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Postcard From Montreal: La Cité

Posted by Slavito in Montreal on 22/Jun/2004
La Cité
Knowing that I am now based in Montreal, you, of course, expect me to send in aesthetically pleasing images of the Notre-Dame Basilica, the statue of Admiral Nelson or, should worse come to worse, of the multi-colored Palais des Congrès. And I am just going to be different and difficult, once again.

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 [1].

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!

[1] In France, la cité basically means housing projects.

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