In an attempt to gauge my productivity levels this summer, I recently tried to construct a general list of what I’ve been up to since June. Fact: I’ve been doing dick-all. That said, I’ve been having a whale of a time overall, which must count for something, right?
Here are the six major activities that have been occupying my Montreal days and nights, and that you still have time to indulge in before the leaves fall!
1. Competing for beer at the McKibbins Quiz Night
Pub quiz nights are all the rage in Montreal. I like this Monday night edition in particular, because smarts are valued over comic pizazz. The questions are #%!^ing hard, though. The name of the company that hosts this event is Pub Stumpers and our team is uniquely named the Stub Pumpers, which was fine until I really thought about what that meant. My contribution generally consists of eating yam fries with mayonnaise, drinking pints of cider, making bad jokes, and recognizing a Rascal Flatts’ song during the music round one time. Shout out to Hellmann’s and to our waitress Kim.
2. Playing softball
I presently participate in a graduate association softball league, where I shout, curse, and inadvertently take over the score card from the captain(s). Sometimes I even play softball! (badoom boom). We play on the giant field up behind the De Pins reservoir—the one that looks like a castle but annually floods the downtown core. I mostly play catcher with my dad’s old glove, and I run fairly quickly when called upon to do so. Then I make our team awkwardly group-hug after we lose, which occurs at about nine out of 10 games. We aren’t giving autographs at this time.
3. Hangin’ at the Royal Phoenix
My friends and I like to eat breakfast at Royal Phoenix on weekend mornings. They serve generous portions, their Hollandaise sauce is excellent, and FREE TREATS ACCOMPANY BREAKFAST, like smoothies and chocolate-dipped fruit. Then we mostly wind up back at Royal Phoenix 14 hours later, dancing on the windowsills and making-out in the bathroom. This bar has a dancehall/reggae night that pretty much beats out every other DJ’d night in the city. It’s all booties and vodka shots and my friend Vanessa practicing her twerking. And then we eat hot dogs (no innuendo implied, mostly).
4. Lunching at Dahlia’s
Jamal, son within the Montreal famous Boustan family, recently opened up a new shawarma location near McGill, at Aylmer and de Maisonneuve. We tight. I eat lunch there twice a week and he sneaks me baklava and knows the names of all my friends. I religiously avoid the garlic potatoes, but sometimes shit happens and I eat two plates.
5. Sitting in Parc Jeanne-Mance
My roommate bought a fluffy, blue-eyed puppy in June. She is a miniature Australian Shepard and we love her. She loves us back, but she only shows it by sprinting under the couch in circles and then eating our recycling. Naturally, the puppy needs about 54 hours of walking per day, so we’ve been spending multiple evenings picnicking in Parc Jeanne-Mance. Dairy Queen is down the street, and Aux Vivres is around the corner on St-Laurent. I’d wager that most residents of Montreal have stopped to pet her at this point. Feel free to stop by. I’m the one by the trees, eating veggie pâté, watching all the nearby softball games, and trying to stop a fluffy white ball from eating my hair.
6. Sitting on my back balcony
Having a large balcony has always been a personal dream of mine, one that luckily took shape for me this past winter. We grow basil, tomatoes, zucchini, and flowers. We have meaty BBQs and hip-hop dance parties with the neighbours. I read Game of Thrones in the sun with lemonade, and there is a large yellow hammock. Our balcony-mates have a hilarious/handsome dog that follows me around as I water the plants, and also brings me socks. Summertime is always fantastic, but I’m increasingly convinced that life in Montreal during the summer takes the proverbial cake. Enjoy it while it lasts!