When we arrived in Montreal, we picked up our rental car and made our way to J's best friend's house, which would become the base of our operations for the next week or so. As hard as I tried, I couldn't find us a place to live from the other side of the country, so in that first week we had an important task at hand - find an apartment within our budget and geographical constraints. It was essential that I find a place close to my classes if I was going to make it to any of the ones that start before noon. By some divine intervention or alignment of the stars, we found our place at the corner of Madison and Somerled in just two days of intense looking.
The Madison is a cool building, dating back to 1951. There are a few little retro touches here and there, most obviously the vintage customized welcome mat at the front of the building and art deco steel railings through the stairwells. Our little home had just finished being refurbished with a brand new kitchen and bathroom and refreshed paint and hardwood throughout. There is more than enough space here for J and I to have our own separate work spaces, and miracle of miracles, my office is just off the kitchen with a door that leads out onto our balcony!
The best part of this kitchen, without a doubt, is the brand new gas range. I've never cooked with gas before but I know after just a little over a week that I'll have a hard time going back to electric. The heat is instantaneous and the flame gives a clear read on the actual temperature. No more guessing based on the glow of the coil. J has been something of an angel helping me to make sense of the space. He has a much keener eye for design and somehow found all sorts of clever ways to make my work space (both culinary and academic) function well.
Somerled Avenue is already proving to be an untapped well of gastronomic delights. The other night J, his brother, and I had a late dinner on the terrace at Anancy, a Jamaican restaurant that seems to be a mainstay of the community. Amazing fish and unforgettable festivals. We've found super cheap and delicious calzones at Molisana, the Italian bakery, and delicious food and good conversation at the deli and fromagerie Tranzo. The day we moved in we were also amazed by the expansive menu and friendly service at B & M restaurant. It's sort of a weird throwback to another time. The place looks and feels like an old deli/luncheonette sort of joint. Two senior couples were mulling over their scrambled eggs and toast at around 3 pm. Breakfast, we learned, is served daily until 4. The dessert option was jello or chocolate cake. But they serve wine and smoothies and my meal consisted of homemade chicken noodle soup to start and the daily special of mussels in a garlic and white wine sauce and we were brought hot, fresh baguette while we waited. An enigma, to be sure, and certainly a place I will have to report back on at greater length another time.
To summarize, I am happy, healthy, and well fed. This place is already feeling like our home. I already have the start of a pretty wicked herb garden growing in our living room window (thanks to future mom-in-law slash gardener extraordinaire) and I'm back to blogging again. I hope such a long hiatus will not happen again.
Until next time...