Montreal, Under Construction
2016-07-18 Downtown & The River
Boy did we experience the city and it's under construction.
Just driving downtown, even at 11pm, was a chaotic crawl. We went late to experience some night life.
Construction rendered GPS directions useless but it was still
indispensible by showing our location on the map--it's just not as easy as following route guidance.
GPS reliability has
improved so much that we get lulled into following it blindly when we do
better by getting an idea of layout then follow the signs. We have
better luck in complicated situations with that plan.
After enduring horrendous traffic we landed a parking spot downtown
for our visit. After a late night and too little sleep, we moved to a nearby paid space for
the morning walk.
First stop of the morning was what became "our corner," a McDonalds
at the center of thriving homeless population and dealers of little
pills. Lots of people must have headaches here. It was a fascinating
microcosm of life and we bantered about what was going on in those many
This fellow was working the crowds hard asking for
money, periodically taking breaks or walking around to parts unseen
before returning here.
Later we saw him with a cell phone. Free internet means he could likely
enjoy some internet entertainment through its severely cracked screen.
Walking around we came upon Molson. Tim's hopes for free samples did not
This fellow was washing car windows at stop lights, whether requested or
not, then hoping for money. At least he's offering a service.
There are a lot of historic, mostly Catholic, churches although many
have become unused as Canada becomes less and less religious. Those with
no religious affiliation are now the 2nd largest group of religious
They close off the streets in some areas during summer.
Restaurants build out temporary outside seating areas for the week long
Later on we drive to the riverfront, passing through a historic section
on narrow streets reminiscent of Europe.