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".

Muchacho Enfermo


Marxe said...

It's really true, I love this city, too. Each neighborhood has its own personality and it's shown in every station.

And last Sunday, for the same cost of a regular ticket, I had the chance to know more about the tunnels that connect two subway stations.

An accident caused a delay of almost 45 minutes and after that, an evacuation made us walk in the semi-darkness to "find the light at the end of the tunnel" in Sherbrooke station.

I finally can say that I know the subway's entrails and that the montrealers are nice, patient and civilized in this kind of situations.

Anonymous said...

oh my god you are a complete and total freak. we must never meet. the world would implode somehow. the amount of 'freak-hood' in one room would be intolerable!!!!!


you FREAK.

pps. Can we do it AGAIN when I come to Montreal?

your superfreak friend (I can out subway-freak you any day of the week!)

Muchacho Enfermo said...

Marxe: You were stuck in between Mont-Royal and Sherbrooke during the riots? Holy smokes!
Please tell me you took pictures! If you did email them to me or bring them next time we go for drinks :D

Muchacho Enfermo said...

your superfreak friend: lol anytime you've got 11 hours to kill and you want to go subway hopping we'll go. I'll find some more of my pics and send them your way for sure.

Patrick Ross said...

I did that in Edmonton my first year up here.

It was during the NHL lockout year and I was going to an Edmonton Roadrunners game, but there really wasn't all that much to see.

On the north end of town you can see a lone smokestack -- no building, just a smokestack -- standing in the middle of a field. That's about all you can see from the train in Edmonton.