+ There are small children and young families EVERYWHERE! Given a French Catholic background that makes some sense but it seems to be true among the Anglophone population as well as the various immigrant groups. What's more, it seems to be a very family friendly city.
+ As we wandered through a variety of neighborhoods - the Hasidic section of town as well as Little Italy, the wealthy French areas, Chinatown, an area of great old homes in an artistic center and the Portuguese region - most everyone is bilingual. What a sift from the parochial habits of New England and most of the United States. People can easily flip between French, English and often another tongue. What's more, they have all been patient and generous with us as we stumble through our very broken attempts at parlez vous Francais!
+ In the on-going battle between the 2 oldest bagelries in North America, I come down easily in the Fairmount camp. St. Viateur's bagels were chewier - and good - but the Fairmount guys had so much flavor AND chewiness that they stole my heart.
+ It is soul-healing for me to walk around such a multi-ethnic city. I understand that when peoples come together from different places and perspectives there will always be problems - and Montreal is no exception - that is clear. At the same time, it is so much fun to share conversations with people from all over creation: Africa, Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East. And if you walk around the neighborhood of our hotel, you can do this in 10 minutes!
Today, we'll head back to the Old City for some more encounters with buskers and street artists as well as two art museums. We'll probably close the night off with more music at the Franco Foiles - or some other local venue - as we bask in the delight of this rambling vacation.