Day 105 Montreal: Tai-ko - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

August 13, 2011

Day 105 Montreal: Tai-ko

It was cool enough to get a good night's sleep, and even to sleep in. Amelia is such a good baby, she will sleep too, or wait for everyone to get going even if she is up.

Morning in Montreal
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Amelia is ready to go
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all she needs is for the adults to shift into gear
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Getting going on a Montreal weekend means going to a restaurant for breakfast. There is a selection of quality places near Josh and Sabrina's. No matter the place, or what you choose, a lot of fruit and likely chocolate syrup seems to be part of the experience.

Ontario street near Josh and Sabrina's
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Three generations head out to the breakfast spot.
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Tousky's is an organic, cooperative type place with great cooking
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Josh and Andre at Tousky
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Amelia dancing on the tables
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This is what French Toast looks like
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And these are crepes with eggs and bacon
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They like it!
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As we continued to explore the city, we traveled north and west, first to a Japanese cultural centre and then to the nearby Jean Talon market. It is really too far to reasonably walk, so that leaves bike, car, or Metro (subway). Biking with Amelia would be too nerve wracking in the city, as would be taking the car in general, so that leaves Metro. Ever since the first lines were constructed in advance of the 1967 World Exposition (Expo 67), the Metro has been a wonderful boon in the city. The lines now go far in all directions, and the trains are frequent and fast.

The little farmers' market near home, but today our sights are set higher
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I fail to figure out how to enter the Metro (subway)
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We're in, but it's not stroller (or bike) friendly
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Still it does go everywhere, fast
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Inside the Metro
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This is our first destination. Sabrina's friend Carolyn will be performing there
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A double spired church on the way - no problem finding these in the big city.
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We saw Josh and Sabrina's friend Carolyn practicing tai-ko drumming in the park yesterday, but this is our first experience of a full group with real drums. There is a martial art quality to the movements ad the performance is very dramatic.

Carolyn is a Tai-ko performer. Here are shots of the exciting group. Maybe later I will put some video up too.
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Tai-ko
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Tai-ko
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Tai-ko
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Carolyn
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Carolyn
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Carolyn!
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Both Japanese origin and other participants from the public wore traditional dress that could be rented on site
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and some joined in to traditional dance
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The grannies section
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They both like the action
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There was lots of Japanese food
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and pretty girls
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As we traveled across Canada and the US we were continually struck by the lack of really good fruits and vegetables and by the low quality of baked goods. Our standard for judging this is Montreal. Montreal is a big city with a strong French heritage and 100 years of immigration from Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. This is a potent mixture that is hard to match in North America. The restaurants and bakeries that result can be found everywhere, but for fruits and vegetables it the Jean Talon market.

We began our visit by sitting in an open but covered area, near a large stall making fruit juices. They had vast quantities of fresh fruits cut up and ready to go, and were (hand) cranking out smoothies and blended juices for a continuous stream of customers. We joined that stream more than once, more than twice, because fresh juice is so good. We spent about $30 at this stand before even entering the market itself. The photos below will take you on a little tour. Note the blueberries. As we left the market we sampled just one from our bag. Oh my. Just one contained so much blueberry zap it was amazing. Later, with the local strawberries and Ontario peaches it was fructivore heaven.

The two bakeries at the market also express the best, in French bread and fancy pastries. Croissants and bagels have their epitomes nearby in the city, but for bread and pastry this is the place. Having cycled through the bread desert of America and Western Canada and having seen the lame or overpriced pretenders in Toronto, it's great to have reached "the real thing"!

Next stop, the massive Jean Talon Market
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Au Pain Dore (the Golden Bread) has first rate buns, way cheaper than in Toronto!
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Au Pain Dore
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Bright fruits and vegetables abound. They are good for you and great for photos.
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Quebec strawberries. Like all local berries they are red all the way through, not white inside like lame transported California stuff at Safeway.
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Josh checks out one of dozens of displays
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We bought these baskets and lots more
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The baskets - $5 each
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This lady is serving up ready to eat corn
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Or you could buy your own fresh truck load!
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More tomatoes!
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La Premiere Moisson (First Harvest) uses organic Quebec flour and is Ground Zero for top quality bread in North America.
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Yes, this is the place! We are here - there is none better!
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Premiere Moisson fruit flans
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and cakes
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and raisin buns - slightly more costly than the Pain Dore but essentially the same.
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Seventy Five dollars of wild blueberries!
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Smaller diet baskets of blueberries
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That's it for the Market, folks. Check back tomorrow for an even bigger and better brunch!

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