Alien pony

Unusual Frequency

Princess Rinse 'N Spit
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
127
Montreal's weird/awesome. You must come. I moved here in 2004, and I claim that the longest and most passionate love affair of my life is with this bizarre and amazing city.

Okay, history teacher hat on. Unlike most of North America, the downtown core of Montreal was laid out before the car was invented. New York and Boston have parts of that. But then, when the post-war building boom happened, we also had some tax law that favoured multi-bedroom apartments over single-family homes on each lot, and the subway system going in because of the World's Fair and the Olympics. This led to a very anti-car culture that holds true even now. I only know one person who owns a car, and that includes my doctor, who is married to another doctor. They rent a car when they go up to their cabin on the weekends. Instead, most Montreallers take public transit most of the time, and a taxi or uber occasionally when they need to carry a lot of stuff.

It changes how we shop, though, preferring to grab fresh groceries several times a week on the way home from work in a couple manageable loads, from specialty bakeries and fresh fruit and fromageries and butchers, instead of weekly big shopping trips to the big box stores for large loads. This is also what allows Dollarama to flourish in the economy, because you'll nip in to grab a thing of dish soap today, sponges tomorrow, garbage bags Friday, instead of weekly getting all the cleaning supplies you need for the week. There was a massive disruption with the pandemic, bigger than a lot of other places, because the way you shop when you're getting things once a week for delivery changes what's in your cart drastically from this prior model. More frozen, less fresh, more bulk, fewer small businesses.

I never, ever want to live anywhere else. This city is perfectly suited to me, and how I want to live and be. Please, if anyone ever wants to vacation here (especially after the border is open) let me help you fall in love with this incredible place!

Just don't rent a car. If the roads don't kill you, the drivers will. See it like a local, from the buses, the Metro, and the back seat of our best rollercoaster, a taxi.
 
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quartz_

Spike the Dragon
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Your description is slowly chipping away at my fear of being someplace where I don't understand one of the dominant languages for sure. You definitely sound like a member of the tourism bureau XD but it's working on me. That sounds so surreal and like someplace I definitely need to visit in my lifetime :tongue:
 

Skybreeze

80s Glam Rock Pony
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@Unusual Frequency where are you from? I’ve never ever seen anyone speak so lovingly about Montreal. In fact I’ve seen and heard the exact opposite of everyone I’ve ever known whose either lived or been there. It’s refreshing to see a positive take on Montreal/Quebec.

Fun fact! Don’t drive your own car in Quebec. They have the worst infrastructure in Canada. My poor car hurts every time I drive up to visit friends, I always worry I’m going to damage an axel. I’m honestly going to start renting cars to save my own from the roads there.

In any large city in Canada public transit is the preferred means of transportation. Our cities were not built for the car congestion we are seeing now a days. Having driven across Canada, every big city along the way is the exact same. If your driving, the roads are dumb and the drivers are even worse.

Dollarama is really not much different that your Dollar Tree’s in the US. Unfortunately Target went out of business up here only a few short years after opening. Walmart had better stock and prices so people were not shopping at Target.
 

Unusual Frequency

Princess Rinse 'N Spit
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
127
I've lived here since 2004. I grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, with years in my early childhood in England and France, and did my university years from 2001-2004 in rural Illinois. I've also spent some time, here and there, in Toronto and Detroit.

But, trust me, everyone on the Island, and absolutely everyone downtown, prefers tourist dollars to the purity of La Langue Des Purs Laines :eek:

Every once in a while, somebody makes political hay provincially by telling Shawinigan and the Townships that they're going to outlaw the traditional "Bonjour/Hi" greeting in Montreal shops (said so it sounds like one word, meaning is please respond in the language of your choice). Everyone here laughs and ignores them. 100% of people in business/retail settings will be fluently bilingual, if not tri-lingual. We have 17 daily or weekly newspapers in languages other than French or English, the best hospital in the city has 24-hour coverage with interpreters in over 70 languages (the Jewish General, where I had my most recent surgery), there's a Mandarin/Cantonese-focused hospital as well, and almost everyone on the street can and will pitch hit as an interpreter if you run into the rare mono-linguist.

History teacher hat again. Montreal is as far as you can sail up the St. Laurence River in an ocean-going vessel, at least it was until they dug the canal I can see from my balcony. There are rapids that will stop you, halfway across the Island. It also has a natural harbor just before that, where deep water comes right up to the shore, and it's where 2 other major waterways converge on the seaway. In pre-colonial times, this island mountain was an important meeting and trading spot between nations, right on their borders. From the dawn of colonial times, it was the economic engine, where the entire Great Lakes watershed loaded goods from canoes that could manage the rapids, or the railways that replaced them, onto ships bound for Europe. Quebec City, with her cliff was the military stronghold. Montreal, the shining jewel. We've always been the gateway, the meeting point, the bizarre bazaar.

Regarding Quebec roads: fun fact! Every engineer that graduates in Canada wears a ring because corruption in the Quebec construction industry is a tradition that's over 100 years old! So, in the early 1900's, a Quebec engineer took a bribe to say a bridge needed a lot less steel than it really did, and then the bridge collapsed, and it killed 47 people. Later, a separate group of engineers were drinking at McGill and said, "y'know what we should do? We should write to Rudyard Kipling, guy who wrote the Jungle Book, and ask him to make us up a secret ceremony about the responsibility of an Engineer to get it right and not kill people." And they did, and he did, and the first rings were made of the steel from the bridge that collapsed, and later rings from something that, due to engineering failure, has killed a person, and you're supposed to know the story of your specific ring, and also wear it on your signing hand. So you remember the responsibility to get it right, before you sign off on something. The opposite of "move fast and break things", except the tradition of the actual mafia bribing all Quebec construction engineers, and everyone else involved in the industry at all levels, is actually older. So our roads and everything else is falling apart and I will rant for over an hour about a single building if given the chance. Watch the first season of Bad Blood on Netflix. It's incredibly accurate, if very violent.

This is a surface-level gloss. Every sentence of the above history should have a book-length thesis behind it. Please, never forget that Canada has acknowledged genocide in it's living memory against the First Nations of this beautiful land. All current federal political parties have signed on to that statement here in Canada, so it shouldn't get deleted as political, it's fact that we need to witness each time we talk about colonizing if we hope to work towards reconciliation.
 

Tak

Endless
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I've lived here since 2004. I grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, with years in my early childhood in England and France, and did my university years from 2001-2004 in rural Illinois. I've also spent some time, here and there, in Toronto and Detroit.

But, trust me, everyone on the Island, and absolutely everyone downtown, prefers tourist dollars to the purity of La Langue Des Purs Laines :eek:

Every once in a while, somebody makes political hay provincially by telling Shawinigan and the Townships that they're going to outlaw the traditional "Bonjour/Hi" greeting in Montreal shops (said so it sounds like one word, meaning is please respond in the language of your choice). Everyone here laughs and ignores them. 100% of people in business/retail settings will be fluently bilingual, if not tri-lingual. We have 17 daily or weekly newspapers in languages other than French or English, the best hospital in the city has 24-hour coverage with interpreters in over 70 languages (the Jewish General, where I had my most recent surgery), there's a Mandarin/Cantonese-focused hospital as well, and almost everyone on the street can and will pitch hit as an interpreter if you run into the rare mono-linguist.

History teacher hat again. Montreal is as far as you can sail up the St. Laurence River in an ocean-going vessel, at least it was until they dug the canal I can see from my balcony. There are rapids that will stop you, halfway across the Island. It also has a natural harbor just before that, where deep water comes right up to the shore, and it's where 2 other major waterways converge on the seaway. In pre-colonial times, this island mountain was an important meeting and trading spot between nations, right on their borders. From the dawn of colonial times, it was the economic engine, where the entire Great Lakes watershed loaded goods from canoes that could manage the rapids, or the railways that replaced them, onto ships bound for Europe. Quebec City, with her cliff was the military stronghold. Montreal, the shining jewel. We've always been the gateway, the meeting point, the bizarre bazaar.

Regarding Quebec roads: fun fact! Every engineer that graduates in Canada wears a ring because corruption in the Quebec construction industry is a tradition that's over 100 years old! So, in the early 1900's, a Quebec engineer took a bribe to say a bridge needed a lot less steel than it really did, and then the bridge collapsed, and it killed 47 people. Later, a separate group of engineers were drinking at McGill and said, "y'know what we should do? We should write to Rudyard Kipling, guy who wrote the Jungle Book, and ask him to make us up a secret ceremony about the responsibility of an Engineer to get it right and not kill people." And they did, and he did, and the first rings were made of the steel from the bridge that collapsed, and later rings from something that, due to engineering failure, has killed a person, and you're supposed to know the story of your specific ring, and also wear it on your signing hand. So you remember the responsibility to get it right, before you sign off on something. The opposite of "move fast and break things", except the tradition of the actual mafia bribing all Quebec construction engineers, and everyone else involved in the industry at all levels, is actually older. So our roads and everything else is falling apart and I will rant for over an hour about a single building if given the chance. Watch the first season of Bad Blood on Netflix. It's incredibly accurate, if very violent.

This is a surface-level gloss. Every sentence of the above history should have a book-length thesis behind it. Please, never forget that Canada has acknowledged genocide in it's living memory against the First Nations of this beautiful land. All current federal political parties have signed on to that statement here in Canada, so it shouldn't get deleted as political, it's fact that we need to witness each time we talk about colonizing if we hope to work towards reconciliation.
Cool. I love learning new random facts.
 

AzaleaArt

Flat Foot Peachy
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
756
Montreal's weird/awesome. You must come. I moved here in 2004, and I claim that the longest and most passionate love affair of my life is with this bizarre and amazing city.

Okay, history teacher hat on. Unlike most of North America, the downtown core of Montreal was laid out before the car was invented. New York and Boston have parts of that. But then, when the post-war building boom happened, we also had some tax law that favoured multi-bedroom apartments over single-family homes on each lot, and the subway system going in because of the World's Fair and the Olympics. This led to a very anti-car culture that holds true even now. I only know one person who owns a car, and that includes my doctor, who is married to another doctor. They rent a car when they go up to their cabin on the weekends. Instead, most Montreallers take public transit most of the time, and a taxi or uber occasionally when they need to carry a lot of stuff.

It changes how we shop, though, preferring to grab fresh groceries several times a week on the way home from work in a couple manageable loads, from specialty bakeries and fresh fruit and fromageries and butchers, instead of weekly big shopping trips to the big box stores for large loads. This is also what allows Dollarama to flourish in the economy, because you'll nip in to grab a thing of dish soap today, sponges tomorrow, garbage bags Friday, instead of weekly getting all the cleaning supplies you need for the week. There was a massive disruption with the pandemic, bigger than a lot of other places, because the way you shop when you're getting things once a week for delivery changes what's in your cart drastically from this prior model. More frozen, less fresh, more bulk, fewer small businesses.

I never, ever want to live anywhere else. This city is perfectly suited to me, and how I want to live and be. Please, if anyone ever wants to vacation here (especially after the border is open) let me help you fall in love with this incredible place!

Just don't rent a car. If the roads don't kill you, the drivers will. See it like a local, from the buses, the Metro, and the back seat of our best rollercoaster, a taxi.
I went to Montreal for a few days last September and I was really surprised by the numbers of people on bikes compared to where I’m from! And crossing streets took like no time because there was hardly any traffic, now I guess I know why :D
My favorite thing I noticed while I was there though was all the murals! On like every building, and not graffiti actual art. It was really cool :satisfied:

Your description is slowly chipping away at my fear of being someplace where I don't understand one of the dominant languages for sure. You definitely sound like a member of the tourism bureau XD but it's working on me. That sounds so surreal and like someplace I definitely need to visit in my lifetime :tongue:
I was really worried about not knowing the language while I was there too, luckily most people in shops at least seemed to know some english
 

Unusual Frequency

Princess Rinse 'N Spit
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
127
We have two different graffiti/mural art festivals (most but not this) summers, Mural and Under Pressure, both of which have events where you can dance to live music while you watch the art get put up! But they also have year-round walking tour maps of the art that changes yearly, as they do new pieces.

And the biggest difference from not having a car isn't the people, it's what you can carry, and store. There isn't a rolling storage locker, you need to carry every single thing you take with you.
 

Tak

Endless
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Messages
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We have two different graffiti/mural art festivals (most but not this) summers, Mural and Under Pressure, both of which have events where you can dance to live music while you watch the art get put up! But they also have year-round walking tour maps of the art that changes yearly, as they do new pieces.

And the biggest difference from not having a car isn't the people, it's what you can carry, and store. There isn't a rolling storage locker, you need to carry every single thing you take with you.
I've walked several miles on a regular basis while carrying a 2 year old and four full cloth bags of groceries. We're so spread out here and the buses are awful. I can't even pick up my girl now.
 

Unusual Frequency

Princess Rinse 'N Spit
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
127
Our buses are now built for strollers to fit, at least two at a time, and they're sidewalk level. Also, the density I referenced above, where every lot of ground has 4-6 family apartments instead of a single family home, means we can run most bus lines every 5-10 minutes. So we're literally built for this. But then, it's also doing 1-2 bags of groceries every day or two, instead of fewer, larger grocery trips. So we pay more in time.

On yet another hand, our cost of living is way WAY WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY lower. I'm paying $1200 CAD (about $900 USD) for a 3 bedroom apartment in one of the nicest neigbourhoods (NDG), and I'm a 5 minute walk from the subway, the new superhospital, 10 minutes from all of downtown by public transit. It's a new lease, too. And our welfare and disability is a living wage. When I was on disability, I had enough to pay rent on a one bedroom, utilities, eat, and occasionally travel! So the social safety net allows people to quit their jobs and follow their art, which means there's a ton of fascinating art here! Just art everywhere, music and painting and circus and theatre and things indescribable, bursting out of every crevice.

I mentioned the thing about "longest and most passionate love affair of my life", right?
 

Tak

Endless
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Messages
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Our buses are now built for strollers to fit, at least two at a time, and they're sidewalk level. Also, the density I referenced above, where every lot of ground has 4-6 family apartments instead of a single family home, means we can run most bus lines every 5-10 minutes. So we're literally built for this. But then, it's also doing 1-2 bags of groceries every day or two, instead of fewer, larger grocery trips. So we pay more in time.

On yet another hand, our cost of living is way WAY WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY lower. I'm paying $1200 CAD (about $900 USD) for a 3 bedroom apartment in one of the nicest neigbourhoods (NDG), and I'm a 5 minute walk from the subway, the new superhospital, 10 minutes from all of downtown by public transit. It's a new lease, too. And our welfare and disability is a living wage. When I was on disability, I had enough to pay rent on a one bedroom, utilities, eat, and occasionally travel! So the social safety net allows people to quit their jobs and follow their art, which means there's a ton of fascinating art here! Just art everywhere, music and painting and circus and theatre and things indescribable, bursting out of every crevice.

I mentioned the thing about "longest and most passionate love affair of my life", right?
Just, wow. Sounds awesome. Too bad I'm a middle of nowhere with the huge underground bunker and lots of livestock kind of person now. Here, a 3 bd 2 ba non seniors only apt is minimum range of $1650+. I used to love living in the thick of it. I was in San Francisco for a while. Portland is pretty cool sometimes, too.

I'd just rather have 40 acres with thick trees around the perimeter now. Total hermit here.
 

Unusual Frequency

Princess Rinse 'N Spit
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
127
Go to google streetview of 740 3ieme ave. in Verdun. That's a 2 bedroom I used to rent for $600/month, with a 3 bedroom above it, and a 4 bedroom below. Same next door, both sides, and across the street, and next block over, in any direction. That's a much more typical block and neighbourhood than any with a freestanding house, yard, driveway, garage in Montreal. Those long, outdoor staircases are so much a part of the landscape that we put them on postcards.

Tax law was structured in the post-war building boom quite deliberately to favour density, and large families (that bit thanks to the Catholic church running the government at the time). The lasting repercussions result in services being cheaper to deliver in bulk, because each person requires fewer square meters of roads, fewer meters of sewer pipes, a shorter distance between bus stops to reach x number of homes. Which means more money for other things, and better versions of the above (except for the roads, thanks to the mafia). It's all structural, and we're richer together.

If the above hilarious story about the Iron Ring ceremony didn't give it away, I'm an engineer, and I'm addicted to knowing the whys of things. Montreal is in a unique place, with a unique history, and has been shaped like a bonsai. There's a famous poem by Miriam Waddington that goes " We look like a geography but just scratch us and we bleed history " and is the most apt thing I've ever heard about Canada.

I'll stop babbling and go to bed now.
 

Tak

Endless
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Go to google streetview of 740 3ieme ave. in Verdun. That's a 2 bedroom I used to rent for $600/month, with a 3 bedroom above it, and a 4 bedroom below. Same next door, both sides, and across the street, and next block over, in any direction. That's a much more typical block and neighbourhood than any with a freestanding house, yard, driveway, garage in Montreal. Those long, outdoor staircases are so much a part of the landscape that we put them on postcards.

Tax law was structured in the post-war building boom quite deliberately to favour density, and large families (that bit thanks to the Catholic church running the government at the time). The lasting repercussions result in services being cheaper to deliver in bulk, because each person requires fewer square meters of roads, fewer meters of sewer pipes, a shorter distance between bus stops to reach x number of homes. Which means more money for other things, and better versions of the above (except for the roads, thanks to the mafia). It's all structural, and we're richer together.

If the above hilarious story about the Iron Ring ceremony didn't give it away, I'm an engineer, and I'm addicted to knowing the whys of things. Montreal is in a unique place, with a unique history, and has been shaped like a bonsai. There's a famous poem by Miriam Waddington that goes " We look like a geography but just scratch us and we bleed history " and is the most apt thing I've ever heard about Canada.

I'll stop babbling and go to bed now.
I love it. I know my being a hermit goes against this, but I've always thought that people should build up, not out. In the U.S. in particular it seems like people put ceilings too high, rooms so huge, and, really, how much closet does one person actually need. Plus, why build "single family homes", with only 6' between buildings. We waste so much space.
 

maycrestmom

Big Bulky Brother Pony
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loved learning about all things Montreal :) I know only tip of the iceberg through my brother's connection training / performing circque de solieil and he loves wintering there... hard to believe we are heading fast into autumn at this point

buuut... to swing the convo back to dollaramas IF anyone finds another alien/bug fakie = I want to buy some (to hang with my concerned fakies)

please let me know if ya'll find any more of 'em
 

evilbunnyfoofoo

My shoes are laced with irony
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I'm digging all this talk of Montreal! It's wonderful to hear someone speak so lovingly of their home!
 

Unusual Frequency

Princess Rinse 'N Spit
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
127
I hit up 3 on my way home today before I lost stamina (funny how I can't walk as much as I could before major surgery 2 weeks ago, eh?) and only found packages with non-alien ponies in them, earth, pegasus and unicorns a-plenty, but no double-horned aliens. I'll be looking in one or two tomorrow, and can get to a few more this weekend. I haven't given up!

I also found about a dozen other fakies of various sizes and types, mimicking all generations with a wide variety of success (or lack thereof), and half a dozen official FiM products (no blind bags, but some mini-figs, some jewelry, some plushies, some sticker packs). Anyone want pics of the Great Dollarama Pony Scavenger Hunt tomorrow?

The only pic I took today was of these, which appeared to be erasers with comb-able manes and tails. Each stands about an inch tall.
 

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Tak

Endless
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I hit up 3 on my way home today before I lost stamina (funny how I can't walk as much as I could before major surgery 2 weeks ago, eh?) and only found packages with non-alien ponies in them, earth, pegasus and unicorns a-plenty, but no double-horned aliens. I'll be looking in one or two tomorrow, and can get to a few more this weekend. I haven't given up!

I also found about a dozen other fakies of various sizes and types, mimicking all generations with a wide variety of success (or lack thereof), and half a dozen official FiM products (no blind bags, but some mini-figs, some jewelry, some plushies, some sticker packs). Anyone want pics of the Great Dollarama Pony Scavenger Hunt tomorrow?

The only pic I took today was of these, which appeared to be erasers with comb-able manes and tails. Each stands about an inch tall.
Yes! Pictures!
 
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