When I left the office, I figured it was a good time to hit the downtown bookstore for a Father’s Day gift for my dad. The city center was teeming with people, and when you work downtown, the crowds get old pretty fast. Tonight was different for some reason. It was good to see so many people out enjoying a stellar summer evening.
In contrast, last weekend was the Grand Prix, which meant that the city was choked with tourists, cars, honking, exhaust, and cheesy paraphernalia. Yes. Cheesy. One of the few times I will utter the word cheese with negativity. The human energy was so aggressive that many locals hid under their beds rather than venture outside.
Last weekend, I took the plunge and waded out into the seething mass of humans with my friend Sue. We ended up at a strange jungle themed loft party. It was packed. It was techno. I enjoyed it even though it was techno.
When we’d had enough, we left and walked up St-Laurent, which was closed to traffic. The boulevard was so incredibly packed with people, that we had to duck down a side street to avoid the throng. Then we stopped to share a sandwich at one of the old delicatessens. What are we, 20? A Club Roll should not be eaten at 3:30am over the age of 35. By the time I had walked Sue home and got myself back to my place, the sun was coming up.
Fast forward to this evening: After I picked up my gifts, I walked a few blocks back to the office where I picked up my bike and started to pedal home.
Ever have one of those days/nights where everything is perfectly synchronized? Even with the humidity, the traffic was patient. Pedestrians waited for the lights to change. Cars stopped at the lights too, and yielded for those of us on two wheels. Even the other cyclists I saw waited for the lights to change before continuing. It’s as if the city had been hit by a patience beam.
I was sweating by the time I got to the top of the hill, and as I passed the mountain and the park, the air became cooler. I stopped at St-Louis Square, my favorite Victorian park, just to see if this air of tolerance and patience was still present. It was. With a last hint of blue in the sky, people milling about, and the old fountain doing its thing, summer felt pretty alright.