In Montreal for a couple days on business, but also catching up with old friends tonight and tomorrow. Yesterday played golf with a longtime colleague. Tonight heading for a barbecue with a few other former co-workers. Tomorrow evening, dinner with one of my all-time favorite bosses.
Today's highlight, though, was the smoked meat at Schwartz's Kosher Deli downtown. Whenever I am in Montreal, I try to make a pilgrimage that has been a one-of-a-kind icon since the 1940s. After late morning discussions with client V, we headed over to Boulevard Saint-Laurent, and my famous parking karma was in high gear - a car pulled away from the curb just as I was pulling up. Had a single Cdn$2 coin in my pocket, which gave us an hour on the metre, plenty of time.
I was introduced to Schwartz's by Nathalie (thanks again) after a Canadiens hockey game about 4 years ago. It's what we used to call a "hole in the wall" diner, very small considering the demand. Seating is family style - tables for 6, but if you don't fill a table you sit with other groups because no seat stays vacant for long. V and I sat at the end of the counter, which also adds to the atmosphere. The one long wall is filled with newspaper and magazine articles lauding the place and photos of celebs who have dropped in to see what all the fuss is about.
One time, I took Flat Stanley with me. Flat Stanley is a character in a children's book series (http://www.flatstanley.com/) - a fictional boy who got flattened by a falling bookcase, but made the most of his new shape by getting mailed (in a large envelope) to places around the world. For a school assignment, my grandson was asked to draw his version of Flat Stanley and give it to a friend or relative to take on a trip, then shoot photos of Flat Stanley at the destination city. Sawyer asked me to take his Flat Stanley on a trip to Montreal, so I drove around the city to various backdrops (a snow-covered park with a children's sculpture, a windmill along the river, the entrance to CAE, etc. ... and of course, to Schwartz's). After I shot a couple of photos of Flat Stanley with diners and waiters in the background, the deli proprietor asked me about the "marionette." When I mentioned its name, he broke into a big smile: "Of course, I know all about Flat Stanley. My wife is a teacher!" (I would post a photo of Sawyer's drawing but don't have it on this computer - will update when I get back to Argeles where I have the photo hard drive.)
And yes, D-L, I also purchased a supply of Schwartz's french-fry seasoning, the stuff I put on just about everything - soup, salad, scrambled eggs, etc. Bought enough for both Argeles and Geneva for, oh, the next six months.