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the montreal metro project, part 5

yet more photos of the montreal metro system taken by yours truly. today, we're looking at the blue line, the often forgotten line that runs between n.d.g./ snowdon in the west and st. leonard in the east. since it services an area outside of the downtown core, a lot of people never get to see anything of the blue line and, indeed, it runs less frequently and closes earlier than other lines. however, it also passes near the city's eponymous university, which means that it basically serves to connect thousands of students living close by with the rest of the city. also, as the areas of rosemont and mile end becoming increasingly [achingly] hip, this line is playing more and more of a role in moving montrealers from place to place.

this is snowdon station, the western terminus of the blue line and one of two connecting points with the orange line. snowdon holds the distinction of having some of the poorest lighting on the network. i constantly feel like i'm squinting.


this is, um... well... let's see... ok, it's on the blue line and i believe it's l'acadie. i can honestly say that i've never seen the outside of this station and, in fact, the only time i've been in it was to take these photos.

the station is in a sort of an odd place because l'acadie boulevard itself is an odd place. on its eastern side, you have the impoverished neighbourhood of parc extension, crammed with semi-derelict buildings and often home to the city's poorest immigrants [from many countries], as well as the remains of the old greek community [those who haven't moved to the northern suburbs in laval]. on the western side of l'acadie- literally the other side of the street, is the plush community of mont-royal, the most affluent borough in the city, populated by w.a.s.p.s and the jewish elite, most of whom are anglophone. in case the contrast wasn't evident enough, the residents of mont-royal have erected an imposing barrier fence to drive the point home. there are a couple of points of entry, which have always struck me as existing solely to allow access for nannies, cleaning ladies and gardeners to their places of work. 



parc station is, appropriately enough, located in an old train station. it's one stop that's worth seeing from the outside. parc is located on the southern border of the aforementioned parc extension, where it abuts the hipster enclave of mile end.



jumping a few steps along, we have jean-talon station, the second point where the blue and orange lines connect. i like how they've blended that into all aspects of the design. the main reason to go to this area, if you don't already live here, is to visit the jean-talon market, which is open year-round but really comes alive in the summer, when the local produce vendors descend en masse. being adjacent to little italy, there are lots of nearby cafes and bistros run by people who normally speak four or five languages without an accent. the main challenge to exploring the neighbourhood is actually getting out of the station. although there's signage everywhere, jean-talon is a frustrating maze and, even when you follow all the signs, it's perfectly possible to become lost. and, of course, there are many, many points of entrance and exit, so you're never quite sure where you're going to pop up. 




i have well and truly forgotten where this was taken. oops.


this is fabre station which, when seen under the influence of intoxicants, can make you feel like you're hallucinating. or so i've heard.


these next two come from st. michel, the eastern terminus of the blue line. this seems an appropriate point to interject that the city really should have taken full advantage of the possibilities and extended the line much farther east. in the years since the line was built, that part of the city has become densely packed and transit service there is pitiful. for that matter, the line could have been extended in the west as well, allowing it to connect with the western campus of concordia university. but no one asked me. 



below is the stained glass installation from the otherwise nondescript cote-des-neiges station. although i have more photos to share, this was actually the last one that i took, because, having done all my work, i discovered, to my frustration, that i'd completely forgotten cote-des-neiges [which is doubly embarrassing since it's not all that far from where i live]. the station itself suffers an air of neglect and seems almost like an afterthought. it's odd, considering that it's in the heart of montreal's most densely populated neighbourhood, a mix of first and second generation immigrants from all over the globe, university students and members of a long-established jewish community. 


still more left for future posts...

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

eat the pain away?

nearly twenty years ago, an emergency room doctor took a look at the crushing muscle tension i was experiencing [they were clenched enough that a doctor at my regular clinic couldn't get a reflex reaction on my left side and thought i might be having a stroke] and told me she believed that i had fibromyalgia. a couple of weeks later, i went to see a family doctor that a coworker had recommended to me. when i told him what the other doctor had said, he snapped that i was being ridiculous, because, if i'd had fibromyalgia, "i wouldn't be able to move". after i moved to toronto, i got a new family doctor and told her what the other doctors had said. she said that she couldn't be sure, but it was better just to deal with any symptoms i had one at a time. then i came back to montreal and got a new family doctor, who didn't really buy into the whole idea of fibromyalgia and said there was no way to do any definitive test anyway. that doctor passed away, and my …

long suffering

i've been meaning to write this post for a while, but, every time i get started, something happens that makes me rethink portions of it, to add or subtract or consider a different way of looking at things. the post was originally going to be my take on a #metoo statement, but i ended up making that post on my personal facebook page. [it's not that i don't love you all, but there are a few things i'm not comfortable putting in the entirely public sphere.] but beyond joining the #metoo juggernaut, i wanted to write something about the wave of sexual assault revelations that continues to swell over the north american media landscape that wasn't about me. then i realised that that was a little more complicated than just writing "so, lotta sex rapes happenin' these days, ain't there?" or whatever it was that i was going to say.

so i tried writing something about just a part of it: the media coverage or the entertainment industry or the politicians or …