Wandering through Montreal
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I was lost on the back streets of Montreal in the rain. It sounds like song lyrics, but it also happens to be true. I enjoy getting lost in a new city. It’s a great way to see and experience things I wouldn’t normally and to get a feel for a place.
Before the rise of smart phones I would carry a map—either an official one or a simple print out—so that I could find myself when I was done being lost. Now I’ve come to rely heavily on my iPhone and Google maps to do the finding for me. But I didn't have data coverage in Montreal, so I was forced again to find myself.
I wandered in the rain past bars, restaurants, and beautiful old buildings. I knew only vaguely where I was and that feeling reminded me of wandering aimlessly for hours and hours in New York City the first year I lived there. Long before I had a even a regular cell phone and before I was smart enough to have a map, Pearson and I would take the train to Grand Central and set out walking. We walked to the Museum of Modern Art and through Central Park and then down through Chelsea and Greenwich Village, Soho and Tribeca, Little Italy and Chinatown, all the way to Battery Park. Then we’d turn around and walk back, up the Westside, across through Times Square, to Grand Central. I remember so many amazing things, a terrific dinner, a great coffee, street performers, but I can never place exactly where any of those things happened. The city was still one big murky cluster of streets, just beginning to come into focus for me. So all of those things reside not in a physical location that I can revisit, but safely in my memory.
I didn’t find great adventure or a great restaurant in Montreal, but I revisited a great feeling and in my mind I have the indelible image of wet cobblestones reflecting the moonlight somewhere on the streets of Montreal.
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