I’ve been slow on this posting theme, mostly because I actually delayed my Montreal au revoir by a month. But I figured it was time, and I spent the weekend enjoying the official beginning of summer on Boulevard St. Laurent’s annual festival, Main Fest. A hybrid sidewalk sale/extended patio/cheap beer/outdoor music (including my friends, On Bodies) event that extends for ten blocks down St. Laurent. The event coincided with both the Fringe Festival and the beginning of the Saint Jean Baptiste holiday (aka “Quebec Day,” giving Quebecers two straight long weekends with Canada Day coming up, though the Canada Day celebration is basically non-existent, while St. Jean Baptiste day is a fleur-de-lis extravaganza), giving a lot of options all around the city.
The streets are packed, and the widest variety of people you can imagine are out all hours of the day and night. I only brought my camera once and it died within an hour, so these pictures are nothing special, but do set the mood:
That last one is outside Cinema L’Amour, North America’s oldest running XXX theatre, which even got festive by selling boxes of porn outside on the street. This man was checking it out, and its an homage to a day earlier, when me and some friends went to see what was in the boxes, and an old man literally knocked my friend out of the way to get to the box, picking up F’ing Teens 2 (It actually said “F’ing”).
I also managed this clip:
I watched this guy for an hour and I still don’t know why.
It all kicks off a pretty amazing season here. There are at least one, if not three festivals continuously running from now until September, JazzFest, Just For Laughs, World Film Festival, etc, etc, and fireworks every Wednesday and Sunday where countries compete for whos got the best (I sound like a Montreal tourism ad, I realize). The streets are often closed to pedestrians only, and the entire gay village, essentially a whole mile of St. Catherine street, is permanently shut down, everyday, until September. This was the first time they’ve ever done this. I have to walk through it to get to one of Montreal’s only giant grocery stores and its essentially like walking through gay pride. Wonderfully enough, last week on the day it started, this was the scene on my balcony: a rainbow basically starting and ending where the pedestrian-only zone does the same. If that ain’t a sign from God: Make those cars leave the gays alone to drink beer on patios in the widest variety of tank tops on Earth.