Cold Days in 2005

I’ve been looking through my old photos lately and discovered many that have never seen the light of Flickr. These were all taken on cold days in January and February 2005. There’s something about the crisp blue skies that makes me yearn for the sharp, dry chill of winter air, but only for about five […]

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Porte ouverte vers le froid

Porte ouverte vers le froid, Outremont C’est l’hivers, dans un Montréal de vent et de glace. Les fenêtres qui craquent, les portes qui claquent. D’un souffle brusque, les carreaux qui vascillent maladroitement, menaçant d’éclater. Et par bourrasque, cette folle poudrerie qui vient s’agglutiner sur ma terrasse, au troisième niveau d’une sombre demeure outremontoise. On attend […]

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It’s Always Colder When the Sun’s Out

Ste. Catherine Street In the middle of winter, when you wake up, look out the window and see brilliant sunshine, it can mean only one thing: it’s really, really cold outside. Habitations Jeanne-Mance Milton Street

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Struggling Against the Snow

Victoria Square, Montreal, February 1970. Photos courtesy Le présent du passé.

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Defrosting Public Space

Sphères polaires at the Place des Festival By the time February rolls around, Montreal has already been buried in snow for a couple of months and your mental map of the city has changed considerably. Places you’d normally linger — the steps at Place des Arts, the plaza in front of Mont-Royal metro, the giant […]

Everyone’s Talking About the Weather

“Everyone’s talking about the weather,” runs a loose translation of an old German political poster, “except us.” The slogan was used to parody a period railroad ad that trumpeted the Deutsche Bahn’s storm-resistant resilience, but it also attempted a deeper point: that meaningful politics is serious business, above the fray of such trivial, provincial preoccupations […]

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Snow Isn’t So Bad After All

It started with the new white curtains my girlfriend and I bought for our bedroom in Hong Kong. They’re opaque enough to block any potential embarrassment but shear enough to let light through, because there’s nothing I hate more than waking up in a dark room. After we installed them, they had an unintended effect. […]

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The 80 North, a Bitter Cold and Clichés

Croisement sur Park Avenue, 2009 C’est mon premier hiver. Si j’y survis, je fêterai ma première année passée à Montréal. 22h30. Bus 80, direction Nord. Il est là, je l’attend. Place des Arts. Froid intense : trente-cinq degrés sous zéro, avec un vent qui fouette à faire tomber les larmes. L’engin reste sur place, adossé […]

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Chilly Day Around Houhai

Houhai is one of three lakes (the others are Qianhai and Xihai) in central Beijing. It dates back to the twelfth century, after which it became the northernmost part of the Grand Canal, linking the northern capital with Hangzhou in the south. Houhai today is surrounded by one of Beijing’s largest remaining collections of ancient […]

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Happy Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day, one of the more bizarre American holidays, is a major industry in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. This is where the legendary Punxsutawney Phil makes his annual prediction on how much longer winter will last. Every year, ten to forty thousand people crowd the inappropriately named “Gobbler’s Knob” to see men in top […]

Cold and Clear

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Holiday Commute

Getting around in winter is a challenge wherever it snows. Montreal, after a few predictable glitches following the first couple of storms, usually does a pretty good job in making walking and, increasingly, biking possible. Skiing, too: the cross country trail on Mount Royal now takes off from the intersection of Pine and Park, and […]

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Cold Day on University Street

It was not exactly warm on the afternoon of January 24 as I stood at the corner of University and President Kennedy, waiting for a bus, shivering and sliding back and forth on the icy sidewalk.

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Cold Night in Shanghai

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