Simultaneously wild and tame, civilized on the surface yet bubbling with excitement and magic, this city is made for pleasure and those who love life. A seemingly ordinary storefront often contains hidden jewels of inspiration concealed behind its ordinary-looking doors or unassuming back alley entrance. Turn the handle, open the door and dare to find out. Festivals run all year round, a constant reminder that life is meant to be a celebration and beauty is all around us.
Even in the dead of winter during these cold dark winter nights there are exciting things happening everywhere: Nuit Blanche, The Bodies Exposition, Skiing at Le Massif, or, Café Scientifique: The Brain Symphony – a neuroscience Café on music and the brain at O Patro Vys. Never before have I experienced such an abundance of culture amidst the frosty throes of an urban landscape.
The liberal infrastructure of the city itself permits such happenings to take place on a regular basis. Beer and wine are everywhere, and so is cheese. Lots of delicious cheese. People are smiling, laughing, dancing, playing. Whether you are ice skating in the Old Port, wandering into old churches like Gesu during Nuit Blanche, only to witness their transformation from a place of religion to a psychedelic cavern of ambient noise, incense, and performance art with multi-screen projections, or uncovering the inner secrets of the human nervous system at the Bodies Exposition, gazing in wonder at the coral-like delicacy of the circulatory system suspended weightlessly in water, or learning about how music stimulates the brain while sipping a Coup Grisou, or better still, slicing the slopes with your fantastic turns at Le Massif–a mere 3.5 hours north of the City–there is something to whet every appetite here.
The only problem seems to be how to fit all of this fun into a 24 hour time period every day. Perhaps someday soon one of these artists will come up with a way to compress time? J’espère.