It’s once again time to roam the frozen streets in search of performative emancipation.

To keep you energized, here’s a randomized list of edibles available between 7 pm to 3 am.

Spontaneity is key here – so when it comes to Nuit Blanche food in 2015, pick what you like in the heat of the moment.

nuit-2

In no order whatsoever (because Nuit Blanche is all about spontaneity), here are 10 eatable, drinkable temptations to drop into your itinerary:

1) Well, fine, maybe you’re the linear type. If you want a basic starting point, pay hommage to the Swiss theme of this year’s Montréal en Lumière fine dining program and warm up with some mouth-burning FONDUE. Other than the severely lactose-intolerant and this guy, who can, POSSIBLY, SAY NO TO FONDUE? What’s more, you’ll start your night off at the base of all activities: Place des Arts. –> Until 3 a.m.

2) Next, as the world is caving in all around us, why not pay tribute in an ironic way to the oil sands with a fracking-themed cocktail? Half-awareness tactic, half (hopefully) innovative gustatory delight, the Maison du développement durable has you covered with various edible “curiosités de pétrole.” –> Until 2 a.m.

3) Though not technically a food event, the Salon du Livre Gourmand makes use of the BaNQ’s always well-curated exhibition space, and this year the theme is feasting. Is this free feast for your mind’s eye worth it? Why, that’s alimentary, my dear Child!  –> Until 11 p.m.

4) Over in the Plateau, the cuvée d’hiver promises a ton of spiritual uplifting, from whisky to microbrews. Try a few bites at this event at the Église Saint-Enfant Jésus and catch some rock’n’roll – with electro-swing? Huh? anyway… Let me know when you get there!) –> Until 2 a.m.

5) Some people spend decades trying to get their name in lights. For $2, get can get your name in chocolate–> Until 1 a.m.

6) Le “Snow Food” is all about exploring the modes of outdoor eating. A special version of the Food-Truck-Fridays at Parc Olympique, this polar extravaganza by the Association des restaurateurs de rue du Québec is a sure bet, and a good way to get out east to check out the art of the Pôle Parc Olympique. –> Until 1 a.m.

Bonne_Nuit_blanche_a_tous_-_Montreal_en_lumiere7) Over at Artexte’s exhibits, you can get free hot choco while they’re still open. –> Until midnight.

8) Another polar menu is offered over in Parc Lafontaine by the quaint Éspace Lafontaine. Chef Martin Bérubé’s QC-focused goods feature polar salmon, something called “crispy storm” and a Qweebek Turkey kebab (not a Turkish one…get it?) Beers and wines on offer, too. –> Until midnight.

9) Similar to last year at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, you can check out candies and mulled wine – though this year while you’re perusing the exhibits of the Musée d’art contemporain. –> Until 2 a.m.

10) Finally, in the spirit of pure conjecture and blatant prejudice on my part, try out the Belgo building, which I love on Nuit Blanche, and whose art purveyors usually tack together some wacky snackbar, and maybe a dance party or disco as an added bonus. One never knows where your frozen-on-the-outside, sweaty-on-the-inside feet will lead you.

11) A user-generated “bonus” option where you help us fill our pages! Found your own tasty stop? Let us know: @ForgetTheBox or @JoshDavidson.

P.S.: we’re also going to be live-tweeting (until we get too cold, too lost, or too drunk), so keep us informed of your best discoveries all night long for some sweet, satiating retweets!

I guess I should get one thing straight immediately; I haven’t quit drinking. Not even close. My habitual booze habits have done nothing if not steadily increase as the years of my adult life have been knocked back, one jigger at a time.

But I’ve recently seen a lot of articles and blogs being shared around that have gotten me thinking. Stories from people who have given up their hard drinking ways, and the inspiring recounts of how much their lives have changed for the better. And so I sit here, glassy-eyed and unable to distinguish whether I need to throw up or sneeze twelve times in a row but confident I’ll pee unchecked if I do either, and I wonder, why not me?

And that’s led me to this point. A year from now I could be telling the world my interminable story of sobriety that no one really wants to hear but everyone has to pretend to show support for. A little glimpse into my teetotaling future that will lend me support when I’m tempted and will, most importantly, get me guilt-driven Facebook likes. If you’ll indulge me here, like I indulged the other night in half a bottle of vermouth with orange peel twists because I ran out of gin, imagine for a moment it’s one year in the future.

A year without drinking a drop of alcohol. Wow. That’s a long time sober. Who would’ve thought I could have made it this far? Certainly I had my doubts. Probably more than anyone. But here I stand, a breathing testament to willpower and committment. A heavily laboured breathing testament, to be sure, but that’s only because of the gross amount of weight I’ve put on in the last year from swapping my compulsion to drink and socialize with one to eat my feelings away while shut from the outside world in a curtained apartment. The feelings I had previously banished through a level of liquor consumption which could bring shame to a family name.

So, let’s take a look at some of the ways my life has improved since I decided to quit the bottle. First of all, the obvious one: no more hangovers. I used to view hangovers as this inevitable part of life, the flip side of the coin that I would have to deal with to keep living the wild party lifestyle I thought I needed. Headaches and nausea in the mornings are a thing of the past, though, and now my hours upon waking are filled with good old fashioned crippling anxiety, depression, and a healthy terror of interacting with anyone outside my bedroom door.

Speaking of interacting with people, the change in my relationships in the last year has been marked. At work I’ve noticed a shift in my co-workers’ behaviour toward a much more cool and detached attitude, which I attribute to my newfound focus on professionalism. Though I’m starting to think my visible shaking and inability to make eye contact or hold a conversation without fighting back tears might have a little bit to do with it. One big plus is the recent friendship that’s struck up between me and my HR representative at our weekly mandatory case meetings, which began only a few short weeks after I stopped drinking.

Family engagements have changed drastically, too. Without the hazy cloud of alcohol, I’m able to really connect with my relatives in a way I’ve never been able to before. Never have the innumerable nuances that my uncle Marty so painstakingly details about his job at the car rental outlet been so vivid to me. The holidays are no longer just an excuse to get tipsy in celebration, but a time to reflect on what’s important and find new ways of winning internal struggles with thoughts of suicide.

And let’s not ignore the impact that this has all had on my romantic life. Dating used to be a heady blur of glasses of wine gulped back to calm fluttering nerves, flushed faces and dreamy eyes longing from across a table in candlelight exchanging naughty secrets. Now it’s much more straightforward and efficient. Dates are a lot quicker. Usually within the first ten minutes I’ve abruptly blurted out any and every embarrassing secret or story that pops into my head, and then I can’t think of anything to say for the rest of the evening except to constantly have my date reassure me that she’s having a good time. Often these dates end with her excusing herself to use the restroom and then leaving having paid the bill for both of us because she’s either afraid of or for me. It’s for the best, though, because without the calming warmth of a few glasses of scotch or cognac I would probably be too nervous to get an erection anyway.

One year. It’s amazing how much can change in such a short period of time. Maybe this has even inspired some people out there to start their own journey. I hope you can look to my story for strength, like I’ll look to it myself, whenever you feel like the urge is too strong. Yes, it’s truly incredible what the human spirit can accomplish when we set out to do something, and the first step begins now.

Well, like, soon probably. I mean, I’m going to have another few drinks today, but we’ll see tomorrow. Oh, wait, I’ve got that thing tomorrow night. Well, sometime next week for sure. Or by the end of the month. Though, there’s a lot going on this summer. Maybe if I just try to cut down on the amount I drink. That’ll probably work, right? Like, I don’t need to quit entirely, the point is I could quit whenever.

 

Photo by Travis S. via Flickr

Roaming for art all night is great. But how will you stay energized?

nuit-2A blizzard of delicious detours are on offer to keep you boozed up and well fed from 7 pm to 7 am. From free beer and ice cream samples to chocolate fountains, tartars and pirate rums, we’ve paired culinary events with reliable restos to keep you covered all along your Nuit Blanche route.

In no order whatsoever (because Nuit Blanche is all about spontaneity), here are 29 eatable, drinkable temptations to drop into your itinerary:

1) Heading out from the Plateau just before 7 p.m.? Perfect timing. Grab a quick espresso at Flocon first before they close.

2) Try smoked meat or Belgian waffles in the thick of the chaos at Place des Arts. Too boring? What about Haïtian pork, empanadas or maple delights? Same location.

3) Skate the night away: the gloriously-located Éspace La Fontaine is offering mulled wine and an impromptu menu overlooking the skating rink at Parc Lafontaine.

4) While you’re nearby, stop at historic La Banquise for a kamikaze poutine (merguez, hot peppers & Tabasco).

5) Just down the street at La Quincaillerie you can play games while you drink notable house cocktails such as Boulon (vodka/chambord/cranberry/pineapple)

6) Oh, Musée des Beaux-Arts, you’re getting more down to earth each year! This year our beloved MBAM is offering beer tasting alongside a chocolate fountain.What could be a better combo?

7) Make fanzines & get free hot drinks at Geordie’s Espace 4001. 4001 Berri.

8) Grab free sorbet à la pig roast at Les Givrés—all while playing free games!

Bonne_Nuit_blanche_a_tous_-_Montreal_en_lumiere

9) Obtain a free coffee from McDonalds at Guy & Ste-Catherine after checking out the nifty FOFA Gallery show at Concordia

10) Gnaw on killer sandwiches from Zoe’s Food Truck at Parc Olympique

11) Still at the Parc, try La fameuse poutine (winner of the Drummondville Poutine Fest) at Lucky’s food truck, or nibble on other street eats from the six other food trucks stationed

12) What Would Alexandre Despaties Do? Who knows. But you can learn what he likes to eat and keep the Olympic spirit alive with Saveurs Olympiques, a cross-pollination of chefs and athletes at Vertige. Warning: expensive tapas.

13) Slurp up some squid ink spaghetti at the always-solid Venti before dub-stepping the night away at PHI Centre

14) Try free beers and commemorate an old Montréal business (the now-defunct Dow Brewery) at ETS

15) Arrrrrr! Six pirate rums are on offer at Cabaret du Roy. Try all of ‘em for the reasonable price of $30 (pace yourself)

map16) Grab free food samples from Rue St-Denis merchants until 12 a.m. between Marie-Anne and Mt-Royal (oh, free ice sculptures too: no licking the transparent animals).

17) Steal some value: curry & BYO-wine. Take a 9 p.m. Plateau break at La Belle Thailandaise.

18) Fill your stomach with all night poutine at La Fameux (24 hours, one of my favourites). My tip:  pair it with their copious Greek salad (best kept secret in town). 4500 St-Denis.

19) Pause for a trio of tartares at Hachoir

20) Go for a brain freeze with a quick ice cream at Crémerie Meu Meu. 4458 St-Denis.

21) What? You’re STILL on St-Denis near Mont-Royal? Re-energize your subconscious mind at Bily Kun with real absinthe. Pair it with a plate of cornichons and olives. Backup choice: Kun’s amazing Slivovice plum brandy

22) Eat oysters with tangerine jelly and dulse (joyous) at illustrious Au Cinquème Péché. Pair it with wine using this handy illustration.

23) Amuse your bouche at Le Sensorium’s performance work on phosphorous.

Gardy Fury - Restaurant Le Chasseur -  ©Frédérique Ménard-Aubin via Flickr
Gardy Fury – Restaurant Le Chasseur – ©Frédérique Ménard-Aubin via Flickr

24) Kick back with friends over a friendly pitcher at Auprès de ma blonde. 3845 St-Denis.

25) Drink microbrews while answering tough questions at Quiz night at Randolph Pub Ludique.

26) Taste the south-west! A personal fave: the Centre Culturel Georges Vanier is featuring Itsi Bitsi cupcakes, Burgungy Lion & Drinkerie booze and more alongside music, games and light installations.

27) Drink and learn from serious gamers at La Recreation as part of the Montréal Joue festival

28) Indulge your sweet-tooth with cupcakes & macaroons in the plastic Provigo dome at Place des arts.

29) Consume hot drinks, sweets and yoga for a voluntary contribution at Vert Prana yoga studio

Found your own tasty stop? Let us know: @forgetthebox

Alcohol is a weird thing. We like it because it loosens us up, tempers our inhibitions and makes it easier for us to deal with social situations that might be a little too overwhelming otherwise. We like that it makes us more fun. Or, at least, makes us think we’re more fun.

Alcohol affects people wildly differently. It makes some people want to fight. It makes some people want to fuck. It makes some people want to joust each other with lawn care equipment in shopping carts. No matter how it affects you, better or worse, there is one thing that anyone and everyone who has ever gotten intoxicated has experienced at least once: Regret.

Maybe it was something little, like telling an off colour joke at the office Christmas party that didn’t go over well, or getting unreasonably mad and yelling at someone for saying they don’t like Calvin & Hobbes. Maybe it was something big, like having sex with your sister’s husband, or driving your dad’s car off a pier. Maybe it was something really big, like taking over the music selection at a party and making everyone listen to a bunch of Doors songs.

Whatever it was, the awfulness of the next-morning hangover is compounded exponentially when you start to piece together what happened the night before and realize what you did. And that you’d better swallow your pride, like the eight shots of Jack you swallowed to get into this predicament, and apologize for it.

Apologizing for something you did when you were drunk can be an especially awkward apology, because in addition to the shame you feel about what you did, there’s already the built in shame that comes with just being that drunk to begin with, and the fact that your memory of it, if you indeed have any memory of it, is hazy at best, and you’re not really sure how bad it got.

So, with all of that in mind, I’d like to take the opportunity I have right now to apologize to some people for some of the stuff I’ve done while drunk in the last few years. I won’t mention any names, but you’ll know who you are.

Here it goes:

I am deeply regretful for my behaviour last night. I am sorry for arriving so late and for leaving so early without telling anyone. I’m sorry I disappeared for 45 minutes. Then came back soaking wet and got dirty water all over your carpet and couch. I’m sorry for urinating on the side of your house and off your balcony and in your potted plant and in the urn containing the ashes of whichever relative it contained. I’m sorry for forgetting which relative you said is contained in the urn on your mantel.

I’m sorry for forgetting your birthday. I’m sorry for passing out on your lawn. And your kitchen table. And the hood of your car. And in your dryer. I’m sorry for hitting on you shamelessly. In front of your boyfriend. That wasn’t cool. I’m sorry for hitting on your boyfriend shamelessly. And your sister. And your girlfriend. And all your girlfriend’s friends.

I’m sorry for accidentally urinating on your shoes. I’m sorry for accidentally stealing your shoes. I’m sorry for intentionally urinating into your shoes. For breaking that beer bottle on your kitchen floor, and that other one on your living room coffee table. I’m sorry for getting belligerent with your landlord when there was a noise complaint. I’m sorry for trying to hit your landlord. I’m sorry for hitting on your landlord.

I’m sorry for making you cry at your own party. And for getting the police called. And for daring your little brother to jump off the roof onto that trampoline. And for the hospitalization of your little brother. I’m sorry for hitting on your little brother.

I’m sorry I told you I’m in love with you. I am in love with you, but this isn’t the way I wanted you to find out. I’m sorry I lingered in that hug a lot longer than I should have. And for how much butt touching was involved in it. I’m sorry I ate more than my share of the pizza. I’m sorry I didn’t pay for my share of the pizza. I’m sorry I threw the pizza into the pool because it didn’t have the toppings on it that I’d wanted.

I’m sorry I flipped over the Scrabble board because you played a good word. I’m sorry I did that with the Monopoly board, too. And the Risk board. And the Sorry board. I’m not sorry I did it with the Settlers of Catan board. Though, seriously? You should be sorry for making me play that shit.

I’m sorry for defecating in your garage. That’s not acceptable, no matter how long the line-up for the bathroom. I’m sorry for those inappropriate phone calls. And text messages. And emails, Facebook messages, DMs, postcards, and the mural of us interlocked in the tender act of passionate love that I painted on the side of your parents‘ house. Marv and Judy were really cool about it, though. Tell them I say hi.

I think that covers everything. For now, anyway. I’m sure I’ll have to do another one of these before too long. I hope you understand and can accept my apologies and we can continue to be friends. Oh, and if you’re looking for an apology for something I drunkenly did during sex, that one’s coming privately in a binder in the mail. It’s a little too personal for this forum, and, frankly, the number of apologies I have to make for that couldn’t fit in an article of this length.

 

Photo by Johnny Scott

Quebec drinking game

Quebec drinking game

Ok, so you’ve cast your vote and are now sitting around your living room or bar (same thing for some) and are watching the election results roll in. It’s time to play the Quebec Election Drinking Game! The rules are pretty simple:

Take one drink every time:

  • “Bill 101” or “Language Laws” is mentioned
  • “Referendum”, “Separation” or “Sovereignty” is mentioned
  • “Corruption” is mentioned
  • “Secularism” is mentioned
  • The Student Strike is mentioned
  • Quebec is referred to as “notre pays”
  • Reporters differentiate between the “nous” and “vous”
  • the 57% turnout in the 2008 election is mentioned
  • Someone reads out a #twitter comment

Take two drinks:

  • “Reasonable accommodation” is mentioned by a news reporter or otherwise
  • “Bill 78” is mentioned
  • “Plan Nord” is mentioned
  • The “4-5-0” is mentioned
  • “ADQ” is mentioned
  • MNA or candidate is wearing the red square
Gabrielle Nadeau Dubois
Gabrielle Nadeau Dubois – Photo Chris Zacchia

Take three drinks:

  • You see a “Patriotes” flag
  • Québec Solidaire gains a seat
  • The future NDP Provincial Party is mentioned
  • The Quebec Nordiques are mentioned
  • If Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is interviewed
  • The “Anglophone Exodus” is mentioned
  • A student voter says they didn’t vote (on principal or otherwise)
  • If someone starts talking about a #twitter fight

Take five drinks:

  • Amir Khadir throws a shoe
  • The “ethnic vote” is cited in reference to “disappointing” election results
  • François Legault wins the election
  • Jacques Parizeau interviewed
  • Option Nationale, any Independent, or the Green Party wins a seat
  • If Charest doesn’t win his riding
  • If the CAQ wins the election
  • If the PQ wins the electionPauline Marois

Take two shots:

  • Gilles Duceppe makes an appearance at a PQ rally

Finish your drink:

  • Pauline Marois speaks English
  • Jean Charest resigns as leader of the PLQ
  • Jean Charest wins the election

Finish a bottle:

  • Pauline Marois and the PQ win a majority government

But remember, you can’t complain about the results if you didn’t vote. Go out and let your voice be heard one way or another… Then drown your sorrows in booze.

Stay safe and happy election night!

Hat tip to Redditor: MDevonL