The year 2017 is also the 50th Anniversary of Expo67, the event where my first introduction to this amazing city was made, which would also put Montreal on the world map and change its sense of who it could be forever.
Quebec is a equally wonderful province but in so many ways Montreal is a city that does not fit in with the norms one perceives when thinking about the rest of the province.
While its main language may be French, on any street you may hear a collection of languages being spoken that originate from all corners of the globe. And if you visit certain sections of the city the French language may be almost obliterated by the dominant language of the immigrants who populate the area, and have established retail and service businesses there.
The hotel we are staying in is the St. Sulpice at 414 Sulpice essentially right at the entrance to Old Montreal, an the heart of what still makes Montreal such a unique and varied city.
After Leonard Cohen passed away I read in an article in the Winnipeg Free Press that he often visited the Main Deli on St. Laurent St. Having dined, if that is the appropriate expression for eating in the cramped crowded quarters, in Schwartz’s Deli, I knew that the Main Deli just across the street.
So there I was in another rather older and somewhat run down deli my singing hero often patronized, talking about Cohen and how often he came and what he ate
Before beginning today’s official tours, last night I had to fulfill a bit of a pilgrimage need of my own.I understood that Cohen was quite a healthy eater. Not all the time obviously since I was told by my server that before he became housebound he came in quite regularly. And his meals were either smoked meat, latkes, or vareniki. (perogies originating in the Ukraine). The perogies were potatoe only without the usual cheese addition I associate this dish with back home.
But dining in the footsteps of my song hero was great.