M for Montréal - Leonard Cohen Eats There
Outside of the music, Montréal is a city that begs to be explored, and on Saturday afternoon I found myself atop of Mount Royal alongside a handful of delegates as part of a city tour organized by the festival. The two hour trip took us to the hip Mile End neighborhood and past several places and restaurants where Leonard Cohen apparently hung out, including a park in the Portuguese part of town where he wrote a lot of his lyrics. Narrated by M for Montréal’s booking agent, Mikey Bernard -- who proved to be sarcastic and sardonic, yet highly knowledgeable, guide -- the tour took in two stops. The second was to frequent some of the city’s hippest coffee shops, but the first involved a brief walk to the top of Mount Royal, which, despite a slight incline, is more of a hill. (The city’s ordinance that no building be taller than it makes Mount Royal seem slightly bigger than it actually is.) After wandering the grounds -- designed by famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead (he helped carve out Central Park) -- we found ourselves with a panoramic view of the city stretching out below us. Looking at it from above, Montréal doesn’t seem that different from many American cities, but its attitude is. Unlike America and the capitalistic, winner takes all, “someone must rise to the top” philosophy, Montréal, possibly because of it European feel and mindset, seems just as interested in content as conclusion.