Tried Montreal-style bagels this morning. NY bagel snob that I am, I actually enjoyed them. Sweeter and a little less dougy. The bagel place was in the old Jewish area (I even saw a mikvah that still appears to be in use)- home of both famed bagel shops, Fairmont (the one we tried today) and St. Vituear (sp?) and several of the smoked meat palaces.
W Hotel- AMAZING! (other than not having the room ready on time). I'm not hip or good-looking enough to be staying here. It's like I'm staying in a palace of runaway modernism. As beautiful as the place is some more functionality would not kill them. The purity of the bathroom would not be harmed too much if they added a few more places to hang a towel or bathrobe. Never the less the room was beautiful and luxurious*, complete with actually fast wireless internet, nightstands that light up internally, a faux fur blanket, comfy armchair, and beautiful fixtures. Fabulous robes, a and Aveda products awaited the weary traveler in the bathroom.
Underground city= mall mania. In Montreal's downtown almost all shopping malls are connected both underground and (when possible) above ground. That's something that one wouldn't find in the states. It is pouring rain right now, which made the underground shopper's paradise a good choice for today's activity. There is even a statue of 'Rocket' Richard in one of the malls (I'm not sure which one it was in the vast maze of indoor shopping). There are even people (troll people?) who never have to come aboveground for months out of the year. They live in an apartment building that is connected somehow to an office building that they work in and a mall where they can shop. (They must be very pale creatures).
One thing that I've noticed walking around Montreal for the past few days is how integrated of a city it seems to be (at least in my tourist eye view). One sees people of all different races and ethnicities interacting in social situations unlike in the States. The thing that seems to divide people here has more to do with whether you're Anglo or French than it does with race or religion.
Today at the food court I was getting falafel from the Lebanese place and the guy made it perfectly to my liking (not hot sauce or turnipsor other weird crap) once he understood that I was used to having them in Israel. He was like "Oh, you like it the correct way".
It is also safe to say that I'm probably the only woman ever to go into the (in)famous Montreal strip club, Club Super Sexe, and notice the Montreal Canadiens jersey hanging on the wall.
I tried the smoked meat that Montreal is so famous for. While I enjoyed the Montreal-style bagels because they were sweet, I disliked the smoked meat for the same reason. As a New Yorker I like my deli meats on the salty side.
*good job by the travel companion who got the room for a third of the rate by using Expedia