Category Archives: Montreal

Travel Playlist No. 1

Here is the playlist I enjoyed on my two 12 hour train journeys through the snow en route to Montreal. I love the train– it’s my favorite way to travel.

  1. Beach House- Zebra
  2. Kurt Vile- Baby’s Arms
  3. Alex Winston- Locomotive
  4. Starfucker- White of Noon
  5. Bobby- Sore Spores (I really love this song right now)
  6. The Morning Benders- Wet Cement
  7. Broken Social Scene- Highway Slipper Jam
  8. Jonquil – Compound
  9. High Highs- Flowers Bloom
  10. Of Oceans – In Love, Not Limbo
  11. Widow Speak- Harsh Realm
  12. Beach House- Real Love

to download the playlist go http://www.mediafire.com/?af303xe4i18aq“>here

Boutique George & Jane

I was back in Montreal this weekend for the first time since I graduated (I forgot how cold it is in March) and I stumbled across a store I liked, called Boutique George & Jane. A nice boutique in a small, industrial-ish space, stocked with both men’s and women’s wear. Brands include Acne, Gant, Helmut Lang, Amanda Uprichard, American Retro, Bailey 44, and the Australian swimsuit line One Teaspoon which seemed to be all over Montreal. It’s pretty far north on St. Laurent, near Mile End, but definitely worth a visit. My only complaint? No mirror in the dressing rooms. I never understand that.

If you make it up there, its worth popping across the street to a cute boutique called Unicorn, which seems to be primarily focused on Quebecois designers such as: Mojito (knits), Eve Gravel, Nea (jewelry), and Valerie Dumaine. Also: Seychelles, RVCA, and Sessun.

I also went for a shopping trip in Westmount, which was pretty disappointing. All the stores seemed to be carrying the same brands and identical, tired silhouettes, like sack-y dresses with unnecessary belts. Nothing to recommend there.

BOUTIQUE GEORGE & JANE:

5364 Boulevard Saint Laurent

Tues, Wed:11:00 am-6:00 pm, Thurs – Fri:11:00 am-8:00 pm, Sat:11:00 am-6:00 pm, Sun:12:00 pm-5:00 pm

(514) 495-3030

http://www.georgeandjane.ca

Drinking in Montreal

La DistillerieI know this is supposed to be a shopping blog, but the drinking in Montreal is way better than the shopping, so here are some recommendations, since you’ll be there anyway:

Suite 701: Located in Old Montreal at the Hotel Place D’Armes (which also holds the very nice Rain spa, where I got my best massage to date, ever). Best as a rooftop bar, so it’s really only worth going to in the summer. The view is deceptively beautiful and Mediterranean. Also, 701 is one of the few bars in town that pours liberally and doesn’t use one of those shot-stoppers thingys. My Recommendation: The mojitos are amaaazing! Also, passion-fruit martini.

Distillerie: Definitely my favorite bar in Montreal. Before 8, you are allowed to bring in food. Distillerie only allows in about 50 patrons at a time, so after 8 (seriously, I mean it) there is guaranteed to be a line, which is no big deal in the summer, but truly miserable in the winter when its ten degrees below and windy. The cap is annoying until you’re inside, where its refreshingly uncrowded. But the best part of Distillerie is the drinks, which are served in mason jars filled to the brim with five shots of whatever you want. OMG, you’ll be wasted before you know it!! My recommendation: the Hurricane or the Lime-Gingermbre. Located at 300 Rue Ontario Est near Sanguinet.

Whiskey Cafe: A million kinds of scotch in a sophisticated space. They even have a cigar menu. Deep booths and warm lighting. Located at 5800 Boulevard St-Laurent at Rue St. Bernard.

Dieu de Ciel: Montreal has a lot of good breweries, and people seem to like this one. Located at 29 Laurier West, near S. Laurent. You could also go to Brutopia on Rue Crescent, filled with first year McGill students.

Wunderbar: Located inside Montreal’s W Hotel, Wunderbar is basically the indoor answer to Suite 701. Drinks are girly and expensive. Unfortunately, people definitely do things like “pop bottles” and dance. One dumb review calls it a “sexy temple of cool.” Creepy men are an occupational hazard. My Recommendation: A La Rose. Located at 901 Victoria Square, at Rue McGill.

Biftek: If you just want to drink some beer and eat some popcorn, go here. My Recommendation: Beer and Popcorn. Located at 3702 bd. St-Laurent, near Prince Arthur.

Sky: If you’re gay and going out in Montreal, skip Unity, skip Parking, and go to Sky. It’s more fun. My Recommendation: Don’t have sex in the bathroom. Located at 1474 rue Ste-Catherine est, near Rue Amherst.

But really, there are a million bars in Montreal you could go to. Most are open till 3 am.

Lola and Emily

gallery16

Right down the street from u&i, past one American Apparel, is Lola and Emily. Lola and Emily is cute, in a really feminine sort of way. What’s also really nice about Lola and Emily is that they carry a bunch of brands you might not find in the states, like Ca Va de Soi or Filippa K. They also carry American brands like Free People and Velvet. They have nice scarves and jewelry, and some lingerie, and shoes, like Dolce Vita and Toms. The vibe here is sort of boho chic, but not too expensive.

If you get hungry, go across St. Laurent on Prince Arthur to Ye Old Orchard. Really good pub food. Yum.

Lola and Emily:

3475 St Laurent
Montréal, QC H2X 2T6, Canada
(514) 288-7598

u&i

U&i interior

I really like u&i. They carry some of my favorite brands which are pretty hard to find in Montreal, like Phillip Lim, Rag and Bone, Opening Ceremony, and Vanessa Bruno. They even had some of the amazing pieces from Luella Spring ’09! They also have a small assortment of shoes, including Dolce Vita and Chie Mihara. It’s small, in a good way, the selection is great, and the people who work there speak English, and are really nice and helpful. Win, win, win!

u&i:

3650 St. Laurent Boulevard

(514) 844-6188

http://www.boutiqueuandi.com/

Holt Renfrew

Holt Renfrew is sort of like the Canadian Saks, or perhaps more accurately, the Canadian Harvey Nicks. It’s not so big, only three little floors, but there selection is good, and it’s not overwhelming, like some department stores. On the first floor they have some jewelry and standard cosmetics brands like Nars, Laura Mercier, YSL, and Bobbi Brown. On the second floor, they have high end designer collections, and on the third, they have shoes, and the usual suspects, like Marc by Marc, Theory, Vince, Phillip Lim, and a whole lot of denim. In the basement there is a cute cafe, but wayy over priced in the tradition of Fred’s at Barneys. If you decide to go, the beet-apple juice is really yummy.

If you’re American, the downside of going to stores like Holt’s in Canada is that the clothing is all marked up. This wasn’t even changed for the brief moment when the loonie (Canadian dollar) was worth more than the dollar. At rare moments like those, the Canadian prices can be as much as 50% more than American Prices. Definitely not worth it.

Holt Renfrew:

1300 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC H3G 1H9
514-842-5111

Store Hours:
Monday to Wednesday 10 AM – 6 PM
Thursday to Friday 10 AM – 9 PM
Saturday 9:30 AM – 6 PM
Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM

Montreal, a poor man’s Paris

I was born and raised in Manhattan, but since I spent the last four years living and shopping in Montreal, I think I’ll start there. I should tell you right off that there’s not much. (This video is pretty awesome though, if mildly misleading.) If you’re headed there though, there are some good places worth checking out. Also, don’t be misled by reports of an “underground city.” It’s really just an enormous underground mall, and unless you’re desperate for Old Navy, Pink, or Quiznos, I would skip it. The malls run along Rue St. Catherine’s which is the biggest shopping street in Downtown Montreal. With some minor exceptions (mostly chains), I think the best shopping runs along St. Laurent in the Plateau area.