What immediately comes to mind when I think back on my years in Montreal is the beauty and vibrancy of the place. So many cities can claim to have a magic of their own, but Montreal has that and more -- its people have a zest for living. The winters are long and hard, yes, but the spring is glorious and the summer is brazenly sensual. Residents of the city seem to flare up with life during those warm months between May and October because they have been hermits, more or less, or gone out and about wrapped in heavy wool garments or padded nylon for the rest of the year when blizzards are raging or ice remains stubbornly on the streets.
The city has a cosmopolitan atmosphere, with immigrants from all over Europe as well as other parts of the world. French culture predominates, of course, but English-speaking people have a strong presence and a long history there, and the tension between the French and the English makes for an interesting cultural dynamic.
A very progressive and forward-looking city, Montreal has some wonderful transportation options. The Montreal subway, known as the Metro, is one of the best in the world, with cars that run smoothly on rubber tires and brightly lit stations that are graced with music and murals. During the winter, it is possible to avoid going outside and to stay completely “underground” if you choose to since your apartment building might have a Metro stop that connects you to your office and to various shopping centers. In fair weather you can take buses or rent bicycles and pedal your way around town.
Montreal has extraordinary modern architecture, a downtown with gleaming and towering glass and steel structures, surrounded by delightful Parisian-style and London Victorian-style residential neighborhoods. It has dazzlingly diverse restaurants, an excitingly unique nightclub scene, and some of the best universities in North America.
Geographically, Montreal is wrapped in the arms of the St. Lawrence Seaway and blessed with a mountain (Mont Royal) that dominates the landscape and offers all the pleasures of outdoor excursions away from the crowds, from hiking to picnicking to stargazing.
If Paris is a moveable feast, as Ernest Hemingway has written, then Montreal is a bountiful buffet.
I began my professional writing career in Montreal and worked as a freelancer for newspapers and magazines. Eventually I became an editor for a national publication and a staff writer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I left my beloved city to return to the US for personal reasons and to advance my career in New York City, but it still is and always will be my second home.
My first novel, a coming-of-age story called The Discovery of Luminous Being, is set in Montreal. With all modestly, I believe it captures the atmosphere of the city quiet faithfully. But don’t take my word for it, read the comments on Amazon.
Causes Anthony Maulucci Supports
Greenpeace, Amnesty Inernational, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Save the Children