Yesterday my lovely friend Ana turned me on to the Poppytalk blog. They had had a feature on Mile End (the Montreal area which I live very near to) with a tour designed by locals Amy Johnson and Marilis Cardinal of Puces POP. Today I did that tour. But, just as I cannot follow a knitting pattern without tweaking it, I redesigned the tour a lot as I walked around.
Let me just start by saying I LOVE MONTREAL. I really identify with the diversity of this city, the friendly people and the shabby sheikness of it in general, especially the area we live in (little Italy- near Mile End and the Plateau). Also it's so enriching to be in a place that has such history.
General 54 - 54 St.Laurent
Today I began my Mile End tour at Club Social, the cafe which (as per Poppytalk) rivals Cafe Olympico. It was my first time at the Social Club and I prefer their outside seating situation better than Cafe Olympico but not the coffee. I then trekked over a few blocks to General 54 featuring Canadian hand-mades, and found a super sweet vintage shop, The Annex right next door. The nice lady who works at General 54 informed me that the two places are owned by the same person, as is Local 23 just down the street. I went there next. They're doing something right; all three stores begged me to spend, spend spend. Luckily yesterday I found some great $5 leather moccasins at the Renaissance thrift store near my house, so I wasn't tempted to spend $30 at The Annex (still a good price though).
The Annex - 56 St.Laurent
Local 23 - 23 Bernard
The Arterie 176 Bernard + super cute desk
On the Poppytalk tour was Arterie on St.Bernard. Great locally-mades and vintage there too. Close by was a vintage furniture store and I fell in love with the desk out front. It was already sold, boo.
Monastiraki - 5478 St.Laurent
I trekked back up to St.Laurent to get back onto the Poppytalk tour but once again got distracted and instead found Monastiraki, a great local art (including beautiful lino prints) , vintage paper and more shop. The owner Billy was energetic and helpful and the products were all gorgeous.
Au Papier Japanese - 24 Fairmont
Au Papier Japanese!!!! They are full of sickeningly beautiful hand-made paper, hand-carved wooden printing blocks and hand-made books (as well as a few Moleskin--gotta through in everyones fave)
Fairmount Bagels - 74 Fairmount
I ended my tour at Fairmount Bagel, rival to St.Viateur Bagels. I personally prefer St.Viateur because I like their crispy outer shell and chewy insides, but Fairmont was closer this time ( theirs are chewy all the way). I just love Montreal bagels in general, nothing like them.
TIP: Always get a tub of FULL FAT Liberty cream cheese with your bagel(s). It's delicious and the cream cheese is inexpensive there, so you can through it in your fridge when you get home.
Thus concludes my Mile End mini tour. There's a lot more I know but that was good for a half day of trekking.
I love Montreal!!!!!!!
P.S. Here's a little peek at what we've got going on in our Montreal apartment. It's slowly getting filled.