japanesedream_72: (loli)
[personal profile] japanesedream_72
Have you read Day 1 yet? http://japanesedream.livejournal.com/408284.html

Started off Day 2 with some breakfast & a bit of a chat with mom, then a leisurely promenade around some of the streets of Chateauguay, [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky's suburb, pronounced, more or less, CHAT-a-gay, by the English-speaking tongue, though it may truly have a bit of 'chateau' in it, as evidenced by the local architecture. There are some really lovely houses, many of them with design elements we do not see in my neck of the woods.

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I won't post the pretty house shots I took, but you can see the full set of the morning's photos here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1880531943538.2088092.1548491398&l=93de4d7091&type=1

Stopped off at a lovely patch of nature, where we sat for a time & enjoyed the stillness & beauty of our surroundings. There's a little bit of history to the bridge, but I can't, at this time, recall it.

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After being told by a passing gentleman that our little resting place was considered private property (oops), we made our way back & prepared ourselves for going out. While there aren't any pictures of me from this day, I was wearing the corset I wore to both Moi dix Mois shows (actually, up 'til this trip, that was my only corset), with my short, layered-lace skirt. About as Gothic Lolita as my wardrobe gets. [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky went full-on Sweet.

Started off by catching the bus to Angrignon (this became a daily ritual), where the first evidence of a decidedly artistic, almost experimental, 1970s architectural vibe greeted me.

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There's a park behind there that's quite pretty & peaceful-looking, but we didn't go in & I didn't snap any photos.

Made our way to Eaton Center, one of several large malls connected by a shopping 'district' known as the Underground City. Made sure, of course, to stop at the currency exchange office so I could get some of that multi-coloured Canadian money. It does make things easier, reaching for a colour instead of fishing through the numbers like US cash.

Traipsed around the mall for a while, looking in shops at this, that, & a whole lot of the other.

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Bought some tea at a nifty little place, a souvenir or 2 (love those kitschy stores!), & some yummy lavender chocolate at a shop that was all about lavender products. Had a bit of an emotional language moment in there (those cropped up a lot - you'll see what I mean later), but it's such a neat mall! There was a "green" display using recycled materials that was just mind-boggling...

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Oh yeah, & we found a brand of shoes called Kozi. That amused us to no end. If you don't know why - http://www.scape.sc/kozi.php

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See the full set of the rest of the day's photos here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1880542103792.2088093.1548491398&l=c30bf793fd&type=1

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Snapped lots of pics inside (the place is GORGEOUS - I mean, it had stuff like waterfalls & a runway in it!), quite a few outside (that architecture again), had a guy ask if he could get his photo taken with us, & headed down to several other amazingly picturesque places...

On McGill College Ave., there is a famous sculpture, La Foule Illuminee (The Illuminated Crowd - http://publicheart.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/la-foule-illuminee-the-illuminated-crowd/)

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McGill College:

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Oh, the squirrel!!

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This was funny. We're at McGill, where I'm drooling over the uber-Gothic architecture, & we're making our way back (me still snapping pics along the way) when we practically trip over this little squirrel that's bopping along. He stands up on his hind legs to give us a look, & it was the cutest thing! I wanted to get a photo, but he was down on all fours bopping around again before I could snap one. Out loud, I said, "Aww, could you do that again?"

AND HE DID!! :D

From then on, [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky (whose family has dogs & birds - not really relevant, but as they were lovely & ever-present, they deserve a mention) has professed a firm belief that I have the magickal ability to talk to squirrels.

Then there was FACE ([livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky's high school)...

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The conservatory...

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Roche Bobois & the House of Jazz...

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And other groovy sights...

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...until we reached the seriously awesome Place-des-Arts.

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Metro (subway) station featured some great angles & more of that cool 70s thing, but the awesomeness truly comes as you walk through to the open court, past installations, exhibits, & event locations (I assume these would be plays & concerts & such). One of the most amazing, though, had to be the 'underground' one (you're literally in, like, a tunnel) featuring words & images & colours. I wish I could've gotten it on video, but I did manage to get an exquisite still shot.

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Then there was the open court itself.

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There seem to be shops & food places & whatnot in there, but I was just marvelling at the design of it, esp. the ceiling. But that part was really difficult to capture properly on film.

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We emerged in Chinatown...

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...& stopped for a rest, snack, & some dual-language chatting (at my request, seeing as how I practically burst into tears every time French came into play) at a fun little bubble-tea lounge called L2 (http://www.nightlife.ca/sorties/vie-de-quartier-smells-teen-slush-l2-lounge). Saw a bunch of cosplayers. Apparently, cosplayers & Lolitas hang out there a lot. I had mint-chocolate slush bubble-tea & spicy crab. Yum!!

We were going to meet [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky's sister & her boyfriend later on to watch the fireworks display, but, thanks to a text message, [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky found out there was a drag show happening in the Village!! Yes, Montreal has a Village, too, & it was hosting an apparently annual event known as Mascara - http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/Mado_Montreals_grande_dame_of_drag-8993.aspx

After hopping the train down there, we were quickly navigating the Village streets, until we were literally running, as we could hear the goings-on, & soon came to the fence beside the stage. Under a tree-strewn, campus-like grassy knoll, we looked to the side to see the large screen on which the proceedings were being broadcast. But we had a pretty decent vantage point from a profile perspective, as well (slightly better when we were able to move down just a bit, a little later on). We didn't catch it from the beginning, & couldn't stay for the whole thing, but we got to watch quite a few numbers. Tried taking some shots, but my camera's crappy at night. However, thanks to YouTube, I can give you a little taste.

I forget the names of all the queens, but one did a sort of insane asylum motif:

http://youtu.be/HWQTzEgtd0Y

There were other motifs, as well, like the saloon one, but I couldn't find a clip of it.

Then, there were international numbers, such as...

Brazil - http://youtu.be/zCgindeJBSY

Lebanon - http://youtu.be/elbtxwxixlg

And a humourous number where Mado LaMotte, the host, invited everyone (or, the girls, at least) to dance around their purses...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgMTstjmy90

He made a lot of funny jokes about girls & lesbians & drag queens & all sorts of things, in very fast Quebecoise/Franglais, so [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky, bless her patient heart, was forced to translate as I struggled to pick up a word here or there with my 20-year-old high school book-French. Being in the midst of people who can speak or understand languages I fervently wish to know - Japanese & French being the top 2 - strikes me right in the heart.

It took a couple of days before I could formulate the words/scenario to pinpoint the exact feeling (not for lack of trying, mind you), but I finally put it thusly: picture yourself as an orphan, or otherwise abandoned child, who desperately wants nothing more in life than to have a loving family, sitting in a park beside a happy group of parents & their children, watching as they frolic & take joy in each other. So close you can touch it, but so far out of reach you can't help but feel actual physical pain.

In spite of this, Mascara really was an awesome show, & I think the one dance number in this clip might have been about where we came in: http://youtu.be/j0b47hCFrDA - I remember that set-up with the African-style faces.

They had other queens, too, doing artists like Rihanna, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, that sort of thing.

http://youtu.be/SubZdtLyKXw

http://youtu.be/8aqItUFpiFc

A number of the queens, I believe, were from Quebec. Anyway, you get the idea.

From then on, we interspersed our daily discussions with even more French, perhaps a touch slow & occasionally needing explanation, but I felt better, & was even able to use a bit of "practical French" to order food here & there, when I felt comfortable enough. Perhaps, as [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky told me, if I were able to be there full-time, I'd get used to hearing it at its regular pace (it's also a slightly "accented" sound by comparison to France-French, which takes a little additional adjustment, if France-French is your only training), & could respond.

A beautiful idea, indeed.


Next: Day 3 - http://japanesedream.livejournal.com/408882.html
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