Over the weekend M, A, A’s mom and I decided to go upstate – you see we consider ourselves quite the adventurers. We will hike, swim in lakes and be “of the earth”.
Here is what we did:
After spending about 10 days in Montreal, I’m kind of sad to not have had more time in an interesting city just a few hours north of here. I don’t usually feel this way… I’m usually always ready to come home. But Montreal was cool and I liked it … like I said already, I liked it a lot more than I like other cities that aren’t New York.
Here is a little bit of what I can put down for those who visit… I recommend the very much cliched (and actually quite useful) hop-on hop-off bus tour, I also had some time to do the normal life things. But let’s get to the tourist stuff first: Saint Joseph’s Oratory – we spent an afternoon here and while we thought it was beautiful, I’m not sure it left me wanting to come back. I would recommend going here during a tour and/or when there is worship music. I was not able to visit the Basilique Notre-Dame but I think that was a mistake. This I should have gone to (perhaps even over Saint Joseph’s). I spent quite some time in the old port… it was walk-able from where we were and just being around the water and general market scene was lovely. They had an international fireworks competition while I was in town and that was definitely a treat. I was able to spend some time with Rodin at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and I think this is top of the list of places to visit. Spend a day here / many days. It’s beautiful – even without the Rodin! If you’re in Montreal on Sundays – the Tam-Tams are a fun Sunday summer event.. bring some beverages, food, and a blanket and hang out. Actually summer in Montreal is essentially a giant gathering of people doing street festivals- so take your pick. The Jazz festival is better known all over the world so it’s a shame to miss it if you’re in Montreal in July. For food stops I definitely recommend Fairmount Bagel – it is delicious. I also recommend the competition. The city is alive with fine foods so if you want to skip Poutine – skip away! But don’t miss the restaurants in the various neighborhoods… Chinese food in Chinatown, Israeli food, Greek, Italian, French.. you name it they’ve got it and it’s good. (For example – This Icecream!) And of course French food – d’uh! I like the Eater Guide quite a bit to get me to food choices I would appreciate. But before I forget – I recommend the botanical garden and the intimate concerts they hold within their landscapes. Breathtakingly amazing. Go here on a warm breezy evening. You are so very welcome!
I texted with Ricky who spontaneously decided to come to Cologne for lunch. Of course I got to our meeting point 5 minutes after she got there. (*embarrassed*) We decided to walk to the Hohenzollernring area and found outside seating in one of those cafes that serve breakfast and beverages all day long. I had a typical German breakfast – bread, butter, marmalade, cheese, boiled egg, fresh greens, tomatoes. Ricky chose an all American version – pancakes with maple syrup and butter. And then we decided to share a normal-ish breakfast for both of us – yogurt, fruits, honey and some flax seeds (spot on!) with some espresso. No, we did not finish all of this food!!!
We then headed out to Mediapark where they were exhibiting a dance and fashion thing – how both are interconnected we imagined. But Ricky and I took a Waltz and Samba dance lesson in it’s stead in the building. (I was the boy dancer!) I mean, yes dance and fashion are totally connected but learning to waltz and samba in German – now that’s special.
After exercising too much for a Sunday we went to Vapiano’s for Aperol spritzers. (I know, I know – Vapiano’s seems like a bad choice – but in it’s defense, it was outside and the aperol was lovely and we didn’t see the red weird sign board where we were sitting!)
A perfectly spent Sunday with Ricky who made everything feel “just right” and “easy” ❤
After dropping R back to the main train station, I wandered around the cathedral (again) and walked to the now well traveled Neu Markt station. I even stopped at a neighborhood ice-cream shop en route home. I mean could the Sunday get more indulgent!
PS: I really thought I would write an entry for every day I was in the city but that so did not happen. But 2 out of a potential 15 is not bad! (Clearly I like to give A’s for effort).
I arrived in Cologne expecting a May summer. Something I should already have learned is never successful for me – weather expectations. I am freezing (as usual). The weather world just does not see eye-to-eye with me or maybe I refuse to understand that weather is fickle. But, I can’t complain too much because certainly, I’ve had worse experiences. This one, I’m mildly prepared for. I brought along one sweater (one?!) and one sweater jacket (one?!) so essentially I’m wearing that sweater jacket thing (which is not what jackets are supposed to be – mine is more of a cardigan type situation) over everything. Like I said, I’ve felt worse. Although naturally, I am down with a cold. Pssh. That will not stop me from seeing and doing “everything”.
Arrived in Cologne and met with E <- who is absolutely lovely for taking me under her wing and showing me where / what / when / how. We go to an area called Lindenthal (my “home” in Cologne). Once settled in my light filled room, I met with X (who surprised me by cycling over in no time at all!) and made plans to have drinks and dinner with her girlfriends. I tried to go to the shopping street (where I am told a lot of people go) Schildergasse and wasn’t the biggest fan of finding the same shops here as I would on Broadway. (Actually, in a way it’s good because then shopping isn’t an attraction for me). It was time for dinner and drinks with X and I walked over to Yo! where I had some delicious quesadillas, cocktails and conversation (not in that order!) Before heading home, I stopped at a kiosk (that is what corner bodegas are called here if you’re curious) and picked up the essentials: Milk and Chocolate. The music loving (I mean he liked Shakti and Mahavishnu!) Adnan drove me back in a city taxi.