Montreal - - Day Two, Fri 3/27/15
We slept until 7:30 AM. Funny how late you can sleep when you're on vacation. Does it have something to do with being relaxed?
Locale: Tim Horton's, in the subway station.
Our meal: we both had coffee, naturally. Richard had a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a bagel, I had the same sandwich on an English muffin. We split a chocolate glazed donut.
Topic of conversation: the explosion in Greenwich Village that morning.
We bought two-day passes for the subway. Richard's pass didn't work to let him through the turnstile, and a random passerby told him to climb over the turnstile. There were no subway employees nearby to help us or see him, so where's the harm? We got to our stop and walked over to the Musee aux Beaux Arts. Our first stop was the decorative arts section, and what did we see in a display case in the stairwell, but a ceramic piece by Bobby Silverman, a friend of Richard's from his high school years on Long Island!
The identifying blurb was strewn with errors: it said he was born in Port Jefferson (he was born in Patchogue) in 1965 (he was born in 1956).
We breezed through an exhibition of Warhol poster art, diverting but not revelatory. It renewed my desire to go to the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.
Locale: some Portuguese chicken joint.
Our meal: Richard had a vegetable wrap with flavorless cole slaw. I had the poutine. My friend Corinna told me about this - - I'm not sure I'd say it's a Montreal delicacy, let's say it's a Montreal specialty. It's french fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy. Sounds dreamy, right? She said it tastes best at 3 AM when you're drunk, and then the next morning you have a double hangover. I was crazy for it. A bottle of Fresca seemed to be the perfect complement, and indeed it was.
Topic of conversation: who is the bigger media whore, United States Senator from New York Chuck Schumer or New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio? We were sure they were jockeying for position at the site of the explosion - - "I'M talking to Pat Battle right now, take a number, get out of my light!"
More problems on the subway, Richard's card didn't work again. We talked with the guy in the booth who blipped the card and said it was faulty. But he wouldn't give us a new card because we didn't have a receipt. Doesn't quite make sense, does it? He had the faulty card in his hand, but the card itself isn't sufficient proof that we had bought it? Plus we're poor clueless tourists from the hinterlands. Please mister, please! Don't play B17! It was our song, it was his song, but it's over.
We ended up buying Richard a new ticket, it was most vexing. We took the subway to an underground shopping mall - - every kind of store imaginable (with an emphasis on lingerie) but no drug store, and we were desperate for Chap Stick and dental floss! We went back above ground and thankfully found a drug store and bought both items. We rewarded ourselves by going to Starbuck's, where Richard was pleased to use his Starbuck's card. He had a flat white, I had a small Frappuccino, which hardly tasted like coffee at all. That's the way (uh huh, uh huh) I like it (uh huh, uh huh).
We went to a boutique across the street from our hotel. I was drawn to a darling short-sleeved cotton shirt with a large, vintage-style floral print on a navy blue field. $250! For a short-sleeved cotton shirt! I did not buy it. For that price, I could buy the fabric at Mood and hire some teenager from Parsons to make it for me, and probably have matching slacks.
Back to the hotel. We called to make a reservation at a Japanese place a friend recommended, but they didn't take reservations. Turns out when we got there they had twenty people on the street, in the cold, waiting for a table - - so why would they take reservations? It reminded me of Sal's in New Haven.
Locale: another Japanese place down the street.
Our meal: all you can eat - - or, to be precise, all you can finish: they charge you extra for any food you leave behind. How green of them. We ate like lords: wonton soup, hot and sour soup, salmon nigiri, smoked salmon sashimi, smoked eel sashimi, edamame, fried chicken dumpling, steamed pork dumplings in peanut sauce, and orange beef! Do you think we got our money's worth?
Here's Richard at the restaurant, and me looking at the conveyor belt cruising by our table:
Back to the hotel - - we went up to the room, dropped off our coats, and went back to the lobby for a drink in the bar. Richard had Johnnie Red on the rocks, I had Grand Marnier neat. I was hoping for Cointreau, and though they had a bottle of it behind the bar, the bottle was empty. Who would do that. That's like putting an empty ice cube tray back in the freezer. I remain mystified. Richard later had a Frangelico on the rocks - - he had wanted Drambouie, but they didn't have it. We had a lovely talk with our bartender, a sweet young woman named Bianca. She asked all about what we were doing in Montreal. She was inquisitive but did not pry. She was happy to hear I had poutine, and even happier to hear I wasn't having it again on this trip. She recommended three different restaurants and printed out their menus.
In bed around 11:30. Slept like a log.