Chinatown and Old Montreal. Chinatown is...
This is a resale shop on Rue St. Laurent at the beginning of Chinatown.
This street musician was simply overjoyed for me to take a photograph of him. He is an excellent guitarist and he plays the harmonica well, also.
I wanted to buy this bamboo, but plants are not allowed across the border.
Tea in Montreal's Chinatown is available at a much better price than Boston's Chinatown. Many varieties of tea are available and all are made in China.
The silk items in Montreal are gorgeous and priced very reasonably. A red, silk-covered facial powder compact is $5 CAD and a silk wall hanging is $20 CAD.
The Old Port on Place St. Jacques.
A father and his two sons from China. The street acts are always very good in Montreal.
This was the first of two we saw on this day.
The father and his two sons prepared for their routine with a warmup routine that combined stretching with exercises designed to test speed, agility and reflexes. These skills are of the utmost importance when performing the feats that this Father and Sons routine does.
Notice the delicate slippers on the son's feet.
And the delicate slippers on the father's feet. He is drinking Pepsi, upside down.
This is a test of partnership as much as it is a test of balance.
Capturing the photo as I did was more than a stroke of luck. The father pointed to me and said: ''Un, deux et trois.''
I smiled and nodded.
Then he said again: ''Un, deux'' and on ''trois'', I clicked. Clearly, the man is a genius at crowd manipulation, a necessary skill for his profession.
The father is dressing as the lion for the Lion Dance as his young son looks on.
The Lion Dance is a traditional dance throughout China, Korea and Japan, although each country's lion dance differs from the dances in the other countries. In China, the Northern Lion Dance is made up of a Lion decorated in yellow, orange and red, as we see here. Green is used to represent a female lion in the style of the Northern Lion Dance.
The Lion Dance is said to have originated in China about 1,000 years ago. The Northern Lion Dance was performed before the Imperial Court. The Northern dance is acrobatic, and many martial arts moves originated from the Northern style.
The Lion Dance is performed at important ceremonies and festivals throughout the year, but most frequently during Chinese New Year, to bring good luck.
Here, the father has completed the Lion Dance, much to the crowd's enjoyment.
Now we are on Rue St. Paul Est in Old Montreal (Vieux Montreal) where sidewalk cafes are as common as they are in Paris. Dating from Montreal's earliest days, Old Montreal offers exquisite cuisine of several cultures besides French. Beer and wine are available at all restaurants, where you often can enter without a line.
The pace is leisurely in Old Montreal, even when tourists flock during the busy summer months.
What are they thinking?
Another movie scene. All French cafe scenes are movie scenes. They talk of love, people, love, problems, love, love, love.
The sign says: Merde Il Pleut. Shit, it's raining. Or Shit on the rain.
This is inside the Bonsecours Market, one of the oldest market in the country, like Quincy Market.
Thinks he's Gene Simmons.
This is Eric of St. Eustache. He's a fabulous street act. Come listen. Bonjours and hello friends. (He stops to say hi to a few new people who've just arrived). Hello. These are all my friends and we are here today to talk about Jesus. (laughs). Eric really is swallowing fire.
You will see things you've never seen before. Eric is juggling fire and he has a bed of nails, which we will see soon. He asks people where they're from.
He asked, "Who is from New York?" Tanya, in the dress, raised her hand. There was a man next to her. ''Is he your boyfriend,'' Eric asked? ''No''.'' Good' Did you drive here?'' '' No,'' Tanya replied.'' Good'', Eric replied. ''I saw a car today on the way over here and it said, 'I Miss New York.' So I slashed their tires and stole their car radio so they would feel right at home.'' (Laughter).
He asks Tanya if she would like to be his volunteer. She shrugs. He takes her hand and walks with her. "Tanya and I will be right back. We are just going to do a leetle trick. Back in 20 minutes''.
A few people leave. A family with young children leave. A woman and her daughter arrive. Hello Ladies, Eric says. "Do you think I am attractive?" They smile, shyly. ''Oh isn't it wonderful to be young and lesbian'' Laughter).
''Serioiusly,'' Eric says. ''You have never seen anything like this. Even my husband. Well no, I am not gay. But my husband is. But my wife and my kids think you've never seen anything like this. ''
Eric is lying on the bed of nails. Shirtless.
Difficult to see, but there are pressure points on his back from the bed of nails.
He asks for another volunteer. A strong, young man. He chooses my son. He asks my son to hold the ladder steady. My son does. Then he asks my son if he knows Tanya. ''No.'' My son replied. '''Well, go there and introduce yourself.'' My son shook Tanya's hand. Eric climbs down and says. ''No, no. You need to hug. Here, I will show you how.''
Then he asks a little girl to come over to him. HE says, "IF you see a man carrying a sword and is shirtless and he asks you to come over to him. You go get the police. Now go back to your Mommy and Daddy. Seriously, folks, my other job is as a babysitter.''
After the bed of nails, Eric put the swords in the ladder. He is climbing where the swords are. (The swords are sharp at the point (razor sharp) but less so in the middle. Gotcha!
Eric swallows fire again.
Sun makes for an excellent photo op.
This is the very old Bonsecours church.
Sirop d'erable. Maple syrop.
This is a Nutracker shop. Difficult to see the Nutrackers on top.
This is a monstrosity by our contemporary standards, but in its day it was an excellent example of Art Deco. It is the Aldred Bldg and is for rent. A louer. It looks a lot like the Architect's Building of the same era and a similar style, which was demolished.
Ah to ride in a Caleche.
Notre Dame Cathedral de Montreal. A replica, but smaller than the one in Paris. Not as ornate, because it is a few hundred years newer. Yes, this is where Pavarotti sang.
Detail on the Notre Dame.
This is not Montreal.
This is the Old Orchard Pub in Pointe Claire, on the West Island, an old English village. (Anglo, English Canadian. As in Scottish.)
The building the pub is in is one of the oldest on the Island.