Today I arrived in Montreal for the Annual Conference of the American Academy of Religion. I forgot how fantastic Montreal is! To those who are currently in Montreal, here are a few things you must hit:
- Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Deli. This restaurant, just up the road from the Palais de Congrès (at 3895 St Laurent Boulevard), will blow you away. It is a Montreal institution that has been around for 80 years.
- Mont Royal. This is just west of Schwartz’s. There is a nice park at the base of the hill and an invigorating but brief climb to the top of the mountain that affords you a beautiful view of the city. Those who have watched the movie “Jesus of Montreal” will find this place rather familiar. Those of you who haven’t watched the movie should.
- The Old City (Vieux-Montreal). This is just south of the Palais de Congrès. Apart from some beautiful buildings such as the Basilique Notre-Dame, there are numerous great restaurants and bars on the picturesque cobblestone streets.
- Don’t be afraid of poutine. Yes, it consists of three forms of fat (French fries, beef gravy, and melted cheese curds), but life is short.
I wish I had more time here to enjoy the sights, not to mention Tim Hortons (which is on the ground floor of Palais de Congrès), but after some conference-related activities, I have to make my way back to Durham tomorrow afternoon. My only solace is that the weather in Durham is supposed to be in the 70s, while here it is in the 30s.
In two weeks, I hit New Orleans for the annual conference of SBL. So the French connection continues, but the weather will improve.