After a four day stint in Toronto, my trip back to Montreal was welcomed with a sound you don’t often hear in Toronto: Crazed hockey fans celebrating a playoff round won. For the past hour, horns, screams and now, sirens, have blared through my room window at a volume that makes me feel like I’m in a hockey arena. And I do not live in a pub-full area, nor anywhere near the arena where said win took place. And as annoying as the sounds are now getting, the first 20 minutes or so brought me sincere civic pride. True to one of our greatest stereotypes, Canadians and hockey are an intense hand-in-hand. And during playoff season – I time that I admit the Sports page becomes my first go-to of the newspaper – the mood of entire cities is quite extraordinary. Right now I do my part by having streaming games often minimized on my laptop for occasional check-ins. The bar scene is a bit too butch for me to fully embrace, but I do feel a bit jealous when I see herds of fans drunkenly screaming at bar televisions as I walk by pretending not to care. However, if the Montreal Canadiens make it to the finals – a possibility that secretly led me to ensure being in the city during that time – I might even have to full-on participate in the madness.
And yes, I have returned from Hot Docs (more on that later), which was a fantastic time filled with perhaps an exhausting dose of documentaries and Stella, and have exactly 36 hours to run two weeks worth of errands before heading to Tribeca, where its possible the New York Rangers could be playing Montreal in the second round… Maybe wearing a Montreal hockey jersey around New York is in order if that happens.