I wanted to explore more of the pulse of the city yesterday. The place I currently live at is mostly business/touristy, I wanted to get out and explore the more locale areas where Montrealers actually live/shop/eat.
Not knowing exactly where I would end up, I got on the Angrignon-bound metro train after buying a day pass.
I got off at station Lionel-Groulx and transferred to the Cote-Vertu train.
Then, I got off at Snowdon station and transferred to a Saint-Michel train.
After boarding the Saint Michel train, I decided to get off at De Castelnau.
According to my map, this is where Littly Italy should be...
I got off at De Castelnau and looked around. What neighborhood is this? Right in front of the metro station where I got off on is a McDonald. Um, interesting.
I started walking on Boul. Saint-Laurent because this seems like the main street and I wanted to make sure I don't get myself too lost from the metro station in case I need to run back. It was an interesting walk. Very quiet except for the many cars that passed and I guess I was expecting something like North Beach in San Francisco, but I did not find that here. This is more residential with some gyms and cafes thrown in. I did see a 24-hour fitness here.
By this time, I saw a park that looked very interesting, so I walked across the street toward it.
This park turns out to be Parc Jarry and has a lovely pond where ducklings play. Actually, I saw a lot of squirrels, ducks, pigeons, and seagulls all comingling happily here. At least I think they are happy as they did not seem like they are fighting. Two squirrels came very close to me to check me out. I had my camera and was photographing some lovely trees when the squirrels came up to me, so I took their portraits also.
I lingered a bit in the park and sat on one of the benches while looking at map to figure out where I wanted to go to next.
Finally decided that I wanted to check out Marche Jean-Talon which is Montreal's farmer's market.
So I retraced my steps back toward the metro station. But before that, I saw some (or what I think to be some) giant kales growing inside the park. Wow!
Got back to De Castelnau and took the Saint-Michel train to the next stop, Jean-Talon.
Got off on Jean-Talon and followed people out the station. I noticed that many of them were holding empty reusable shopping bags, so I followed them and lo, they were going to the marche.
The marche Jean-Talon is an outdoor farmer's market, but they do have a roof, so you can shop without getting wet even in extreme weather. There are many vendors selling all kinds of goods, vegetables, and fruits. Also, there are shops there selling spices, pastas, etc. and a few food stalls selling middle-eastern sweets, french style sweets, crepes, sausage stand, mediterranean wraps, mexican food, and coffee shops.
I tried my very first bite of deer sausage here. Kind of gamey and spicy. I don't think I will eat it again, but it was interesting. I also got a small chocolate chad (hot chocolate) here and it was very delicious and helped warm me up. And a very yummy sweet treat from the middle-eastern sweets stall. I was walking aimlessly when I saw some very tasty apples for $3, so I brought the whole bucket (I think there were 11 apples) and ate one while walking around the marche. It was fresh, crunchy, and absolutely delicious.
Even though I really wanted to buy more stuff at the marche, I was cognizant of the fact that I don't have a lot of space in my luggage, and that I can't bring farm produces home.
After spending nearly 1-2 hours there at the marche, I walked back toward the metro station.
I noticed that the neigborhood there is more diversified. I saw a couple of chinese/vietnamese grocery stores, pho, thai places, african and latino restaurants, etc.
I took the metro back to Snowdon, connected to Lionel-Groulx and then Honore-Beaugrand and got off at one of the station in downtown near my hotel.
After a full day exploring, I didn't feel like going out again, so I spent the evening in my hotel room, watching the Amazing Race. Thankfully they air it here. I also ate 4 more apples as my dinner (not all at once) because I was too tired and a bit lazy to get proper dinner. But I think I can eat worse foods than apples.
Besides, these are Spartan apples, so very in season and so deliciously good.