Aislin, Battalions of Men, those pesky orange cones – or, how we spent our summer vacation

For people who don’t live in Montreal, it is literally hard to imagine the upside-downness of our metropolis. For reasons having to do with decaying infrastructure, political points-making, seasonal availabilities and a variety of other reasonable and unreasonable … well, reasons … Montrealers are in a constant state of traffic and road construction-induced agitation.

Every street in our city is littered with fencing, gravel, construction guys, backhoes … for anyone who lives and or works in (particularly Old) Montreal, it is a nightmare of epic proportions. (If you want to feel our pain and learn more, you can go here, or here).

It’s been more than challenging to keep up our spirits. It’s been noisy, dusty, unpredictable (really, check this out to see how unpredictable it is – look at the estimates for how long the people that know think this will take) and tourist-deflecting. The battalion of men (and it is almost uniformly men) who work on the patch of our street between Notre Dame and St Paul have been at turns polite, accommodating, maddening, rude, nasty – and everything in between. There doesn’t seem to be a plan (kind of like this) – there are just a lot of men scurrying about, creating an archeological dig that makes the tourists scratch their heads and post pics on FB.

This vintage Aislin (Terry Mosher was a beloved Gazette cartoonist for many, many years) cartoon was created around the time of the Montreal Olympics back in 1976. It appears nothing has changed.




We’re taking the opportunity to get our inventory up to date – we’ve been listing new items all the time, translating French website descriptions, and trying to stay happy and upbeat. If you’re around, stop by and say hello. Cocktail hour starts earlier every day …






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