“HUM!” Leena calls out, pointing to the second floor of our gray brick triplex. Our home, the starting and ending place of all our adventures. With our living room window facing the park. And our fleet of strollers under the staircase.
These are all iPhone pictures from our morning walk to Miss Katya’s daycare. Maybe someday I’ll need these pictures to remember it. Even though right now, it seems like I’d never forget. How our neighbors have a gorgeous garden.
Bursting with tulips. This is one of my favorite photography spots. I’ve taken many family portraits in this garden, including these.
Then comes the red house with the silver roof. And the stump in the yard. It’s a cool stump. There’s something artistic about it. When Sonya was younger, she liked to climb up on it and jump into the grass.
Then we walk to the corner. The wall at the end of the street is another favorite photo spot [for example].
Then we round the corner— and I feel POOF! I’m right in the middle of the city. Where stuff happens.
We pass the vintage stores on St. Laurent and the magazine store below.
Some of our really good friends live in this green building. And there’s Laika, a place we sometimes go for a fancy breakfast. They have amazing poached eggs with avocado in a warm tomato sauce that I order pretty much every time we go.
We cross our first busy street. And there’s really a unique charm. We see cars that are more European than American (like little Fiats). And we pass a bric-a-brac shop that I’m amazed continues to remain in business (who buys this stuff?)
And we come to Fuchsia, our special place for violet hot chocolate in the winter. The inspiration for our fancy teacups.
And to think that we only know a small fraction of Montreal! There must be so many other hidden treasures we’ve yet to discover! A hundred Fuchsias yet to be stumbled upon!
We pass the community garden where Miss Katya’s daycare used to come and plant. Seems like nobody has tended it this season.
The grocery store where I pop in to or from dropping off the girls in case I need something last-minute for dinner. Limited selection, but great price on meats.
Of course, it wouldn’t seem like Montreal unless we passed a shop like Utopia, which sells bongs, incense, and hemp clothing.
Then we come to the snorkeling chicken and Sonya (the anime girl with purple hair and blue eyes).
And a graffiti portrait of Leena When She Has Hair (the girls pointed themselves out to us last month).
When I see the urban rock garden, I know we’re getting close!
We pass La Grande Ourse, a magical shop filled with natural toys, most of them handmade from wood, leather, wool, and silk.
We pass a Chinese tea shop with little plastic figurines, including a small monkey on a potty that bobs his head, which Sonya finds hilarious. We have to stop and watch the monkey on the potty. Every morning, monkey is reading the same book about a tiger. Just bobbing his head. Going to the potty.
This sign sometimes fakes me out, because Miss Katya’s daycare used to be down this street two summers ago. But now I can’t turn until after I pass the pretty graffiti alley.
And come to the Vietnamese restaurant on the next corner. Lotus Bleu with the blue trim.
And so we turn right and come to the playground at Parc Jean-Jacques Olier.
The girls usually hop out of the stroller at this point and walk/run the rest of the way to Miss Katya’s daycare.
Here we are! Miss Katya’s daycare! Thursdays and Fridays are my happiest days because I collect the girls after lunch and we spend all afternoon together. Exploring our little slice of Montreal.