Grande Dame Montr‚al Seduces HBSers

On a horribly cold Friday last week, more than 100 EC’s and RC’s began what was supposed to be a 5 hour trek to Montr‚al. The beginning of the trip was inauspicious to say the least; two buses arrived in Montr‚al more than 10 hours after leaving Boston. The weather was blistering cold with high winds and a massive snowstorm. A third bus, broken down en route due to a flat tire, didn’t arrive in Montr‚al until 5 p.m. the next day – a full 24 hours after leaving Boston the day before(See story on page 2). With a start like this, the trip seemed to be doomed by misfortune and inclement weather.

However, it did not take long until this city of 3.5 million bon vivants, located in the heart of French Canada, quickly seduced even the most demanding of HBS students with its incredible restaurants, first-rate shopping, European flair and most of all, the warm Qu‚becois people who delight in sharing their joie de vivre with visitors. Here’s a sampling of the experiences that some trekkers will keep with them as they look back:

Sormeh Dowlatshahi, Aicha Kolo and Bita Fazeli took in all that nocturnal Montr‚al has to offer. They partied it up with the slicksters at Wax Lounge on Montr‚al’s boulevard Saint-Laurent, where Montr‚alers flock to pumping nightclubs and restaurants filled with beautiful people and great vibes. They eventually made it to Club Stereo where Bita managed to sweet-talk the bouncer to let everyone into the VIP line to get out of the cold. They walked in to the best that afterhours Montr‚al has to offer – club-kids, fetishists and go-go gay boys kicking it to deep house music until 10:00 am. Isn’t that when people in Boston are just waking up?

Meanwhile, Rob Betts and some of his pals were even able to find their own after-hours joint that continued to serve booze in the living room of some generous Montrealer, courtesy of a well-informed taxi driver who knew where to go when asked where one could find some *tasty beverages* after the 3:00 a.m. legal deadline. Nice to know that the saying “rules are made to be broken” still holds true in these parts.

Back on Saint-Laurent, Wendy Ware, Chike Obianwu and others stopped in at Restaurant Buona Notte, Montr‚al’s see-and-be-seen restaurant of choice for many years now. They ate sumptuous Italian delights and decided to stick around afterwards until the wee hours, pushing the tables aside and dancing up a storm, showing the locals that HBS students know how to party.

In another part of town, Marleta Ross and company, ascended Canada’s first skyscraper, Place Ville-Marie, to Altitude 737, a club located on the top floor and overlooking all of Montr‚al. They grooved until late that evening to the sweet sounds of R&B and old school.

According to Gerard Hollins, every place in Montr‚al played music that was “off-the-hook” – he is planning on heading back for another trip very soon. Marc Sullivan seems to agree. He says that Montr‚al has made it onto his list of the world’s coolest cities, along with Paris, New York, London and San Francisco.

So there you have it – many reasons to include the Montr‚al Trip on your itinerary next year. But, for the EC’s who missed it both years and those who are a little more faint-of-heart, Montr‚al warms up even more in the summer time when festival after festival leaves Montrealers and vistors alike, dancing in the streets, basking in the glow of the jungle they call Montr‚al.