Today Mont Royal Boulevard was closed to traffic and open to what felt like half the pedestrians of Montreal. I went with three friends to stroll along the long street that runs through an old, and now gentrified part of the city. Hipsterfied, modified, moneyfied, chic’d up fixed up, pulled up, like most of the whole neighborhood, Mont Royal Boulevard is long and flat. It runs from the foot of the mountain to the Olympic Stadium. There is a Metro station right on the avenue and and that’s where we all met up to set off on our long session of window shopping and people watching. A sidewalk sale is usually where one finds bargains but, no, the prices were high. The styles were démodé and the passing show was much more interesting than anything set out by the shopkeepers. Dogs and babies were out in force. It would appear that small dogs are the rage this summer in Montreal. I did spy two Australian sheepdogs and a regular mut but in the main tiny fluff balls or naked white rat-like skuttlers were the norm. Miniature Bulldogs and dwarf Dobermans were runners up and the star of the canine show was a black fox-like creature with fur that stuck out like a full-body halo. With her skinny sticklike legs she was a perfect companion for her mistress. Mlle. was perched on a pair of sky-high thick soled army boots that drew the eye to her artfully torn black tights, miniskirt and mane of dyed grey hair.
Along the way we lost one of our group and at one moment it seemed that another friend had been swallowed up by the mass of people strolling up and down the avenue. A sea of bobbing heads stretched out in front of us as we took a break on a handy bench. An amature band belted it out behind us. ( one of them was using an empty suitcase as a drum). We were just debating the pros and cons of plastic surgery …age comes hand in hand with gravity, after all…..when my mobile phone rang. “Where the hell are you two? ” our intrepid friend had covered the same five blocks back and forth and was calling from just behind us. We laughed. She cursed us. We had a coffee break on a terrasse ( oh, Montreal) and tore to bits every passerby. After all, we three ladies embody such perfection – and taste too.
We had a great time at the sidewalk sale. In spite of urgent attempts we did not spend one cent, except for the coffee. We discussed our kids, work, poetry, will power in various circumstances, internet dating,religion. We didn’t discuss friendship at all. We just walked it on Mont Royal Boulevard.