Postcard From Montreal: La Cité
While tourists stomp the Old Port area and take good pictures, this is the Montreal I am enjoying right now, by contemplating its ugly high-rise buildings cluttering the space just south and east of the mountain (Mont Royal). The ones shown in this picture are called "La Cité" - a somewhat suspect name, according to the French living here .
It's super-convenient and all (the basement of this building has three different food markets, a drug-store, a local wine monopoly branch, SAQ, a stationery store and a post office, not to count all the pathetic little shops scattered within a stone's throw), but utterly depressing. Besides, I hate the smell of underground commerce, which seems to be the default city smell in Montreal. The locals are so used to it, though, that they don't even mind eating underground. Yuk!
 In France, la cité basically means housing projects.