Tag Archives: Montreal

Diverted to Baltimore but Eventually Home

Well, there must be somebody to blame. This time, it seems more like LaGuardia’s fault than Delta’s.

[a considerable amount of time elapses]

Someone’s gotten his shit together. I’m back in Manhattan and happy. The flight home was a pain in the ass. The flight wasn’t able to land in New York, because there was too much traffic. So, we had to circle until we were too low on fuel. The plane was sent to Baltimore, where we waited until some sort of “hold” on LaGuardia was lifted. At least the cab ride back into the city was easy.

It’s starting to feel like, whatever I do, I get screwed on the flight. Montreal was the exception … the only exception.

Making time to write

I spent the drive home from Philly lecturing a friend of mine about the need to write every day if you want to do it for a living. It’s true. He and I are something of a support group for each other, necessary in this line of work. We get together from time to time to discuss leads with magazine, kick around ideas and generally bitch about how little respect writers get. Yeah, it’s true.

Well, for all my lecturing, I realized that I haven’t done much writing lately … and day job doesn’t count. I mean the interesting stuff: hunting for a story, putting the screws to reluctant sources, hashing out an idea, finally putting pen to paper. Sure, I’ve been busy, but that’s no excuse. I need to make more time to write.

So, I got some writing done last night. My article on Montreal is finally coming together; I hope to have it submitted by tomorrow. Also, I filed my Saatchi magazine story on Richard Prince. I felt like I’d covered some ground, and I felt great. It didn’t matter that I’d passed on two hours of sleep; I didn’t need it anyway.

You have to do this stuff every day if you want to get good at it. If you want to stay good at it, it takes even more effort. It’s funny that pain is rewarded with more pain, but I guess I dig it.

“Seven Days” of Korean

No, it has nothing to do with kimchee or Jinro soju. 7 Days is an indie flick that I saw screened at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal last weekend. The flick was extremely intense, packed with the sort of psychological violence only seen on the Korean peninsula or in Joe Gallant-directed porn films. I absolutely love it and recommend it highly. Check out the trailer below.

[More on the Fantasia International Film Festival after the video]

Fantasia is a kick-ass fest, focusing on horror, anguish and the disturbed. There is plenty of variety, from Quebecois animated shorts to U.S., Canadian and Asian horror. Quite simply, there’s something for everybody.

The festival just wrapped up a few days ago, but every year it spans most of July. This is a real fest, not the commercialized Sundance, Tribeca or Cannes affairs. At Fantasia, the movies are the main event. So, if you’re looking for a reason to go to Montreal next summer, you just found it.

Read the 7 Days review >>

Learn about Fantasia >>

Old and New

Part of why I love Montreal is that it offers a mix of old and new architecture, side-by-side. I hate cities like Las Vegas because they are synthetic. There is no evolution of the urban landscape. Montreal, like New York, pulls it all together. I absolutely love it.

Montreal goes underground

In the winter, nobody walks the streets in Montreal; it’s too damned cold. So, the city has developed a vast network of underground tunnels that connect many of the city’s hotels, restaurants, retailers and other business establishments. The underground network is pretty spectacular in the summer, too, since the whole thing has some great air conditioning.

You can find an entrance to the underground city by looking at Metro (subway) signs. If it has the letters “RESO,” the station also serves as an entrance to the underground city. Once underground, you can choose to take the subway or explore the underground city on foot.

The underground system is pretty amazing. There are plenty of retail and dining options. The network goes several stories below ground and reaches above the surface. Also, it was designed to allow as much natural light as possible. I was definitely impressed.

I thought I’d cause some trouble with my host, telling him that this subway station design is a knock-off of the Paris metro. Instead, he just laughed and explained that this particular work was a gift to Montreal from Paris. So, he put me in my place easily. I may think before speaking next time, but as I explained to him, I doubt it.

The subway system provides great access to the city. In fairness, it’s not quite New York, Washington, DC or Seoul, but it certainly is at least a step up from Boston or Helsinki. I’ve heard great things about it. I wanted to give it a try, but when faced with the opportunity, I had to choose the streets. That’s where I prefer to be when I’m working on a story.

Don’t worry, he’s alive

Dear Sir/Madam,

We have your husband/son/brother. He is alive, as you can see from the attached photo, as he is holding a newspaper with today’s date. If you would like to see him again, you know the terms.

Best Regards,

Weirdo

For any nutjob who can’t take a joke, this is, in fact a joke. Fuck off.

Revenge of l’ananas!!!

So, the Canadians apparently have become wise to the new film, Pineapple Express. Well, I wonder if they know who the real hero will be?

Yeah, you guessed it … l’ananas!

I’m sure that demented pineapple from Telefrancais will have something to say about this new movie. After all, he is quite outspoken, and multitalented. He tried to deliver pizzas!