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Old 05-05-2009, 06:38 PM
 
Location: The Sunshine City
244 posts, read 812,580 times
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Hi all, in recent weeks I've been reading about the "bohemian" vibe in Montreal. How does it compare to Vancouver in this regard?
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:48 PM
 
110 posts, read 573,560 times
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Althought very different, i think both cities have a very good bohemian lifestyle. I am a native montrealer so i can tell more about Montreal. Unfortunately i only spent 10 days, last october, in Vancouver but i did notice a certain bohemian lifestyle especially in Kitsilano and around Commercial Drive in East Vancouver.

I would say that while Vancouver as a west coast-pacific-oriental vibe when it comes to bohemian lifestyle Montreal is somewhere beetwen the Village in NYC (of back then) and certain areas of Paris. It's all in the mentality in Montreal and not much in the infrastructure.

When people hang around the water shore or in the parks in Vancouver while doing nothing else than breathing one can see that montrealers can be found drinking beers and playing accoustic music on balcony's or exterior staircases. Yes, there are some parks that people have access to but it doesn't compare to Vancouver on that matter a part from the famous sunday Tam-Tam on Mount-Royal.

When i say in it's the mind i mean that people are, yes, interested in working and making money but to a point because many would rather spend time doing nothing and browsing around cafe's, bars and friend gatherings. In that case the bank accounts, if any, often suffers but it is a question of priority.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:54 PM
 
Location: The Sunshine City
244 posts, read 812,580 times
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I can't wait to visit both cities. I've heard that, overall, Montreal has a better dining scene. I would love to go on a culinary tour of Montreal! On the other hand, I love the physical setting of Vancouver, sandwiched between mountains and ocean. Vancouver, I've heard, has better Asian food because of the large Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Vietenamese communities.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:39 PM
 
110 posts, read 573,560 times
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Yes, the asian community in Vancouver is much bigger but there is a small but very charming Chinatown in Montreal. The Montreal strenght isn't the same as other cities especially when it comes ethnic areas. Montreal has a large jewish community, a large Hassidim community, many arabs, haitians, portuguese, italians and english speaking people. The number one community is the french speaking but you'll find that the city is roughly splitted in two sides, the west being predominantly english while the east is predominantly. The center part is where all the ethnic groups lived and where all montrealers meet and the southwest is another large areas where blue collar french and english live together.

The physical setting of Vancouver is indeed very spectacular as well as it's proximity with water sources. The skyline, even if not very very high, is also very nice to look at especially because all of the new ''blue'' appartment buildings surroung the center city.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:14 PM
 
41 posts, read 184,559 times
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Montreal is best characterised as having many "Bohemian" vibes. Depending on whether you're in the Plateau, CDN, NDG, or Pie-IX, you'll have a different feel. It depends on who you are, what you speak, whether and where you go to school, etc. There is no single vibe here.

By way of contrast, Bohemian types can be found in East Van and sometimes in Kits, but the vibe is different, not least because of the money factor. It is still possible to be a self-supporting Bohemian in Montreal without being homeless. Vancouver's Bohemian scene is a tad affected in this regard (there is a larger, much more desperate fringe in Vancouver), though I recognize that the city has a history of said counterculture. That said, where there's a university, there Bohemia and beer are found.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
1,049 posts, read 5,846,343 times
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Gah! Just lost my post! Basically both cities are equally bohemian but in different ways. Montreal is has an urban heart and Vancouver has a west coast beachy vibe. In Montreal it's an urban bohemian whereas Vancouver's more of a beach bum, get back to nature bohemian. Montreal's bohemian scene is more rooted in the arts and music. Vancouver's bohemian scene is more rooted in political/environmental activism. It's like comparing New York's beatnik's to Haight Ashbury in San Francisco. These are mass generalizations of course, but I'm sure you get the picture. They ooze the same bohemian vibe but are distinctly different. White Chocolate and Antoyne_42 have expressed the differences quite accurately.

Now, Montreal does not have a better dining scene than Vancouver - they both have excellent dining scenes, they're just very different. Vancouver's dining scene is more healthy, light, Asian/seafood/vegetian/fresh local ingredient-oriented. Montreal's dining scene is deeply rooted in European traditions - it's more rich, fatty (in a good way), with lots of meat and sauces, lots of Jewish, Greek, and Italian delis, French cafes/patisseries - and lots of traditional French cooking. You could say that eating in Vancouver is like eating in Los Angeles or Tokyo or Hong Kong. Eating in Montreal is like eating in France or New York. Montreal's better for bagels, pastries, Middle Eastern, and French food. Vancouver's better for fresh seafood, sushi, Korean BBQ, and Hong Kong style Chinese food. And I don't mean Japanese/Korean/Chinese greasy spoons but places like this = http://www.hapaizakaya.com/

Montreal is a much more affordable city so it's easier to live there as a starving artist.

Vancouver is grossly overpriced so if you're going to live as a starving artist, you're likely a student, have a day job, and are sharing a house with 3-4 other roommates.

Last edited by Robynator; 05-06-2009 at 06:37 PM..
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:52 PM
 
3 posts, read 14,239 times
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What do bohemian and dining scene have anything to do with each other? Sounds more bourgeois to me. I'd like to hear something from les Québécois of Montreal about their bohemian lifestyles and fabulous dining scene.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
741 posts, read 2,545,524 times
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Well.. I am not from the region, but when I visited Montreal it was one of the best cities I ever ate out of. Great bread... those killer bagels, fantastic dinning scene. If you get a chance go to Au Pied Cauchon...
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
1,076 posts, read 3,897,171 times
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I would like to try one of those killer bagels.

See people eating them around here and just don't get it.

On my list also, would be one of those fantastic Jewish deli's we're always hearing about.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
741 posts, read 2,545,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stone-ground View Post
I would like to try one of those killer bagels.

See people eating them around here and just don't get it.

On my list also, would be one of those fantastic Jewish deli's we're always hearing about.
Schwartz's is fun, but its also very touristy and busy.
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