Montreal, 2017

This time around, the 23rd International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry (ISPC-23) was hosted by the McGill group in Montreal. Yay! Close-enough to drive over there and I do love driving to Canadia. The drive from Philly to Montreal is quite scenic as you get to go through the mountains in upstate New York (but beware: leave early to not get stuck in the NYC traffic).

We left Philly at 6am and made it, safely, past NYC by 8am—excellent time!

Here’s a video of the drive. All the way from Philly to Montreal.

See, a lot of people here with mountain and camping-related equipment.

If I ever own a bike, I definitely will take it on this ride! Honey, I’m riding to get some cheese, back in a thousand miles!

Don’t you just want to retire for a few months, looking at these here campers?!

These re not really mountains; more like large hills. Very enjoyable ride, really.

Plus we get to play with Totoro :-), my official car mascot.

See the eagle there?

Ah, finally in Montreal, ready for the sights the city has to offer.

Here’s the video of us walking around Montreal during the day.

Immediate observation: a lot of bicycles here and most people are rather in-shape.

Bike rentals are all over the place here and the price is quite low from what I understand.

Ah, Canadia! The flags are all over the place; more so than in the US, I think.

Maybe it’s just me, but even the minor vandalism is more classy here.

New construction all over the place. Many new buildings since my last visit here; so, if you have not been here in 5+ years, it is definitely time to come visit again.

Fence around an empty lot. Surely some new construction is coming soon.

Signs for a bus stop, coming up.

Traffic lights.

This is on a Sunday, so the business district is rather empty.

I haven’t really been able to figure this one out but I think this is a parking meter for bikes…

$10 Canadian for daily parking, very near the center of the city—not bad at all!

Clothing donations, I suppose.

Very clean city, much like all of Canada I’ve been to.

Old bridge.

Black traffic signs.

Nice design of the manhole cover.

Taxis here have a weird thing on top.

Wait, a functioning street phone?!

Interesting trash can design.

No skateboards!

Local police.

Many fountains here; and benches with a view.

I’ll revisit this place a bit later, too.

Many different fire hydrant designs here.

Stickers here are noticeably different than in the US.

And many local cafes advertise being green and healthy.

Plenty of room here for bikes.

No inlines! No skateboards!

Chill zones.

Interesting style for a sculpture. Non-ugly in its ugliness.

A number of buildings here are joined by wicked glass structures.

But the roads… yeah, many of these need work here, much like in my own city.

L’Hotel stole a bunch of iconic stuff and stuffed it all over. Could be interesting place to stay, I’ll try to remember it for the next time.

Restaurants now are building out large semi-permanent installations on the street. Very great for this weather! But, of course, bad for parking. I take less parking and nicer views when eating out.

I love the idea of this coffee shop to put pillows on the steps.

Protesters… they are protesting the use of horses for the street rides… I don’t know much about this, but I’d think older, aging horses are better off here than in a burger, no?

This was a cool idea! Somebody yells “Montreal Photo Mob!” and random strangers get together to participate in a group photo :) Very cool.

Here’s yet another hydrant design.

In the city you will find many of these tiny hidden gardens. Very lovely place.


By the way, many of the cars show at least some degree of rusting… That serves as a reminder of how this place is like in the winter… COLD!

But, for now, we are enjoying the beautiful summery day here.

There is the famous Habitat 67, a strange but overly popular installation in Montreal. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to go over there this time… definitely on the list for the next visit.

The river walk is full of interesting views.

And all the bridges are quite nice here.

Excellent pavements.

Montreal’s riverwalk is one of the nicer ones I’ve been on.

You can even find the dead cat face here. !

I enjoy graffiti outside of the USA. Very different, don’t you agree?

A lot of beautiful new construction by the river.

I see mostly food and water in the trash. Rarely a coke can or a beer can. Interesting!

A lot of construction, like I said.

And, like I said, many of the walkways are in desperate need of this construction.

This is a homeless house and it’s gorgeous, for the Summer.  Where do they go in the Winter?!

Moving sale!

You can get a gorgeous apartment, right near the city center. Very nice views, too.

Here’s how the locals dispose of the construction trash.

Nice anti-slip matts on the steps. Good idea!

Interesting choice of color for the ambulances here.

Local beer market, an overpriced pub with same beer selection as just about everywhere else here…

The traffic warden makes sure cars do not go into the bike lanes. How very nice of the city!

The old, with the new, with the advertisement for strippers.

This will be a tree soon.

And the monks are here, too, selling their junk.

Handicapped parking spot. Wonder how the traffic warden can tell??

Local homeless, resting before the evening.

A lot of flowers, everywhere here. Very welcoming.

More sidewalk installations.

Not even asking, they give you lemon with your sparkling water. FYI, they have beer, wine, juice, and water on the menu but no coke.

Typical lunch cafe.

More flowers.

I prefer the US way of handling parking tickets. Here they put this huge paper under your windshield wiper.

I guess there is a large excess of wood here in Canadia.

Many motor bikes in the city.

And, of course, there’s the fanatic with the Jesus sign…

Oh, here’s a gas line.

Look a this restaurant… Nice, right?

I love this cover-up ghetto-ass stone masonry fixing job :) absolutely adorable!

Montreal at night is gorgeous! Speaking of that, here’s the video of us walking around here at night.

Quite impressive here. The lighting of the city is superb.

McGill campus is quite awesome.

Amazing, right?

There is an actual piano here.

And the view of the night skyline is mesmerizing.

Next day, we went “underground”: there is a network of pathways between the buildings, covering most of the city. This, definitely, is especially useful for the cold of the winter. It’s also nice to explore in the summer, too.

The wall joins are rounded. This way there is no place for bacteria to fester. Very cool.

I am confused by these signs. Thirty meters to what, exactly?

I do like these handrails that appear occasionally. If you’re tired of walking, you can take a rest; but here is no place for the homeless to sleep. Good and effective solution.

So much stainless steel!

And there are many underground restaurants here, too.

Montreal is quite hilly. As we are walking underground, we never go up or down… but once we exit we actually sendup on a third floor of some building! Trippy!

The city has some gorgeous churches.

Some excellent parks and views in the city.

Oh, this is cool. They sprinkle dirt, together with fertilizer, on the grass. Not sure why. I guess this works for them.

So many of the restaurants have the outdoor patios…

Love the idea of tanning booths right on the street of a major metropolitan! Do you ever see this in New York or Chicago?!

Fountains are all over. I don’t think I see as many fountains in the US, do I?

You are frequently reminded that you’re in downtown of a busy city by the suits. There are many fit and good-looking males wearing suits…

“Zebra” here is very different. I wonder if there is a study showing that this type of crossings lead to less accidents?

Interesting sculptures here…

I forgot what this was all about… I think it’s the celebration of Canada turning 150, so they filled a road with flags.

The new and the old.

Ah, so cute! There is this horrible Canadian food: poutine; but, of course, they are making fun of Russia’s President Putin here. Love this!

This is a naked lady.

Aha! This is a great idea! Instead of flowers or grasses, plant food crops. This is fantastic. This smells good, looks good, and I bet it tastes great.

Metro entrance, donated by the French. Why can’t we have these cool things in Philly?!!

Glass ceilings connecting the two buildings. Very cool.

Mirror water fountain. Can I refer to this as a fountain when it’s like this?

And there is a piece of the Berlin wall!!!  This is the Russian side.

This is the German side. Cool, huh?

Amazing that most of the downtown hotels let tourists walk through?

This bank here is no longer a bank but is a coffee shop that is frequently used for movies.

BANK! This is a bank!

And right outside is all this.

Lots of touristy cathedral stuff here.

Just a great city of walk around in. Always something cool to see.

And here is the most touristy part.

Nice brick roads and all.

With violin players and all.

With random stuffed wild cats, and all.

With no vaping, and all.

City Hall party place.

All-around a great city to walk.

Here we go again with the shrubbery… :)

And there are some colonial impersonators practicing their thing, in front of this shrubbery…

Notice how it was just sunny? And the rain rapidly moved in… apparently this is a normal thing here.. Rather heavy rain coming from nowhere and leaving into nowhere in about 20 minutes…

And the street is back to dry!!

Canada post.

Apparently Canada just turned 150 years old, so there’s a big celebration.

With the biggest BBQ fest I’ve ever seen!  Now, I’m not on BBQ fest so this is BIG for me. I bet you’ve seen bigger ones, right?

Again, Montreal takes full advantage of the night with proper lighting.

Chinatown is nice, too. I think there’s more of it in the above video, just no in the photos.

Last day we spend with more walking around on the lawns.

Where I spend time chasing the squirrels…

Lovely view of the city for our lat dinner.

That is, dinner full of Megadeth! :)

And lovely exotic flowers.

As usual, Montreal offers a great experience and just an overall pleasurable everything. This is a great city to visit, exceedingly friendly to tourists, not too terribly expensive, and a foodie heaven.

Hope to see you here soon.


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