Lieux d'inspiration de Leonard Cohen - Montréal
 Biographie | Lieux d'inspiration |

Voyage à Montréal

par Dick Straub

Dick Straub et sa famille ont voulu voir les lieux fréquentés par Leonard dans son enfance et sa jeunesse. Ils nous rapportent ces quelques photos. Merci Dick !.

© Photos by Linda Straub for Dick Straub, USA, 1998.
Used by permission.
La maison d'enfance de Leonard à Westmount
Pareil, mais vue de derrière
La synagogue de Montréal
La Mission Kateri Tekakwitha (intérieur)
La Mission Kateri Tekakwitha (vue générale)
Le Centre Zen de Montréal
© Photos by Linda Straub for Dick Straub, USA, 1998.
Used by permission.
Récit par Dick :     Montreal - August 29 to September 2, 1998 -- Linda, Dick and Bandit Straub

Saturday, August 29: 6/7 hour drive from New Jersey up the New York
Throughway to Quebec, and through city of Montreal to motel destination in
Laval (North/West of city). Checked at tourist information stop at the
Border, they had no knowledge of Le Bistro Chez Lou Lou (site of Marita poem
on the wall), and gave us the bad news that Dunn's (site of Cohen's first
poetry readings) had closed within the past few weeks. Comfort Inn,
recommended by Rob Robillard, is clean, comfortable, and reasonably priced.
We had an extraordinary meal, chateaubriand, at Le Negroni, only a block
from motel.

Sunday, August 30: Into Montreal, first stop Leonard Cohen's childhood home
on Belmont Street, Westmount.  A fantastic park, Murray Hill, sits behind
the duplex home. (Described in chapter 4 of The Favourite Game.) Cohen's
bedroom at the rear, with extended window, must have had phenomenal view of
the green, lush hilly terrain, with city and river visible. We drove up and
down main streets and made a stop at McGill. Library closed. Went on to Old
Port, where we spent the rest of the day. Wonderful. Historic reenactments
were in progress and the area was crowded. Spent time touring and climbed
the tower at the Catholic Church just above the river. It has the beautiful
statue of Mary blessing the sailors (and our lady of the harbor had sun
pouring down like honey over her and thousands of contented Sunday visitors,
on the day we were there too.) Such a big delicious brunch that we skipped

Monday, August 31: Olympic Stadium area, downtown Montreal, then the
bohemian section on Mont Royal Street (again on the advice of Rob). Upwards
of a dozen second hand cd stores and French bookshops. No Cohen I didn't
have, but purchased a Canadian issue of Various Positions in recognition of
Columbia's stupidity in initially refusing to release that great album in
the US. Very pretty French girl approached me while I was preparing to leave
my parking place, wanted money to eat. I declined, and received a loud "OKAY
ASS HOLE!!" in return. Sometime later, we saw her repeat the sequence on the
main street with another car.  Then to Valliere Street, where the Montreal
Zen Center on the Main is located, and where there is a current apartment
used by Cohen next door! (Thanks again Rob). Then we enjoyed the view of the
City from Mont-Royal Park, with a nice long walk for Bandit. Also admired
the impressive St. Joseph's Oratory, one of the world's largest basilicas.
This evening the rack of lamb was as exquisite at Le Negroni as Saturday's
meal (very rare of us to go to the same place twice, but this was worth it!)

Tuesday, September 1: Began the day by crossing through Montreal and over
the river to the remote Native American village of Kahnawake (no street
signs or addresses). One or two craft shops in town, numerous "discount
tobacco" stands and, the reason for the trip, the Shrine of Kateri
Tekakwitha, located in St. Francis Mission. Fascinating, and moving. We came
back into town and visited Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue, in Westmount, and
received a thorough tour. The boardroom is dominated by a painting of
Lazarus Cohen (great Grandfather), first president of the congregation, and
also had a photo of Lyon Cohen (grandfather).  Back to Leonard's house in
Westmount for more pictures of house and park, a drive by his Rosyln St.
elementary school, and a drive further up the elegant Westmount neighborhood
to the Summit crest area. Felt a comfortable kinship with Cohen, even though
he wasn't home! Dinner fair this time at Les Serres Manhattan steakhouse, a
short drive from the motel.

Concluding notes: Linda also had time during this trip for Pez and Beanie
Baby searches, so we saw some malls, and spent a couple of hours in one of
the many shopping centers underground. Bandit held up well. (He doesn't mind
the car, loves the parks, only didn't enjoy walking in the downtown or Old
Port crowded sidewalks.) We both feel Montreal is a beautiful city, well
worth another visit. Without the dog, we would have participated in
nightlife, and done much more downtown activity. Only caution I would offer
other new visitors is to be prepared for quite speedy and careless driving
on the AutoRoute's, at least on those few opportunities when you are not
stalled in bumper to bumper traffic! On the whole, that is a minor complaint
about an otherwise delightful tourist destination. Although everyone spoke
French, and most signs were French, we dullards who only speak English were
politely accommodated. We hope to meet Rob personally on our next visit.
When our photos of Cohen locations are developed, we will eventually post
some to our Cohen tribute site. In the meantime, I'd be happy to send a few
as Email JPG attachments to anyone who requests.

Dick Straub        

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