redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Oct. 8th, 2018 08:31 pm)
[personal profile] cattitude and I got back from Montreal a couple of hours ago; we were there for Scintillation, a small science fiction convention organized by Jo Walton.

I mostly had a good time, despite some bits where I was having trouble connecting/finding people to hang out with, and some down moods that I suspect were due either to physiological stuff (I bruised my left thumb badly, and pain interferes with sleep) or the state of the world outside the convention. I did a lot of walking, at least by my recent standards; if this doesn't leave me miserable in the next day or two, I'm going to treat it as hip strengthening PT and increase my goal for that. health/exercise details )

I went to a few program item and enjoyed all of them: Friday evening Jon Singer and Teresa Nielsen Hayden talke about medieval recipes, and Sunday morning Jon and Emmet O'Brien talked about lasers, odd corners of biology (endosymbiosis is more complex than I'd realized), and the possibility of using Bose-Einstein condensates to explore how event horizons work. (They told us that it's possible to slow light down to a few meters per second in a BEC; the suggestion is to see what happens if you move said concentrate at several meters per second, i.e. faster than the speed of light inside the BEC. As far as either of them knew, this hasn't yet been tried.)

As a tribute to Ursula Le Guin, Jo decided to have an hour of people reading Le Guin's work aloud. The pre-con description had said that it would be good if other people read, but Jo was prepared to read Le Guin aloud for an hour. I emailed her last week to say I wanted to read, and mentioning a couple of specific things I was thinking of. Yesterday morning, when I walked into the Jon Singer/Emmet O'Brien mutual interview, Emmet asked if I'd be willing to be organizer for the Le Guin panel an hour later, because Jo might be dealing with other things. I said yes, of course. I decided to read "Coming of Age in Karhide," which worked well: if I'd practiced and known how long it was, I might have picked something shorter, but people enjoyed it, and I got comments afterwards from people who were pleased because they hadn't already read that story. Someone else then read "The First Report of the Shipwrecked Foreigner to the Kadahn of Derb," a delightful piece that is partly about Venice. We then got a couple of excerpts from Malafrena about what it means to work for freedom, and a few poems. (The person who read the poems wanted to read from Le Guin's version of the Tao te ching; I don't think Jo owns that.)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Jul. 20th, 2018 07:14 pm)
Question for other people who are going to Scintillation: how long are you planning to be in Montreal?

I'm thinking of arriving Thursday afternoon or evening, just so I don't fret about missing things on Friday (even though the many of the things are trips to places I've already seen), and staying over until either Monday morning or Tuesday morning.

Being there longer has the advantage of more social time, if other people also arrive early and/or stay late. The disadvantages are that it will probably cost more (although Airfares Are Weird) and might wear me out.

(I have addressed this to people who will be there, in terms of possibly coordinating schedules, but other relevant thoughts are also welcome.)

ETA: This having been asked in the comments, Scintillation will be a small science fiction convention in Montreal, in October. (For reasons to do with hotel space, Kickstarter, and the person who is organizing, there are no more memberships available.) I sometimes lose track of who has what context.
Mostly it's just been hanging out with [personal profile] rysmiel, some reading, and eating a lot of fish. The weather has been surprisingly pleasant (meaning highs in the low single digits (C)), and my hips and knee are doing pretty well with moderate amounts of walking, but walking to Juliet et Chocolat for lunch today was just strenuous enough that we're staying in for dinner and having smoked salmon again. The only problem with "smoked salmon again" is that the local supply of smoked salmon is finite. I was looking last night at the table containing both Indian smoked salmon and novy, asked rysmiel what they would call the latter ("novy" being a NY dialect shortening of "Nova Scotia smoked salmon"). Rysmiel told me they had no specific terms for either, because until very recently, novy was the only kind of smoked salmon they'd had. Whereas I grew up distinguishing novy from the much saltier lox, though I also didn't taste the Indian smoked salmon until I was an adult.

I've been doing all my hip-related PT stuff, and still icing the left knee, though it is much better than it had been: after several days when it hurt when I woke up, on Tuesday the knee was okay until I walked around my apartment a bit, and then Wednesday [two days ago] I didn't notice any pain until I'd been up for five hours, taken transit to the airport, waited around at the gate, and was actually on the plane. This is vastly reassuring.

Rysmiel and I haven't been talking about politics (at their request, as part of their long-term self-care). My usual approach to reading news these days starts with either for very local Boston stuff or the CBC, and the last three days I haven't looked at any other news websites. I'm getting quite enough between twitter and assorted email lists, including one very wide-ranging discussion list and Penzey's spices.

The latest Penzey's email is mostly about gun violence, Disney, the NRA, and Bill Penzey's hope that good things will come from the #metoo movement. He promised he'd send the originally planned message about an offer for rosemary in a day or two, leaving us for now with "Tomorrow there will be time to sing the praises of Rosemary, and Sunny Paris, and to share the Curry recipes and short stories our customers have passed along. But today, from the long history that is Spices, here’s this quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet: “There's Rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.”
redbird: a butterfly, wings folded, resembling the letter V (_support)
( Dec. 10th, 2017 01:15 pm)
I saw my first snow of the season at lunchtime Friday, walking to a bus stop at the Montreal airport, so it felt like "welcome to Canada, here are some flurries." Yesterday the Boston area got its first snow, more than flurries, and this morning in Montreal it was snowing enough to accumulate a bit. This is right and proper for this part of the world at this time of year, hence reassuring in a way that the photo of violets [personal profile] cattitude texted to me while I was on the airplane isn't. (I like violets more than I like snow, but one is appropriate in Somerville in December and the other isn't.)

Yesterday I went with [personal profile] rysmiel and Jo to the Salon des Metiers d'Arts, an annual fair/market of fancy local food and handmade clothing, gifts, etc. I expected to be buying things to eat and drink, and in fact tried three different ice ciders before deciding it would be too much hassle to get a bottle home even if I checked my suitcase. I did buy a gorgeous if not entirely practical hat (it doesn't entirely cover my ears) and an attractive leather daypack with fabric print, which feels more reasonable because my current pack won't last forever, and few people are making that size daypack anymore. (This bag's straps can be adjusted, so it's also usable as a shoulder bag, but there are plenty of shoulder bags out there.)

Today we went to Kim Fung for dim sum, as is traditional, and Jo stopped on the way home and bought a roast duck and some red-rimmed pork, which will be a very nice dinner.
As I mentioned, I'm in Montreal, visiting [personal profile] rysmiel. Our original dinner plans were scuppered by transit problems, so we decided to stay in the neighborhood and get Indian food instead.

The first place we tried was only offering a buffet, which we didn't want, so we went to the other Indian place on the block. We had a very nice dinner, including chai, chicken tikka masala (mine) and lamb korma (rysmiel's, and sweeter than I usually care for, but they were pleased), papadam, excellent garlic naan, and mushroom rice. The rice and naan were notably good.

Then I went to pay the bill, and the proprietor asked how I was going to pay. I asked about credit cards, and he indicated he'd prefer cash. Well, it's a small business, and if they don't want to pay credit card fees I sympathize, so I checked that I had the cash. At that point, he indicated that if I paid cash it would be $48, and credit card would be $55, because he would neither print a bill nor collect the federal and provincial tax.

If I had realized that intent sooner, I would have handed him plastic, but I didn't feel like arguing the ethics of the situation with someone who had just fed us a very nice meal. So okay, cash, but I'm likely to be a bit more hesitant the next time a small business tells me they'd prefer cash: I am fine with not giving Visa a fraction, but those taxes are paying for services I use. (A restaurant that has a "cash only" sign for all purchases is visible to the local government in a way that this sort of small-scale tax evasion probably isn't.)

[Restaurant name redacted because it would feel wrong to identify the restaurant after cooperating with the small-scale cheating at the time.]
So, I'm in Montreal for a few days. The bus trip up was easy, except that somewhere along the way I lost my good warm winter hat: I reached into the side pocket of my coat after dinner and it wasn't there. This wasn't an immediate issue, since the parka has a hood and the temperature was above freezing, but the forecast was and is for a lot colder for most of my visit, so we stopped at Canadian Tire on the way to [ profile] rysmiel's home. I now have a very warm (possibly too warm for my everyday needs) fake-fur-lined toque whose tag said "True. North. Strong." and fifteen cents in Canadian Tire money.

(I will probably look for another hat, of a size to fit in that pocket, when I get home, but I wanted to get something warm quickly, and not risk finding that the stores had already sold all their winter clothing.)

In the meantime, I am on vacation for a few days, where I will try not to obsess over the news, and will probably give myself a break from calling my assorted representatives (I called Sen. Markey about the attorney general nominee on Monday, which is something).
[ profile] rysmiel and I had tickets for two Fringe shows Sunday night, but the first one, "Checkout 606," was cancelled due to wind. (The venue for that seemed to be a bit of street next to a food truck.) So we went to Frits Alors! for dinner, then walked back up St. Laurent and saw The Passage, a play about the Yukon Gold Rush, told by a woman who is trying to make her way to the Yukon. It's very effective—simple staging, mostly a lantern and a handful of other props, while the actress tells her story in an otherwise-darkened room.

The story starts with the expedition Nelly is part of losing their horses; she loops back a bit to talk about joining the group and the departure from Edmonton, and then tells about the ongoing journey and what goes wrong, and her interactions with the men and boy in the group, and theirs with each other.

My program says the performer [sic] is Jen Viens, and the writer/director is Adriana Bogaard, both originally from B.C. "The piece was inspired by the true story of Nelly Garner - the first woman to travel to the Klondike via Edmonton. However, many creative liberties have been taken."
Or, Chorégraphie qui mène à la satisfaction: the show was bilingual, though without a lot of dialogue in either language. (I suspect I would have gotten more out of it if I understood more French; I also suspect there are bits a monolingual Francophone would have missed.)

Performer and choreographer Nika Stein is good, and definitely expressed emotion and change within that. As promised on the Fringe website, there is a happy ending: the promotional bookmark in fact says "Warning 18+ Explicit emotional content, nudity, and happy ending."

Recommended, for my hypothetical reader who is in Montreal in the next week and likes dance. (Studio Jean-Valcourt du Conservatoire, 4750 av. Henri-Julien metro Laurier or Mont-Royal)

Meanwhile, I am feeling warm and cozy because I saw this with [ profile] rysmiel yesterday and we have more Fringe tickets for tomorrow, and [personal profile] adrian_turtle and [personal profile] cattitude are going to a free outdoor performance of Macbeth this afternoon.
I'm in Montreal for a long weekend with [ profile] rysmiel and [ profile] papersky; we have had lots of good food and good conversation. I'm flying back tomorrow around lunchtime, so when rysmiel and I came back from a walk, I logged into the Air Canada site and checked in for my flight. All very sensible; I changed my seat, paid to check my bag (I've bought a few things, some of them liquid), and printed my boarding pass. But it makes me feel a little bit like the visit is almost over, even though about a quarter of it is left, and we have actual plans for this evening.

The odd thing about visiting this time of year is that spring is much more advanced in Boston than in Montreal: a lot less is in bloom here (the forsythia are just starting, and they were close to done by the time I headed to the Boston airport Friday morning), and most of the trees are bare. (Montreal in January, or for that matter August, is probably going to be colder than New York or Boston, but it's not so visually different.)
I'm just back from spending a few days in Montreal with [ profile] rysmiel. We had a good time, mostly in a quiet sort of way: rysmiel was feeling low-energy if not actually unwell, but I think we worked with that reasonably well. (It helped that the only specific plan we had was lunch with [personal profile] anne/[ profile] txanne. The three of us had crepes, after which rysmiel and I walked Anne to a comic shop (because she wanted some specific French-language comics), and then went to Juliet et Chocolat because I concluded that yes, I did have room for dessert. We got there, glanced at the menu, and I was reminded of how much I'd liked the brownie with a balsamic reduction. So I got that again, and it was very good.

Also, one night we sent out for a pizza; rysmiel asked not-very-hopefully how I felt about fresh tuna on pizza, and my reaction was "I've never tried that, let's get it." I liked it, and it goes well with mushrooms, but I'm not convinced the meatballs added anything in terms of flavor. (This is one of the standard toppings at Pizza Pizza, if you're interested.) A less cheerful food note is that the patisserie nearest rysmiel's home has closed, so I didn't get croissants or other pastries this trip. (Next visit, if it's not deep winter, I will make more of an effort; this time, I decided to spare my knee the extra walking and stairs involved in buying some at Marche Atwater on my way to the airport yesterday.

Also, while it's a long trip to Montreal from here, Air Canada inadvertently put that in perspective with an announcement as my flight was landing in Vancouver "for those of you who are continuing on to Sydney…" and then my cab driver mentioned that when he goes home to visit his family, that's 22 hours' flight, because he's from India. (I had a short hop from Vancouver to Sea-tac: window seat in a Dash-8 on a gorgeous evening for flying.)
This isn't my home climate either, but the summer plantings look right: similar variety of trees, choices of garden flowers, and the weedy maple saplings growing up through other plants look like home.

The trip itself was fine once I got checked in at the airport: a car service (Eastside for Hire) stood me up annoyingly, with a series of phone calls starting a few minutes before the time I had booked the cab for. The driver wasn't much good at communicating on the phone, and I had to repeat the full street address to her. It didn't help. By the time she called to say she really was at the front door, I was on the 550 bus, about to get onto the highway across the lake, and hoping that the traffic would be better than predicted. At 7:12, on the bus, I told the driver that "6:45 means 6:45, not whenever you find a map of Bellevue." The transit part (bus over the lake, light rail to Sea-tac) all went smoothly, giving me 20 minutes from when I got off the light rail to get to the Air Canada counter before the official cutoff for checked luggage.

There was almost no queue there, and the people in front of me kindly let me go first when I explained, and then I had an easy time at airport security, leaving me time to buy and drink tea before boarding the puddle-jumper to Vancouver.

The lesson here is either "go back to the other car service" or "6:45 is enough time to do this by bus if I actually go to the bus stop at 6:45 rather than 7:05."

I got to Montreal a little late, but at that point I could do it on automatic: find the ticket machine, buy weekly transit pass, 747 bus to Orange Line metro to 90 bus, and here I am. I was very glad to see [ profile] rysmiel, and we had a late-by-the-clock dinner including poutine, then stayed up past 1. OK, fine, my body should be on west coast time: except that I was up less than six hours later. Still, I am here, rysmiel is here, there is tea, and we even have plans for tomorrow.
redbird: closeup photo of an apricot (apricot)
( Apr. 25th, 2014 08:51 pm)
While visiting [ profile] papersky and [ profile] rysmiel last weekend, I had a hot cross bun for the first time. Seeing the buns on sale in the farmer's market never tempted me; toasted under the broiler and buttered, they're quite tasty. (From discussion, it's basically a teacake with a little bit of icing.)

Papersky said that she wouldn't buy or serve them except very close to Easter, because she feels that certain foods are and should be seasonal.

The hot cross buns came from a chocolate shop, and a rather good one; she generously asked if I would like an Easter chocolate while she was buying one each for rysmiel, Zorinth, and Alex. I said yes, resulting a dark chocolate allosaur. It was quite good, and of course there's no reason good chocolate can't be used in that sort of mold. (The people who got milk and white chocolate also seemed happy with their candy.)

I didn't try to bring the dinosaur home intact on the plane; instead, I took a few photos with my cell phone (life in the future) and then bit its head off for a snack with a cup of tea Monday afternoon, and then shared around pieces after supper. What was left, I tossed into the emergency chocolate bag in my daypack. I have now fed some to [personal profile] cattitude, who asked what kind of dinosaur, was amused by the photo, and agrees that it's good chocolate.
I am visiting [ profile] rysmiel and [ profile] papersky in Montreal, where it's just the beginning of spring. Beginning as in, Papersky was pleased to hear me report having seen snowdrops in bloom this morning. As it happens, while spring in the Seattle area is both slower and much further advanced, I didn't see any snowdrops there, so I'm also pleased by these. And the twittering birds sound right. (There's nothing wrong with crows, in fact quite a bit right about them, but they shouldn't be the only birds I notice.)

The flight out here, with the weird screw-in earplugs in my ears from takeoff in Seattle to landing here, including the connection in Dallas, was fine, though long. We've not done much; dim sum yesterday, and company for meals today. Papersky is gaming with them, a game that requires exactly four players, and I have been getting a bunch of reading in. I read Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves on my kindle yesterday and this morning, and am now partway through one of rysmiel's Anthony Price novels. Clearly, what I need to get back is the knack of reading actual books in the United States; but if I can do it in Montreal it ought to be possible in Bellevue or Arlington.
It was good to visit Montreal, not just to see [ profile] rysmiel, excellent as that was, but for the city itself. I realized soon after arriving that I was soothing homesick parts of myself: walking from the bus to rysmiel's apartment, the air just smelled right. About 90% of that smell was clover, and I'm not sure of the rest—and there's clover out here, too. But Montreal has subway trains, and people handing out free copies of Metro outside the subway stations, and the trees and plants look right. (There are deciduous trees here, too, including my beloved maples, but the mix is different.)

So I figured I might as well indulge that feeling of being back at home, and visit familiar places. I'd have done some of that anyhow, I think, like going back to Au Bulle en Carre for the crepes; I might even have gone to Kam Fung for dim sum by myself on Monday while rysmiel was at work. (Sure, there's less variety than with company, but more variety than in a lot of meals: their excellent sticky rice, a few seafood dumplings, and a stuffed crab claw.) I would have gone to Marche Atwater for fruit and yogurt anyhow, but any other visit I wouldn't have bought apples in July; this time I did, because one shop had the northeastern varieties I like, and a few stored Cortlandt apples (they looked better than the Macintoshes) appealed as much as the berries and champagne grapes and red plums—which I also bought. I eat a lot of fruit this time of year. Rysmiel and I went to Juliet et Chocolat for dessert twice, and I had the chocolate raspberry brownie with a balsamic reduction both times, because it was so good the first time. I may even try to figure out how to make the reduction, which I think would go well with any good chocolate brownie.

What I wasn't homesick for was heat waves, but I got one; Montreal averages cooler than New York City, and I think it was even hotter in New York that weekend, but this was humid and oppressive, and [ profile] papersky and rysmiel have no air conditioning. During the worst of it, I was lying flat on a bed, wishing the fan was more effective and thinking "rule 1, stay hydrated," because I didn't have much focus for more than that. Fortunately, the Musee de Beaux Arts is air conditioned, and we'd wanted to see their Chihuly exhibit anyhow.

On the way back from lunch after the museum, we stopped at Camellia Sinensis so I could buy some green Darjeeling tea, which they hadn't had in at least two years. I knew from their website that they had gotten it, but I wanted to at least smell the tea before buying. I have now brewed a cup, and it is good. I don't think I can really compare this Happy Valley green Darjeeling [yes, I know, I didn't name the tea garden] with the Selimbong I got years ago, even though I still have little bit I'd been hoarding, just because of the age difference. On the other hand, I might try brewing a cup of each, rather than just tossing the Selimbong or letting it continue to age in my cupboard.

One morning while rysmiel was at work, before the weather got horrible, I made tea and then sat on the balcony with a book, reading and thinking fondly of sitting out there the previous summer, with [ profile] cattitude, papersky, and rysmiel.

some travel details )
redbird: Me with a cup of tea, standing in front of a refrigerator (drinking tea in jo's kitchen)
( Jul. 14th, 2013 09:27 am)
Mostly I am having a nice, lazy holiday, reading my hosts' books, enjoying walking around some of the interesting bits of Montreal, and eating tasty things. Interesting not in the sense of impressive architecture or historical monuments, just nice bits of park and streets whose proportions feel right. Downtown Bellevue is full of new, tall buildings and traffic patterns optimized for cars and weird for pedestrians. (Lots of Seattle feels more comfortable, in that sense, but I'm not spending a lot of time in Wallingford, and Pioneer Square is rather touristy.)

I warned my freelance client that I would be away for this chunk of time; he sent me something on Thursday with a cover note saying "I know you'll be away until the 16th but figured I might as well send the files now."

At the moment, I am taking a break from the break, and proofreading an OCR'd poetry book, a few pages at a time; it takes a different sort of attention than the work I usually do on prose, in part because with that, the line between proofreading and copyediting is fuzzy. Here, I'm going to say "that should be a hyphen, not an em dash" and "check capitalization," but (for a variety of reasons) I'm not suggesting "this would read better if you changed it."

But [ profile] rysmiel is awake, and it's time for tea and second breakfast. More poetry later, possibly even before I go back to Bellevue.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Aug. 3rd, 2012 10:16 pm)
I am watching the reflection of a fireworks display in two large glass-and-steel buildings. No pretty burst shapes, just colors and brief points of bright light. An extra benefit of that style of architecture. Loud, though.
redbird: closeup photo of an apricot (apricot)
( Jun. 24th, 2012 07:23 am)
Friday evening, [ profile] rysmiel, [ profile] cattitude, and I went out for all-you-can-eat sushi etc. "Et cetera" because the all-you-can eat menu at this place includes sashimi (unusual for such), tempura, and a variety of other cooked foods, from dumplings to grilled fish.

The sushi and sashimi ranged from good to excellent (including the best mackerel sashimi I've had in a couple of years); the only disadvantage is that the menu doesn't (yet) describe what's in many of the named rolls. On the "anything for a weird life" theory, we ordered a honey roll. It turned out to be something like a salmon skin roll, but with more of the actual salmon left on, and with a honey-based sauce. One of my companions suggested that this was similar to the sauce on grilled eel sushi, but the effect was quite different; the eel sauce is sweet but savory, and this was mostly honey. I won't be pining for this roll, but I might order it again, if I was with other people who wanted to share it (six pieces would be too much for me).

[ETA: This was 999 Sushi, on Rue St. Denis at Sherbrooke. It hasn't been open long, and the menu marks a number of choices as "dinner only," but I think you could eat well there at lunchtime too, for less money.

ETA2: We went back for lunch about a month later, and did in fact eat well, but I missed some of the dinnertime variety. The "honey roll" was a bit different this time, though still good. Note: the lunchtime menu doesn't include sashimi.]
redbird: closeup of a white-and-purple violet (violet)
( May. 31st, 2012 12:04 pm)
I just uploaded some photos to Flickr from my trip to the Jardin Botanique in mid-April: it's a mixture of butterflies (indoors) and flowers (both greenhouse and some in the Alpine Garden).

A sample: black and yellow butterfly on a skylight, seen from below.
This morning, [ profile] rysmiel and I were at a halal market, which they say has good meat, including good cold cuts, to get fruit and something to put on sandwiches. As rysmiel was looking at the ingredients on some smoked chicken, I looked at a package and went "Matjes!" in pleased surprise. Since I was enthusiastic, and we couldn't find smoked meat (only pastrami, which is a bit different), we got a package of matjes herring, as I wondered idly what language that word is from*. The rest of the large print on the package was in Polish, which neither of us knows. (The legally required small print was in French and English, of course, but the ingredients list just said "herring.")

There is absolutely nothing to stop herring from being halal (or kosher; I regularly buy kosher pickled herring in sour cream). I'm not sure how much of my surprise was seeing matjes in neat packages, and how much was the Polish package in a Montreal supermarket that has lots of hummus and date paste and other Middle Eastern foods (and fairly standard brands of tea and kinds of apple and such).

So, city life.

For dinner we went to an Italian restaurant in the Gay Village and ate pasta. On our walk back to the metro I saw banners on the street with amusing and/or inspirational quotes about various aspects of gay life and liberation. (I couldn't read all of them; my French isn't what it might be, though I can read more French than I can speak.) I spent some time chewing over "Being gay is not a choice; it is a necessity," going quickly from "not for me" to "yes, it is" to wondering what "being" means here. (I may be misremembering the phrasing, and what I'm working with is my on-the-fly translation, not what was printed on the cloth.) I trust the writer's description of his own experience, but once the text is printed on a banner above the sidewalk, people are going to apply it more broadly. For me, it's more complicated; the "not for me" tangles in with the different choices that come with being bi, as well as other people's tendencies to assume I'm straight if they see me with a male partner. But how much effort I make to be visible is separate from not making an effort to hide.

It would be nice to have a similar collection of banners in English, and maybe some in other languages, in my own Village.

*[ profile] cattitude was sitting at his computer when I told him this story, so he asked the net. With that spelling of "matjes," apparently either German or Swedish (Dutch would have another "a"). But I suspect that matjes is the English, and maybe French, for that kind of herring, just as "biscotti" is the French and English for a particular kind of Italian-style cookie.
redbird: closeup photo of an apricot (food)
( Jan. 25th, 2012 01:27 pm)
While I was visiting [ profile] rysmiel I tried two jam sort of things as part of breakfast/brunch (along with having cretons and other protein on bread): a quince preserve that had some of the marmalade nature, and cloudberry jam. The quince was interesting, not as bitter as I'd expected. The cloudberry jam was a mild flavor, perfectly reasonable but not something I'll be seeking out again (sorry, Mris). Noting this here because I don't recall having either of those fruits before.

The trip also involved good sushi (Kashima does a very nice mackerel nigiri), poutine with smoked meat (just what I wanted at that point), and superior gelato at Suite 88. That last was prompted by my passing a dubious-looking gelato stand in a mall early last week, and thinking "I can do better if I wait a few days"; I was reminded also of [personal profile] rushthatspeaks's posts about Florence and gelato. Suite 88 may not be quite in that category, and the choice of flavors much smaller than usual, probably because a lot don't appreciate cold desserts in a Montreal winter, no matter how snug the gelateria. But they had raspberry and chocolate (my choices) and vanilla and pralines-and-cream and mocha and a couple of other options, and we were all pleased with what we got.

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redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)

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