Chinatown Saint-Jean

One of my favourite Saint-Jean-Baptiste celebrations is in Chinatown. The programming, on the stage in Sun Yat Sen Square, is eclectic and unexpected, a combination of Ukrainian folk dancing, Mandarin poetry recitals and, towards the end of the afternoon, awkward Chinese pop songs sung by a teenage rock band (with a cover of Audioslave thrown […]

Posted in: Canada, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Chinatown Saint-Jean , , ,

Street Party for Spain

This morning, my friends—all of them Spain supporters, except for one, who kept quiet—decided to watch today’s Euro Cup final between Spain and Germany at the Club Español de Quebec, the unofficial hub of Montreal’s Spanish immigrant community. We arrived early, at noon, to secure a table and have lunch, but it was already packed. […]

Posted in: Canada by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment , , ,

“It’s Not Just Fabric on a Stick”

It wasn’t hard for Tristan Verboven to decide which country to support in the 2008 Euro Cup soccer championship. “Both my parents are Dutch and I’m a Dutch citizen, too,” the Montrealer said last week while sipping juice in a Park Ave. café. “I guess the idea of nationalism is kind of stupid because you […]

Expo ’58: Fifty Years Later

Expo ’58 commemorative display in a Brussels shop window A decade before the psychedelic euphoria of Montreal’s Expo ’67 was another emblematic World Fair, Brussels’ Expo 58. Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, the fair’s symbolic centrepiece, The Atomium, was restored for the occasion. The Atomium was intended to represent a giant iron molecule magnified […]

Posted in: Architecture, Europe, Heritage and Preservation, History, Public Space by Patrick Donovan Comments Off on Expo ’58: Fifty Years Later , , ,

Chengdu’s Odd Christmas Tradition

I was at dinner last night when one of my friends told me about a strange Christmas Eve tradition in her hometown of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan. “Every year, people go to the main pedestrian street and start hitting each other with inflatable toys,” she explained. I was perplexed, though far from surprised. Christmas […]

Parking Lot Parties on Queen West

This past Saturday in Toronto, Car Free Day was held on Queen Street West. This event was coordinated by Streets are for People, who also spearheaded events such as Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market. Part of the celebration involved parking meter parties, which lined the street intermittently roughly from Bathurst to Trinity-Bellwoods park . These […]

Posted in: Canada, Public Space, Society and Culture by Nick Wellington Comments Off on Parking Lot Parties on Queen West ,

Lessons Learned From Just for Laughs

Every year, I head down to Just for Laughs. Not for the comedy, but for the festival site, which takes over the entire Latin Quarter and makes brilliant use of its meandering laneways and hidden corners. For two weeks in July, the Latin Quarter becomes a mysterious village, an amiable place where crowds wander through […]

A Bit of Brazil on the Edge of Mount Royal

Jean-Michel Labrosse looks like the kind of guy you’d expect to meet at the tam-tams. As he crosses Park Ave. with a big drum in one hand and a saxophone case in the other, you can’t miss his long, grey beard, with two braids dangling from its tip. Maybe that’s why virtually every journalist who […]

Montreal Pulls an All-Nighter

It has started to fade from memory, but I swear my sleep schedule is still screwed up. Two weeks ago, Montreal hosted its fourth annual Nuit Blanche, an all-night festival dedicated to arts and culture. Inspired by the original Nuit Blanche in Paris, Montreal has added its own wintry twist, combining it with the Montreal […]

Gung Hay Fat Choy: Notes from Vancouver

Candy-apple pig’s heads in a chocolate shop in downtown Vancouver For a Montrealer, visiting Vancouver in mid-February is eerie, at once a glimpse of the future and a visit to some alternate dimension. Fountains gurgle, people sit in sidewalk cafés and flowers are starting to bloom—it’s strange to experience this without having to pass through […]

With the Lunar New Year, a New Vancouver

The God of Fortune. Photo by Ben Johnson Each year, Vancouver celebrates Chinese New Year like no other city on the continent. People flock to Chinatown for the traditional parade just as businesses are gearing up for one of the busiest spending periods of the year. Festivities large and small erupt across the city with […]

Coupe du Monde

World Cup Final, France vs. Italy, July 9th, 2006. Champs-Élysées, Paris.

Posted in: Europe, Society and Culture by Laine Tam Comments Off on Coupe du Monde , , , , ,

Crows Nest Street Fair

Most of Sydney’s oldest and now busiest roads were built on ridges of the sandtone that much of Sydney lies on. At the junction of five of these roads, about five kilometres from the Sydney CBD is the suburb of Crows Nest. Aptly named because it towers above much of Sydney. Even in the low […]

An Art Fair, Lousy Weather and Lots of Beer

Here I was gadding through the Westport Art Fair in Kansas City in mid-September. KC’s frequent art fairs and gallery crawls make it easy to get streetlife photos with relative regularity. In September we had both the Westport Art Fair and the Plaza Art Fair, with the Plaza fair drawing national artists, and the Westport […]