Saturday, May 29, 2010

Reporting to you Live from Montreal . . .

Another quick update with, I'm sorry, not much fun stuff and no photos at all. So far, two jam-packed days attending panels and keynotes -- I heard ten papers yesterday on a variety of topics and, of course, presented my own which seemed to go well, to be received with interest and to generate several productive questions. I was pleased and relieved -- and thanks all for your supportive comments (normally I'd try to respond to them, but am really strapped for time here).

I hope to tell you a bit more later about an interesting panel this morning on Academic Fashion -- not necessarily an oxymoron and perhaps something about the wonderful talk by Goncourt prizewinner (among other numerous prizes), writer Nancy Huston -- in French, so I didn't catch every word, but was nonetheless inspired, especially by her comment that she is proud to speak with an accent and that she wishes everyone in the world might do so.

Walked from Concordia over to St. Laurent and then back along Ste. Catherine, needing both the exercise and the sunshine as a break between sessions. Crowded Montreal streets in the sunshine, mix of languages, fashion, liveliness -- there's a Latin American festival going on not too far away with tango demonstrations on-stage and musicians playing to the street.

I've also fit in dinners -- last night with a friend I generally only get to see at these conferences. Last year we met in Ottawa, a few years ago in Saskatoon. I'd forgotten, when I arranged with her to meet at an Indian restaurant that I always like to visit when I'm here, that I'd also suggested the same place to meet my sister and her husband, whose visit to Montreal (from Winnipeg) coincided with mine. Good thing I like the place, 'cause my sister was quite set on Indian food so I ended up going back tonight. (Lamb saag last night; Aloo Gobi tonight; Mango Kulfi both nights -- no big hardship!)

Add in a President's Reception, which I went to before meeting my sister and BIL before dinner, and it's been two fully packed days. So please forgive me for not telling you much about Montreal itself nor offering any photos. I'll see what I can do before I leave on Tuesday.

I will say that I'm fascinated by a phenomenon that is unimaginable from a Vancouver perspective -- this hotel has a Terrace and Pool on the 20th floor, which draws huge crowds, mainly young people, such that there is a constant line-up at the elevator, monitored by fellows who look much more like bouncers than bellmen. Those of us with room keycards always get priority, moving right to the front of the line, so that's not a problem, and although my room is near the elevators, the hotel room is always satisfactorily quiet. But what I marvel at is the concept of heading to a 20th-floor hotel pool terrace when the good weather hits. During the various times I've stayed here in the summer, I've never been curious (or brave) enough to head upstairs and check out the scene, but I can't help but wonder how it compares to the beaches we head to in Vancouver. Of course, few cities have as easy access as Vancouver from downtown to the beach (a few city blocks -- you can hit the beach in your lunch hour if you're organized), but I'd love to know how many others similarly have rooftop hotel pools that are open to non-hotel guests and that are part of the summer scene?


  1. Wait - you haven't even gone to check it out? That's crazy! You have to go, just so you can tell us if it's swish or trying too hard :-)

  2. What a dynamo you much is happening...glad that you had questions after your presentation...they were listening!
    Is the food as good as at Vij's?

  3. Ah, Montreal. I do miss it. Thanks for this post!

  4. Wow, you've been keeping yourself busy! I've never heard of a hotel pool like that - we're all about beaches here in Sydney. Looking forward to hearing more about the trip and seeing photos.

  5. Maybe with company, K, but on my own I'm just a bit too shy for the club thing.
    Hostess: It's good but it's more traditional than Vij's -- and we know that VV is pretty special!
    Joyce: and thanks for commenting -- always great to have new visitors speak up.
    Tiffany: I know! Doesn't it seem strange for those of us who have nearby beaches?!


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