I think Montreal is dying again.
I was walking along St. Laurent Blvd last Saturday night and there was this strange and eerie vibe going on. The street was blocked off for some kind of festivities and yet there were very few people around. There weren’t even any panhandlers. I know it was raining, but this street is often more crowded during a snowstorm.
The posters that you see normally everywhere, apart from corporate advertising, were all gone and the surfaces under them were cleaned. The lamp posts looked like they were just installed. It was like something out of the Twilight Zone.
I was there in search of live music, but I could find very little. I started at one bar only to find it had moved up the street. Once I got to the new location I found that it was closed and the show had been moved to a much smaller venue about a mile up. I had been up there earlier in my walk and at that time it seemed dead, eerie vibe and all.
What the hell is going on in this city? It feels like it’s dying again. Death of a town’s nightlife. The Cock n’ Bull is another bar that has recently been shut down. While I have some bad associations with the place (my former roommate tried to commit suicide there) it was still a Montreal legend in a perfect location.
I had spent many an evening there, did homework there, conferred with both professors and fellow students alike there for many years before the bad association came. If it does re-open, I doubt it will have the same atmosphere and it most likely will be in a location that is somehow less convenient. Either that or Crescent street with all the trash and cheese.
I went up and down St. Laurent, St.Denis, Mont-Royal, Prince Arthur, Ste-Catherine and Berri streets and it was mainly deadsville everywhere. I went to the Montreal International Film Festival for a few minuites at Place Des Arts and it too looked abandoned.
While I was on my walk, I noticed quite a few businesses that looked abandoned, many of which had “A Louer” written on them. At least THAT hasn’t changed much. I went to Old Montreal after that, but it was pretty dead there too.
Montreal has gone through periods like this before, things die and new things are born. But Montreal seems once again to be losing it’s fun and cool edge, and it’s not at all the partytown it used to be. Maybe I should have tried Crescent street, but I was told it was dead there, too. The vibrancy and fervour of this city is gone. So is the panache of living here. It seems many bars that are still around no longer offer live music and have raised their drink prices. I know this is a depressed economy, but I found the Main this past Saturday to be really depressing so I have to say that once again I’m disappointed with the city I live in. Montreal, you’ve let me down, again.