is attached to the Auberge Bonaparte where you go in from the cozy reception area to enter the restaurant itself.
Are you excited? I know I am!
MTL a Table: Bonaparte
Drinks & Bread
From tallest to shortest: La Presque “Made in Quebec”, Le Old Timer, La Sour D’Automne
Mine was the La Presque “Made in Quebec”. It has Ungava Gin, Cassis Monas et Filles (a blackcurrant based wine), maraschino, lemon. This one was quite good. It did feel a little strong but the mix was rather tasty. Not too fruity but a stronger taste. One of my friends described as cough meds. So I guess the cherry and blackcurrent might give that sort of taste if you don’t like it.
Le Old Timer was my husband’s choice. I cannot remember what it had. I think its spiced rum, ice cider and lemon(?). He liked it quite a bit. That one was even stronger than mine in taste but still rather refreshing.
My friend’s husband took the “Autumn Sour” (in translation). It was a fruity mix among at the three. I can’t remember at all except that it had egg whites in it and some fruity addition. It was the lightest out of the three in taste but maybe not in content. You know, cocktails tend to be heavier the sweeter it is 😉
Delicious bread and fantastic presentation
I haven’t posted any of the bread offered at the previous 3 restaurants in MTL a Table but bread is an important part of the menu as well. It starts our meal and sometimes, its important that its appealing to eyes as well. Bonaparte inspires confidence just because an eating experience also includes a visual one from every angle. Even its bread not only tasted delicious and fresh and had variety of multigrain and normal baguette but also was presented so beautifully. It was hard to resist eating it.
Lobster bisque enhanced with ginger
Mixed green salad with pine nuts (and parmesan shaving*)
1st service encountered an issue for me. I couldn’t eat either of the dishes. In retrospect, I shouldn’t taken the green salads with the parmesan since my friends and my husband shared the dish after their lobster bisque. What I can’t eat, they now know to share their opinions with me. Mixed greens salads was great with the addition of the pine nuts adding a nice twist and it was very fresh. My friend’s husband preferred the salad over the lobster bisque but my friend and my husband liked the lobster bisque.
Homemade smoked salmon with truffle oil
Warm goat cheese and almonds in phyllo dough
Duck foie gras creme brulee with sauteed apples
My choice was the Homemade Smoked Salmon. This was absolutely delicious. I kid you not. I’m not a huge smoked salmon fan. I tolerate it and it has a nice texture and all that but this one blew me away. I took my first bite and was like “Wow!”.
No one was a big goat cheese fan so my friend’s husband took this one. I’m not sure if goat cheese has lactose but apparently they say it doesn’t. I think he enjoyed it although there was more discussion on the former topic than the dish itself.
The last choice here had the most conversation between us. My husband and friend both took this one. Duck foie gras was fantastic however, each of them had the same conclusion. The bread offered to pair it was a little too crumbly, rather, they ended up using the baguettes and multigrain bread offered to us instead. However, the star, duck foie gras creme brulee was a sure winner and possibly a highlight of the meal.
Dover sole fillet seasoned with Meuniere style fresh herbs and pine nuts
Rack of Lamb and port wine jus
Beef filet mignon seasoned with five peppercorn and cognac
Breast of duck flavored with maple syrup and wild berries
Its nice to say that all the meals were done great. We all loved our own meals.
My friend took the sole fillet. I had a taste and it was fresh and had a great texture. The herbs and especially the pine nuts added an extra to the meal itself.
My choice was the rack of lamb. It was tender and very tasty. I’m not usually a fan of port wine jus but this one was really well matched with the meat. Plus, the veggies were a great side. Every dish had similar vegetable sides. The sweet potato mash was fluffy and so delicious. Also, we had an assortment of carrots with the white and the purple sort. They both were very good since its the first time I’ve tasted it.
My husband chose the beef fillet mignon. That peppercorn and cognac sauce was key to making this piece of meat just melt in my mouth. I had one bite and while I’m not a huge steak sort of fan. This cut was amazing. I loved it and he loved it!
My friend’s husband had the duck breast. I had a little tasting of this as well. The wild berries sauce works really well with duck. Berries seem to be the best way to match with duck meat and its definitely a winner. They suggested this choice as the highlight dish. I can definitely see why.
Typically there is only one choice and its the symphony of homemade desserts which is like a taster dish. The winner of this one is the creme brulee that everyone liked a lot. A very close second was the cheesecake. That was the general consensus. Obviously, I couldn’t eat this so I got a very appealing diced fruit salad. First of all, I always find fruit salads to be a cheap replacement to my neighbors who are having this fancy array of desserts. But, what made me feel a little better about this was that they had mangoes in their fruit salad which pretty much increased the value of it. Plus, you add mango to anything and I’m in love so good move on Bonaparte.
5th service: Tea and Coffee
Sorry, I was on baby duty at this part so I didn’t take any pictures. We had a proper teapot with Four O’Clock tea. There was a variety of choices. Mine with Green Tea and my friend took Camomile.
$41 at five course meal is very decent. When we flipped through the menu, there was a degustation menu which had two more services and was priced at $74. Plus, the service was great. The food was very enjoyable and appealing. They had a few little details that we didn’t enjoy or some pairings some of us couldn’t get passed but overall, it was a delicious meal. The presentation and the taste, especially in our main course (3rd service) was a winner for all of us. I tried all the plates and each one was like it melted in my mouth and made me feel so happy. A nice way wrap up our MTL a Table outing!
Definitely an event worth going to! We made some really good discoveries in this year’s MTL a Table week and I look forward to what next year has to offer. My only suggestion to have restaurants always offer something that is allergen free of some sort, whether its gluten-free or at least the basic lactose-free. It really helps to get the full experience without having to feel left out or guessing what was set to balance it.
Wow! It feels like a long time I haven’t done a Weekly Adventures. This past month has been extreme festival season here and with wedding planning and keeping up with everything, its been really crazy. Mentally and physically draining in many ways but things are settling down. While that is the case, I still have little thoughts of having just a week off from the blog to catch up on things, notably sleep. If any of you thought I didn’t sleep before, now its even less.
Regardless, lets hope I can fit this all in one post. This month was really eventful and probably a few of these deserve their own posts but we’ll deal with it here! 🙂 So warning: it will be long but I’ll keep the words less and pictures more formula.
1) Fantasia Festival
Fantasia Festival is over! Which means its been at least a month since I’ve posted my last Weekly Adventures. I made it to all the movies even though there were a few I started wondering if I was starting to get sick especially when it was bouncing back between our heat wave and then rainy weather. 11 movies and a lot of decent choices. There were some disappointments but mostly there were pleasant surprises.
What might have shined other than the movies were the short films. The Morrigan, Black Eyes, What Doesn’t Kill You, Point of View were all really good. A fantastic festival and I look forward to next year. I did miss a few that had some scheduling issues but I look forward to hopefully finding them on Netflix 🙂
2) Unexpected Retweet!
I think the busiest time during my site is during Fantasia Festival season and Halloween marathon time. The site kind of takes off a little. Its that whole horror genre thing, I guess. Its okay. I’m just happy that it does because themed months makes me work double as hard and I plan in advance as much as I can. Regardless, I had some fabulous people retweet me. The best one was for Cooties. Elijah Wood retweeted my post! Excuse me. I’m still a little shocked. And that brought a ton of retweets from probably his fans and followers which made smile a ton!
Then the second one was Tales of Halloween where one or two people of the crew liked the post.
I never expect much from my posts but I do try to link them up for the Festival so that its a little more exposure for them. I just never expect these things to happen to my little blog. Anyways, happy times, happy surprises! 🙂
3) Ottawa Asian Night Market
Living in Canada, we don’t always get to savor the authentic Asian cuisine. Montreal doesn’t hold a lot of it so I usually head out to Toronto to get some better Chinese food. This year, located in Lansdowne Park in Ottawa there was the Asian Night Market. For one, it was a zoo! One line could take up to 90 minutes wait time. We had to separate and conquer in order to eat efficiently.
The lamb skewers were possibly the best ones. There was some potato tornado or something like that. It was really good. Unfortunately, my phone died on the way there so I didn’t take any pictures…
4) Festival Orientalys & Just for Laughs Festival (Take 2)
One of my friends has a booth out at the Festival Orientalys the weekend afterwards selling Japanese street food: Takoyaki, Kakigori and Okonomiyaki. After that, we headed out to Just for Laughs Festival for a second take to eat more food. I’m telling…I ate on and off for about 3 hours. It was crazy! It was also fantastic weather so I had a lot of delicious drinks to try out. We got to watch some shows down at the Place des Arts area for the Just for Laughs Festival. It was an awesome time!
Starbucks Peach Green Tea Lemonade
Kakigori Strawberry & Blueberry Flavor @ Takoyaki Montreal
Takoyaki & Okonomiyaki @ Takoyaki Montreal
Lime and Orange Flavored Kakigori @ Takoyaki Montreal
Potato Spirals @ Aladdin Potato
Lemonade @ Lemon Heaven
Hibiscus Lemonade @ Aux Vivres, Just for Laughs Festival
Pulled beef sandwich
Phoenix 1 Food Truck
Lobster Roll @ Lucille’s Food Truck, Just for Laughs Festival
5) Fireworks: Madonna Tribute + Dinner in Old Montreal
The Montreal International Fireworks Festival runs for about a month or so. I haven’t gone to see any of the showings in a few years. For the last show that wraps up the festival, we went to go see the fireworks with my fiance and a bunch of our friends. We went out and met up for dinner beforehand. After some discussion, we decided to go to Holder’s Restaurant in Old Montreal.
Strawberry Basil Martini
Long Island Iced Tea
Beer: Sapporo and Smithwick
Mussels and Fries
Fish and Chips
And for some Fireworks highlight!
Waiting for the Fireworks Show! Isn’t it beautiful?
6) Brossard Cultural and Gastronomic Festival + (more) Fireworks
My goodness, these festivals, right? And you can start asking, why is she always eating? I’m sorry. I should be losing weight for the wedding but umm…I just can’t resist. Brossard Festival has been around for a few years now. I’ve only started going this past few years. I had skipped last year though. This year, they added food trucks and we got there later so that we could catch the fireworks finale at 11pm.
The process to get there, especially that last 45 minutes was painful. No disrespect to the highlight band, La Bottine Souriante which is a Quebec folk band, but it was a clash of loud music which was balanced so bad that it sounded like a thousand pots clanging at the same time. On top of that, the lyrics were absolutely hilarious and somewhat creepy (in a weird stalker-ish way). Anyways, no disrespect. It wasn’t for me and it was fun watching everyone doing their version of jigs and jumping up and down.
But the fireworks, although only 15 minutes long was fantastic. It was simply beautiful
7) Wedding Planning
I guess I’ve kind of kept it pretty quiet. I had shared some details with some blogging buddies here and there. Wedding planning on a tight time schedule between ALL these events is what is going on. We had some invitations snags which are all ironed out. You can see my invitation package below! 🙂
If only all of us blogging friends weren’t so scattered around the world, there’s a lot of you I’d love to invite. Imagine a meeting at a wedding, now that would be so cool! Unfortunately, I’m not rich so I can’t fly all of you in. Sad because a lot of you have been a consistent part of my life the last few years and to me, you are all my friends 🙂 If you do want a bit more details on it, you can always drop me an email.
The past Sunday, I went shopping with my girl friends for my wedding dress and their bridesmaids dress. I have a lovely friend being my celebrant so we were looking something for her as well! All in all, it was a long and exhausting day of shopping BUT, GOAL ACHIEVED! I found my wedding gown after just two dresses! It had everything I wanted and met all the criteria! Now for a few touch-ups and its ready to go! And, we even found my two girls their dresses with a lovely color (they called it eggplant). And I found my second dress! 🙂
Things are rolling into place but tentative schedules, details, centerpieces, bouquet, my mom’s dress, and of course, wedding bands: all still on our to-do list. The date is rolling really close, my friends! I’ll probably drop one more update before the wedding! Two months countdown has started!!!
Baking Through Disney Project: Snow White theme baked goods (my plan for this weekend)
Unloading my vacation pictures from May (I know its late but things got a little crazy)
Music Obsessions (possibly!)
A few book reviews
I’m planning a new way to get rid of some movies on Netflix and I’ll talk about it on the next movie review (right after I wrap up all the posts I owe fellow bloggers)
Maybe a Wedding Planning themed Pinterest Therapy (for good measure)
And to end it all, since I didn’t do a workout update, although I’m still running, Zumba and doing a 4 week Nike Training Club Workout Program. In the heart of Zumba, one of the instructors use this as our cooldown song so it always makes stretch and do the cooldown routine when it comes on. I wasn’t a huge fan but listening to it over and over kind of grew on me.
Happy Friday, my lovelies!! 🙂
P.S. Drop by later! I have something awesome coming up!!
Caz at Lets Go To The Movies hosted their first blogathon.
The theme is based on everyone’s hometowns.
The idea is to do a little bit of research to put together a blog post about your hometown and link it to film. – Let’s Go To The Movies
This is a pretty exciting blogathon for me because Montreal has been one of the go-to places to film movies. In the last decade (or maybe more), Montreal has been turned into Paris or New York just to name two.
FILMS SET IN MONTREAL
Finding movies set in Montreal and isn’t a Quebec production tends to be harder to find. The first to come to mind is The Whole Nine Yards with Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry. I don’t remember that movie much but it includes popular location like the Notre Dame Cathedral set in Old Montreal.
Taking Lives with Ethan Hawke and Angelina Jolie is set around Montreal. Its been a while since I’ve seen it but it takes place in various other smaller towns around the province of Quebec as well as the metropolitan area. Life of Pi is also in that basket where I’m not sure the exact location.
However, some notable Quebec productions set in Montreal are:
My Daughter, My Angel
Bon Cop Bad Cop
Thats just to name a few because the list does go on…
FILMS FILMED IN MONTREAL
Increasingly, the amount of films shot in Montreal are growing. Just this year, there’s been at least 4 films around my work area that has been filming. Over the years, here are few titles that I’m familiar with in the list that I found.
A few surprises to me was Batman & Robin, Johnny Mnemonic, Death Race and Get Smart.
Some of the more famous titles are that the majority of The Day After Tomorrow was filmed in the Old Port of Montreal and around the city. Gothika also has a few scenes, one notably in a downtown park. One of the biggest one that involved a lot of the Chinese community as extras including one of my mom’s good friend was The Art of War. Another one is the I’m Not There which I know takes a scene from the building right in front of my building in Old Montreal. Another one that I walked past a few years back on St. Catherine Street was The Factory where I saw John Cusack walking across the street in the scene from afar. One that was filmed next to my work building and had a whole set and actually a lot of the Mont Royal view of Montreal (with an CGI wall) is Warm Bodies. The biggest one of recent is X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Along some of the other titles that were shot in Montreal but I’m not sure where are these:
Journey to the Center of the Earth
While some of these had theirs shot in the Cite du Cinema in studio in Montreal, they also include Source Code and Immortals.
FAMOUS PEOPLE IN FILM BORN IN MONTREAL
Apparently there’s not a whole lot of famous people in film born in Montreal because I could only think of William Shatner.
And if you really want to stretch it, then there was one scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier with Georges St. Pierre fighting. Does that make him an actor? Probably not. But he’s born in Montreal too.
My research also lead me to find that Emmanuelle Chriqui is also born in Montreal. She was in a movie that I reviewed a few months back called Women in Trouble.
FAMOUS PEOPLE IN FILM WHO GREW UP IN MONTREAL
Other than William Shatner, another famous person raised in the surrounding areas of Montreal is Christopher Plummer. Thats pretty cool, right? The man in one of my favorite musicals, The Sound of Music and who also did the extremely awesome movie, Beginners raised in Montreal, love it! 🙂
How can I do this category and not mention this next one? The voice of Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon being his most memorable role in my mind, and thats Jay Baruchel. Although born in Ottawa, he was raised in one of the Montreal boroughs. Wikipedia says he still lives there, and I have no idea how accurate that is.
Montreal is becoming a growing place to shot a movie even though not many are set here. Its diverse cultural architecture gives it that advantage. Having European influence in Old Montreal and Cite du Cinema studios, its having a lot of nice opportunities. In the summer, walking around Montreal, its hard to not see little no parking panels for filming times for certain movies. With bigger Hollywood ones, there are even road closures and security to block off the road. Its definitely an exciting time. I look forward to seeing what other movies are filmed here.
A huge THANKS to Caz for coming up with this My Hometown Blogathon! I had a lot of fun researching Montreal and its filming locations and film sets along with certain actors. There were some films that I already knew but some took me by surprise.
To capture your street snapshot, wander your own neighborhood — or explore someplace new!
In your wide shot, also think about its basic components: a foreground and a background. The foreground is the part of your scene that’s nearest to the viewer, and where you can place a subject or focal point of your picture – The Daily Post
I work in the business sector of the very pretty Old Montreal. Although there are still a few tourist attractions nearby, like the Notre-Dame Church. These streets are ones I walk by everyday and they are ever so breathtaking to see the European style in Canada. A very special feature of Old Montreal and probably why a lot of tourists choose to visit here.
I’m not exactly sure what story was told here. Mornings are just people walking around and parking and running off to work. Its a quiet area since its the business district so I guess thats why I chose to use a tree as the center on the top to show the autumn season and the “bureaux a louer” (aka offices for rent) sign and the Canada Post mailbox next to a lamppost in the third to add a little something.
What streets do you frequent? Do you like to explore new streets?
My highlights of the week are so similar that they really don’t have any titles. Maybe I’ll just give it a segment name, once I figure out something witty and fun 🙂
Moving right into this past week..it was a short work week because of Labor Day weekend and the weekend came incredibly fast with a few little fun things!
1) Completing Nike Training Club program on Saturday night
Its been hard to get back on this whole working out routine. The first was the hardest of the program where I felt my body didn’t belong to me. I could barely do push-ups anymore and every move was a mega chore. By this last week, I was able to pull off a good bit of burpees, push-ups, even figured out the whole plank row deal once and for all. I’ve sweated buckets and buckets of sweat over the last few weeks and although I did the Getting Lean (Intermediate without running) program and I’m not sure I got that lean but it sure did make me feel absolutely fantastic 🙂
Now its back to one or two weeks of self-disciplined workouts. If I can keep it up for a month thats great, if not, I’m jumping back into Nike Training Club for the Getting Toned program.
2) ARROW Season 1
Montreal Comiccon is this coming weekend and for that, I went on the mission to binge-watch Arrow Season 1. Arrow is amazing. I love the main character but everyone else is fantastic. Its absolutely fun to watch and I’m pretty sure I’ll be done in a night or two at the pace I’m going 🙂 I’m going to admit that I love watch Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen doing those crazy workouts (shirtless of course), I also love the rest of the cast. Everyone is just so awesome! 🙂
I think the CW dishes out the most series that I like. Its pretty amazing!
3) After Work Adventures: RedBall Project
“ Through the RedBall Project I utilize my opportunity as an artist to be a catalyst for new encounters within the everyday. Through the magnetic, playful, and charismatic nature of the RedBall the work is able to access the imagination embedded in all of us. On the surface, the experience seems to be about the ball itself as an object, but the true power of the project is what it can create for those who experience it. It opens a doorway to imagine what if?…That invitation to engage, to collectively imagine, is the true essence of the RedBall Project. The larger arc of the project is how each city responds to that invitation and, over time, what the developing story reveals about our individual and cultural imagination.”– Kurt Perschke
RedBall Project is travelling the world to spark imagination. Has it landed in your city yet? You can check it out: HERE
4) After Work Adventures: Fountain House
Fountain House is a temporary exhibit on the streets on Montreal. Its built on the concept of water flowing throughout and the idea to celebrate drinking water.
The Fountain House is first and foremost a space open to the public, like a park. Inside, at the centre, there is a basin with water flowing in it. Why did we choose to celebrate drinking water, a public good that might seem rather mundane? Precisely because we take it for granted, and we tend to forget the previous generations that built the infrastructure that now allows us to benefit from this resource.- Quartier des Spectacles
Its open to the public till October 26th. It has water flowing down the center, the plants on the side grow (I presume), and they have stairs to go up where you can look out into downtown around us. I love water so this was a pretty sweet concept.
5) Getting out right in time
On Friday evening, the sky went dark shortly I left work. Taking my time, I’m walking to the bus terminus, hoping that it doesn’t rain. And then it does. I feel the first drop and then the drops come a lot faster right when I spot where I am and dash up the stairs to the OACI building, which is part of the underground passages in Montreal. As I went in, I got out of the rain right in time. Another 10 seconds and I would’ve been completely soaked. Yay to perfect timing or should I say, being at the right place at the right time 🙂
6) Saturday: Friend’s Birthday Brunch and Shopping Ventures
Saturday was one of my very good friend’s birthday. He’s almost like my brother and we hang out quite a bit. For his birthday, I usually offer to take him out for a meal, this year it was at this brunch place in Old Montreal that he’s been talking about forever called Le Cartet
Pastries to start!
Green Jasmine Tea
Brunch des Cantons
That was possibly the best brunch I’ve had ever. For one, the coming in the cast iron pan made it so delicious and a very unique experience. Plus, everything was cooked in duck fat which just melts in your mouth. Except it also means, I probably won’t eat this all the time, for my health’s sake.
After that, he wanted to go shopping so we went on a little venture around town and ended up in Mountain Equipment Coop out across town since that one is gigantic. I managed to get my boyfriend and I a new hiking backpack and got myself a yoga brick because I’m not flexible and to avoid injuries. One of the few purchases that day, along with a few movies: The Shining, Moon, Weird Science.
A very fantastic day with good company and nice chats! Hanging out with friends is really quite awesome! 🙂
7) Sunday Gardening 1: Fern
Everything deserves a chance. With that in mind, I decided to give my fern a second chance. It was looking monstrously huge and just totally out of control. I gave it a little trimming and pruning. Took some branches out (dead and alive), shrunk its size and gave it some structure and voila! I think its looking pretty nice! 🙂
8) Sunday Gardening: Autumn Flowers
I haven’t quite finished with fixing up the side area in the front yard but I pulled out the frustrating vine plant and now the area is completely clean after I cut a part of the tall stems that are done blooming. Things are starting to look good. This week, Rona had a fantastic sale on Autumn Chrysanthemums so I thought it’d look nice in that spot. After a lot of pulling and cutting and shovelling, these two got planted and ready. The one on the right is coral and the left is orange chrysanthemums 🙂
I can’t wait to see them bloom!
Now to end this off, there are a few highlights which I’m going to give an update for some coming blogging stuff!
I have drafted a general list of movies that I’d like to watch for Halloween marathon but I’d also like to give you all a chance to choose what you’d like to see so I’ll be putting together a small poll soon.
The original plan to do recommendations month in September is not happening as I want to continue to put extra focus on books so BRING ON MORE INDEPENDENT WRITERS!
Pinterest Therapy session coming up!
I owed you all a review showing my new movie crush. That did not happen last week unfortunately since I’m shifting my schedule a little, but it will go up in the next few days 🙂
Following that, I’ve been thinking of making a new segment either for Crush of the Week (or something along those lines), highlighting an actor (or sometimes actresses). Maybe it’ll be a monthly basis. It really depends how impressed I am with what I’m watching. Is that a yes or no for you?
To recap, a few questions this week:
Do you know where to find online yoga routines? Have you seen Arrow? Have you started fall gardening yet and what are your favorite autumn flowers?
What do you think about a new segment for sexy actors or beautiful actresses?