Thursday, March 19, 2009
The train left and you weren't on it.
McGill metro station
For 2.75$ you can travel the city and see it through the underground. Every station has its own design, its own neighborhood, its own smells, its own personality. A few years back I got on the metro one morning with my tunes in my ears and went to every single station. I got off at everyone of them, looking at the architecture the decor, the people, the houses around the station. It was an amazing day.
I grabbed a croissant at a bakery at Berri-UQAM metro (the central hub of the city's underground) and sat on the subway until I reached Mont-Royal on the Plateau district, the heart of the french artist community, I got off and walked the street looking at the shops. I walk back to the metro and from there to Park Metro station on the blue line, seeing along the way Montreal staples such as the old Rialto and the old Club Soda. I took the blue line and kept going, one station at a time, until I made my way back to the orange line and went all the way north towards Du College, home of two of the best music school in the province Vanier and St-Laurent. Eventually I made my way back towards downtown and go off at Vendome station in NDG and walked towards McGill station on the green line, the station with the most traffic. It connects the Eaton Center with about 10 other office buildings and connects the networks of underground shopping centers.
In doing this you get to discover your home, your city, its people. It made me feel like I was part of something, like I was a Montrealer. It's funny how when I'm visiting some place whether it's Cuba or Tampa or Salt Lake City I'll take public transportation just to see the sights and get to know the cities but most of us never take the time to do it in our own cities. I discovered places and restaurants and businesses I didn't know existed. Little corner shops that are really worth the long metro ride.
Not to mention that you really realize how multi-cultural Montreal all is when you take the time to visit every neighborhood, from Hochelaga, to Little Burgundy, to St-Michel, RDP, Mile End, St-Leo, Westmount, South-Central. I've lived here for the last 15 years and I'm still discovering things about this ever changing city and her people.
I love this city. And so far it has loved me back. With all its colors, flavors, cultures and moods, Montreal has been good to me. When people I meet abroad ask me where I'm from I don't say I'm from "Canada, I live in Quebec" I say "I'm from Montreal, in Canada".