Sunday, June 27, 2010

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2010

The Festival is back in town for the next 2 weeks.  This is my favorite festival of all time.  I love jazz and I thank my father for exposing me to jazz as a kid.

I was born in 1967, the year Montreal held the International and Universal Exposition or as we called it EXPO 67.  My mother spent every Saturday there alone while my father babysat me at home.  He would play jazz music all day inside and outside since we had speakers in the backyard.  We were the cool kids since we could blare music outside while playing in the pool. (Boom boxes only became the way to play music outside in the 80s.) 

Actually all weekends my father basically played jazz until we were old enough to want to listen to our music instead.

As usual there will be great free concerts all over the downtown core.  You can get further info here on the website :

Last night we were able to listen to the end of James Hunter's concert happening on the big TD stage.

At 22:00 on the Rio Tinto Alcan stage we listened to Crystal Monee Hall.  She's a singer/songwriter who will be launching her first album early July in New York.  She has an amazing voice; you can hear her album on her website :

On our way to the Festival I was able to get a pic of this wonderful man on his way to ... Your guess is as good as mine.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My BIXI adventures

Last night I had quite the adventure with a BIXI bike.

It wouldn't lock into any bike dock.  I tired the NINE empty ones and no go.

Luckily, I wasn't far from my boyfriend's so I went to his place to call the BIXI hotline.  Yes, I don't have a cell phone; that's another story.

Spoke with Jonathan who assured me everything would be fine.  He contacted a technician who arrived at the BIXI station 5 minutes later.  He wasn't able to work his magic to get the bike locked so he hauled it into his truck.

I checked my BIXI account and all is fine.

What's a BIXI bike? 

It's a bike that's part of a public system that allows you to travel in parts of Montreal from one BIXI station to another.  You can learn more here :

I have the 1-year subscription since I wanted to use it to get to my boyfriend's place after work.  I often had to wait 10-15 minutes for the bus and realized I could probably bike down to his place faster.  This year they haven't set up a BIXI station at the métro stop I get off though.  So, I get off one stop earlier and bike it down.

I am even thinking of using the bike in the morning, great easy way to get some exercise in.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

White chocolate from Sweet William

I love white chocolate but have always found it to be much too sweet.  Some weeks ago I ordered the Sweet William brand from Viva Granola.

It is amazing, really not sweet and "smooth" as they write on the package.  They are an Australian company that make various chocolate products; blocks, candy bars, baking chocolate etc.  They even have a No Nut-"nut" bar, the roasted soy beans make it nutty.

Sadly, Viva Granola does not have any right now and going to Australia to get some more is not in the budget right now.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Formula 1 Racing back in town!

Formula 1 Racing is back in town and I for one am glad. 

Yes, I am a big Formula 1 fan especially in the 80s and early nineties.  I used to watch every single race to my mom's despair.  She preferred I play outside than watch TV.

I loved Formula 1 so much that in my yearbook I wrote my ambition was to be a formula one driver.

All weekend festivities related to the Grand Prix were held on the "Main" and on Crescent Street.  That's where the boyfriend and I  were last night.  There were lots of people and lots of prestigious cars to be seen.

So, yes, lots of walking again; this time around 4 miles to see all we wanted to see.

The Francofolies are also happening right now ending next weekend.  We heard some of France D'Amour's show and Hôtel Morphée's on our way to Crescent St from St.Laurent St.

L'International des feux Loto-Québec also had its kickoff last night with Italy presenting their fireworks show.  Ten weeks of fireworks every Saturday night.

As you can see when summer hits Montreal we have lots of activities happening around town.  You just need to like crowds though.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sidewalk sale on Mt.Royal

Went on Mt.Royal to buy wigs for my mannequin and ended up spending the afternoon there.  This weekend is the sidewalk sale which also happens to be the Nuit Blanche sur Tableau Noir a great visual arts event with all sorts of activities.  The artists paint on the street live and music can be enjoyed on various street corners.

The street was closed almost it's entire length and I ended up walking it from one end to another.

I walked into La Bobineuse de Laine and for the first time came out without any yarn  The only reason is they accept cash only and I didn't have any on me.  I may go back tomorrow since I saw some yarn I like for myself.

I did get the wigs.  Here they are.  Yes, I tried them and after I get myself a net to keep my hair in place I will wear them to play a few tricks on my boyfriend.  I like the first wig the most on me.

I also found these amazing plaid fabric shoes; they had a lot of man-made material shoes but most were no longer available in my size.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tour De L'Ile on a rainy day

Yesterday was the Tour de L'Ile.  I biked it again with my boyfriend.

It was pouring rain the entire time we were out there biking.

We biked through a quarry coming out of there splattered in mud.  I had some in my face and my glasses ( I spent most of the time wiping them )as well as all over my legs.

When we got home we had to hose ourselves down as well as the bikes to get rid of the mud.

What I learned?  We can be a crazy, passionate bunch of people when it comes to biking.  Those cheap, plastic rain ponchos ( paid them only a dollar ) are very helpful in keeping you dry.