The Neighbourhood

I ran into a fellow regular at the Barfly this evening who asked me point-blank when I was going to update the blog again. so I figure I might as well get it going again if only to change the top entry. The regular’s only complaint was “too much politics and not enough about the Main”, and he’s “absolutely” right. I really did want this to be about my neighborhood, among other things. I’ve lived on the Main for 11 years and still love it. Things have changed over the last 4 years, but thankfully Quebec’s progressive tenant’s rights laws mean that a lot of people have managed to stay put while rents everywhere else on the Plateau have skyrocketed. I’m one of those people, and I plan on staying put.

But where to start talking about this wonderful street I call home? It goes without saying that people make a neighbourhood, and the Plateau draws people of all stripes. Without getting into it, for some reason the Plateau area of Montreal draws an interesting assortment of people. Places to meet people also abound, so it’s a very social place to live. The place many of my neighbours and I go to is Barfly – a diamond in the rough if ever there was one. It’s usually a dark and smokey place with a recroom decor you’d expect from a collection of die hard Montreal Canadiens fans. During the day, it’s usually quiet with a few regulars from the neighbourhood stopping in or staying in. Habs games are always on with the sound, and bands are usually told no soundchecks until the intermission or until the game is over. There’s quite a pack of hockey regulars, and this season the bar fills up to standing room only by the second period. And then there’s the music culture of the bar, the legacy of it’s previous (and legendary) incarnation as Bar G-Sharp. There’s a fair amount of history here that I won’t get into in this entry, but suffice it to say that Barfly is one of the great very small venues in the city. Go there Sunday, Tuesday, or Wednesday if you like bluegrass, jazz, or blues. You won’t be disappointed.

Then there’s Le Vieux St-Laurent, my favourite local diner. It’sa day place – they’re open from 7AM to 5PM Sunday through Saturday. Great burgers, breakfasts, pizzas, and the best souflaki south of Mile End. Nothing fancy, just a really good diner where you tend to meet people who either live or work in the neighbourhood.

There’s loads I could write about the neighbourhood….but I have to get some sleep…..


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