Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Spirit of Montreal

I read this excerpt from an article comparing Montreal and Ottawa in our Montreal newspaper The Gazette:
Among other differences: Ottawa shoppers are generally more conservative in their tastes – and less apt to treat themselves; such items as lovely bath products and scented candles, which are continually out of stock in Montreal, collect dust in Ottawa.
There’s a lovely scented candle, for instance, that sells for $39. “A $39 candle: that is too high a price point in Ottawa,” Saad Smith said. “They think it’s frivolous.”
In Montreal, the candle is a bestseller.
A $24 linen placemat is continually being re-ordered in the Montreal store: not in Ottawa. “The higher-quality linens do better in Montreal,” Stratulak said. “People recognize the quality, know that it’s a good investment, that they can wash it, that it will last.
“The Ottawa mentality is more ‘Zoe needs braces and there are other things we can spend our money on.’ ”
The other Saturday, a customer came into the Montreal store and bought 24 white linen napkins at $22 apiece. “He didn’t even look at the price,” Stratulak said. “But he bought a quality item that will last for ages.”
Montreal shoppers tend to be more spontaneous: they see something they like and buy it, he said. In Ottawa, on the other hand, there’s more deliberation.
He told of a woman who came into the Ottawa Beige half a dozen times to look at a dining-room table before she eventually bought it last month. The same weekend, clients came into the Montreal store and bought a sizable buffet of reclaimed wood for $1,900: “They looked at it; they bought it,” he said.
 I can't tell you how much I miss this beautiful town that is my home. Nowhere else in North America can you find such chic, sophisticated, snobby, self-centered and well-dressed people who know how to appreciate every aspect of life.

This exile from Montreal is very painful. I'm literally in tears right now after reading this article. Which is something that people who have never lived in Montreal will not be able to understand.


el said...

Are people in Montreal richer on average? That would explain a lot.

brittanyannwick said...

The idea of home is something everyone can understand. No one feels that pull more than the exile, the traveler, and the orphan.

I'm glad to be back in my hometown, but I miss the neighborhood of my childhood terribly. I drive past my (old) home every time I'm nearby. It was my great-grantparents' home before mine. I hope you're able to at least visit Montreal soon.

Pagan Topologist said...

I have been in Montreal only once, for the World Science Fiction Convention in August 2009. Only for five days, so not enough to get much of a feeling for the city, since I was so preoccupied with matters literary and with meetinng and talking to authors and other fen. [Fen is the plural of 'fan,' an affectation dear to the heart of many of us fen.]