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View Poll Results: Boston or Montreal
Boston 53 52.48%
Montreal 48 47.52%
Voters: 101. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-17-2009, 08:15 PM
Location: Montreal, QC
2 posts, read 3,139 times
Reputation: 10


Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
First off, I'll pick Boston but I'd live in either.

Quebec (and as a result, Montreal) is strange. It's quite provincial and this is not just a rumor. They have been pushing for separation from Canada for a LOOONG time and in a serious manor. In fact, there is a possibility (albeit a slight one) that Quebec may eventually get its wish and be allowed to secede. The Canadian Prime Minister has even acknowledged Quebec's unique nationalism. The capital (Quebec City- another STUNNING city) describes itself not as the capital of a province, but a NATIONAL capital. They also have a "National" Parlaiment in Quebec City.

Many residents of this region are VERY serious about Quebec separating from Canada. This is more pronounced in the rural municipalites but it's present in the cities as well (especially Quebec City). The primary spoken language is French (Quebecois) and many people are a bit intolerant of tourists and other Canadians who insist upon speaking English while in the province of Quebec (as Montreal is a major cosmopolitan city, this intolerance is a bit less pronounced, but still present).

My personal experience in the province (both Quebec City and Montreal as well as many smaller towns) is that a little effort to adhere to some of their culture goes a LOOOONG way. I've witnessed tourists getting rude treatment and and hassled for, well, acting like completely incompetent tourists. I speak VERY little French, but making the effort garners GREAT appreciation from the Quebecois who will usually appreciate your effort (and acknowledge it) and will then continue in English. Furthermore, branch out... try to explore their culture and you'll be fine. For example, when in a restaurant, ask the waiter/ress what he/she suggests or what the local specialty is. Order a local beer or wine (Unibrou Beers are incredible). This works greatly in your favor. Last October in Quebec City I asked the chef (in badly broken French) to cook me his favorite dish... the man prepared a 5 course sampler meal for our entire party and sat with us to describe what we were eating. He also gave us a complimentary bottle of wine and helped us with pairings. This is the same guy who almost completely ignored an American couple (quite obvious tourists) who made little effort to experience the restaurant as intended (poorly dressed, asking for "English Menus" asking for items not published, and not even returning basic greetings in French-- how hard is, "bonjour!" to say?).

In short, the Quebecois (people of Quebec) can be rude and provincial, but there's usually a reason for it. I've spent a lot of time up there as a primarily English speaking American (I've never taken a French class.. just learned a few basic phrases and it never fails) and NEVER had a rude experience. Just about every rude experience I've witnessed a tourist have has been well deserved (just like everywhere, there are people who are just rude). I'll never forget being greeted by almost everyone while walking through the streets of Quebec City at night on my first visit. If you're willing to work with the people of Quebec and humor them a bit, then Montreal, Quebec City and the province as a whole can be an incredibly wonderful place to visit or live (it's VERY affordable and safe... nearly no crime. Quebec City with a population of about 1/2 a million people hasn't had a murder since early 2006).
-- lrfox, I like what you say about montreal. Good advice for me to landing Montreal ( I am moving from New York to Montreal.)

I have visited Montreal for less than one week, and that week made me loved the city much more than New York.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:09 PM
Location: Jersey City
6,268 posts, read 15,504,848 times
Reputation: 5159
I agree. The only occasions I've seen "rude Montrealers" is when I've seen American tourists shouting at waiters/bartenders/etc in English. I've seen the same d-baggery in Europe too. An attitude that "everyone should talk to me, the American tourist, in english just 'cuz." I speak hardly any French at all, but even if you begin a conversation with "Bonjour, parle vous anglais?" At least you're starting on the right foot. I've gotten nothing but courteous responses of "non" or "yes, of course! how can i help you?"

Anyway, I'd probably choose to live in Boston, but I LOVE going to visit Montreal. Crossing an international boundary, changing currency, and trying to work around the language barrier really make the vacation fun and it feels like such a getaway, even if you're just going for a fin de semaine!
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:13 PM
Location: Long Island/NYC
11,294 posts, read 16,393,440 times
Reputation: 6045
Boston .

I'd love to visit both, they seem like great places but living in Boston would be more realistic.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:29 AM
Location: Charleston
478 posts, read 847,753 times
Reputation: 210
Tough call. I would say that Montreal wins in overall ambiance. But any place that snows from October to April is not my cup tea. I would have to go with Boston. Montreal is still great to visit though...in the summer.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:01 PM
Location: Boston Metro
1,994 posts, read 5,065,225 times
Reputation: 1829
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