Getting closer to Schwartz's
|(A Montreal landmark still worth visiting |
even though it's now owned, in part, by
Celine Dion's husband.)
But as I've explored my native Montreal by bicycle on recent trips, I've been amazed at how close Boulevard St. Laurent (you'll know the street if you've read Mordecai Richler) is to downtown. And I've grown to love smoked meat, medium.
Boulevard St. Laurent, home of Schwartz's, is often referred to locally as "The Main," and one sign of its importance to Montreal culture is that, even though public signs are by law supposed to be French-only here, banners and billboards tout "Le Main." In addition to the smoked meat, it was a pleasure to talk about Philadelphia with the countermen and to say things like "Your brother is ... ? Well I know somebody who ... Why don't you give me a card?" I felt less like an interloper and more like I'd been sitting at the counter making deals for fifty years.
And it was nice to hear that amiable verbal swagger of Anglophone Montrealers speaking and conducting business in French, proud, I imagine, that they can function in multiple languages, when so many people I run into seem questionably able to function in one.
Today, back to Philly.
© Peter Rozovsky 2012