Gino, Brett, and I went to Montreal for the weekend — a six-hour drive from New York City. It was the first time I’ve ever been to Canada, and (sad to say) only the third time I’ve ever been outside of the country. Now I’ve never been familiar with the reputation that Montreal holds, and although the majority of our time was spent visiting Gino’s extended family, I have to admit that it’s almost like a Canadian Las Vegas: seedy strip clubs, casinos, and a propensity to binge drinking — all with some weird, French accent to them. Despite bordering the US, Montreal feels like a completely different country more akin to the European continent. I guess it’s all those l’accent aigu marks that threw me off, or maybe even their plastic-looking dollar bills.
I’m not necessarily going to profess what I did in Montreal, but I will say I had a good time with my friends. It was great meeting Gino’s cousins and uncles who — despite being raised in the French-Canadian province of Quebec — have more of the Italian-Brooklyn vibe and accents that I typically associate with Gino. They were gracious hosts who sacrificed their time (and sleep) to show us all that Montreal has to offer.
- Brett gets super nervous and flustered anytime he goes through border patrol.
- I learned how to officially swim. I’ll just say that Brett should never try to take a beer away from me.
- Strippers in Montreal are less money-grubbing as ones in New York. In fact, they can hold a pretty decent conversation.
- We ate at the famous Schwartz’s deli. We randomly were seated next to a family from Park Slope, Brooklyn.
- Maple fudge is delicious.
- There’s a line from Stars’ “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” that goes, “We drove in silence across Pont Champlain.” That song was in my head the entire time in Montreal, especially when we drove past it.
- Won money at roulette. Used some of those Canadian winnings to buy whiskey for my roommates (for watching Nico) and more Maple Fudge.
Here are some pictures: