21 Hours Left in Montreal

Today it drizzled the whole day, nonstop. The kind of day that chills you to the bone and makes you wish your glasses had wipers; my kind of weather. I got up in time to go to the hotel’s Mezzanine level for breakfast, went to the restaurant and sat down with my newspaper. My voucher entitled me to an “American” breakfast. It’s always entertaining to see how other countries interpret American.

What American breakfast means in Montreal is powdered scrambled eggs, wedge potatoes with a sort of curly-fry texture and sausages made from some kind of mealy, gelatinous creature that was never meant to be eaten. The first bite of each made clear how unwise it would be to go further, but to avoid being wasteful, I finished all I had taken. Afterwards I did what I could to wash it down with plenty of coffee and a couple of baby-sized bowls of frosted flakes.

So anyway, this morning I saw more of the hotel and had to conclude, it isn’t a dive. The restaurant was nice, as were other public areas of it. I must conclude that the grunginess is confined then to only my floor – or perhaps only to my room?

At 9:30, I and the rest of the disheveled media mob trooped around the block to Eidos’ studios where we were treated to a perhaps overlong powerpoint presentation and then to demos presented at previous game expos. A little depressing we didn’t get to see anything new, except for a new intro/credits trailer.

What made the whole thing worth it was meeting Mary DeMarle, the lead writer on the game. She was very disarming and easy to talk to – didn’t even make me feel like a moron when my digital recorder decided during our interview to die on me. She said a lot of great things and it crushed me not to have it on record. I’m hoping to talk to her some more at dinner tonight.

Anyhoo…once the game presentation was done, I took the opportunity to walk the city and see more of it. Eidos is definitely in a cooler area than I was in last time for THQ. This area is much livelier, being a few blocks from a university. The streets are lined with shops, cafes, restaurants and sex shops.

It’s so convenient that when you run errands you can go to Old Navy, go to the bank, pick up your cleaning and then catch a live sex show. It’s a one stop shop! =P

Makes it seem like Wonder Woman works there, eh?

No, this isn’t a sex shop, but hey, it could be!

I found a couple of places Nick would absolutely love – namely, places with their windows full of meat:

In addition to sex shops and meat displays, Montreal boasts many historic buildings and autumn-yellow trees, and this – which appears to be a pickle, wearing an argyle sweater and talking on the phone.

Walking randomly, I ended up in the Museum district and so I went to see a brilliant exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Art, of German artist Otto Dix. The show was full of both paintings I’ve seen a hundred times in books, and many prints and charcoal or pen drawings I’ve never seen, drawings of the horrors of war to rival Goya’s. I also got to see a fairly interesting contemporary art show made up of pieces from their permanent collection and some great artifacts relating to Emperor Napoleon. Like his hat!

After the museum it was getting dark so I stopped at one of the ubiquitous Tim Hortons to get a snack. I got a Canadian Maple donut – which is a lot like a regular maple donut but you know, Canadian.

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